New Rochelle (N.Y.) Iona Prep defensive end Qaadir Sheppard is one of the top players in the Empire State in the 2015 class. He is also one of Syracuse’s top targets. Over the weekend, he took his official visit to Central New York over the weekend.
Sheppard toured the campus, checked out the facilities and hung out with both players and coaches. During the visit, a few portions stood out more than others.
”I really liked the business school they have set up,” Sheppard said. “I liked hanging around with a couple of the players. I met like 10 of the players, I forgot a couple of their names. The dude that was taking me around was Kendall Moore. He was really cool about everything. He was showing me around campus. It was really cool.”
Another highlight was attending the Syracuse/St. John’s basketball game. Seeing the Carrier Dome on game day gave him a glimpse as to what a football game may be like.
”It was crazy,” Sheppard said. “The atmosphere was outstanding. Everybody was into it. They had their own little chants going on in the student section and stuff. It was crazy.”
The weekend was Syracuse’s first chance to showoff their new indoor practice facility. Having visited in the spring and seeing the beginning stages of the construction, Sheppard was impressed by the finished product.
”It’s amazing,” Sheppard said. “Seeing it inside after seeing it start. I think they started building it in the spring when I was up there. They finished now. It’s crazy how they got it finished so quickly. It looks great inside. I just think it’s really cool to be able to practice indoors on those snowy days. You have access 24-hours so you can go in anytime you want. I really liked it.”
Sheppard then spent time with the Syracuse coaches. He has developed a strong relationship with several of them during the recruiting process, and especially enjoyed his one-on-one time with head coach Scott Shafer.
”We talked about family and stuff,” Sheppard said. “We also talked about where I would fit on the depth chart. We just talked about the defensive line and how they really need me. They’re all really great guys. I like them a lot. I have a good relationship with them.”
Of equal importance to Sheppard’s impression of the visit was that of his family. Both of his parents attended with him, and also left with positive feelings towards Syracuse.
”My parents had a great time,” Sheppard said. “They liked the place a lot. They really liked the school.”
The visit went so well, that Sheppard, who previously did not want to declare favorites, put the Orange at the top of his list.