Wooster (Ohio) High safety Marquise Blair is the highest ranked player in Syracuse’s 2015 class. The 6-foot-3 three-star prospect took his official visit over the weekend. Since it was not his first time on campus, the focus was on spending time with his future teammates and coaches.
”He enjoyed meeting some of the players,” Wooster head coach Doug Haas said. “Rodney Williams was his host. He enjoyed hanging out with him and getting to know the other players and other potential recruits. Also continuing to build the relationships with the coaching staff. He had the opportunity to spend time with (defensive backs) coach (Fred) Reed and that was important.
”As an observer, that’s really valuable for him because he’s going to be sitting in coach Reed’s meeting room most of the time. That was something that went over well and he enjoyed spending time with him as well as coach (Clark) Lea his area recruiting coach.”
The time Blair spent with defensive backs coach Fred Reed was critical. Throughout his recruitment, most of his interaction has been with coach Lea or head coach Scott Shafer. The ability to start bonding with his position coach only solidified his June decision.
”It was just that he felt comfortable with him,” Haas said. “I think they had the opportunity to spend a good thirty plus minutes together on Sunday. Coach talked a little bit about their scheme and what they’re looking for and where Marquise fits the bill in that aspect. It was just the comfort factor. Most of his contact has been with coach Lea.
”Knowing that you’re going to spend most of your time in the DB meeting room, it was important to the Syracuse staff as well as Marquise to spend time with the DB coach. That was good. I was glad to see that. There was some valuable ground laid from a relationship building standpoint.”
One big highlight of the visit was the basketball game on Saturday. Seeing the Carrier Dome in person during a game was a memorable experience for Blair.
”He thought it was cool,” Haas said. “He really did. Just from an atmosphere standpoint, to see it in a game day setting and some of that passionate pomp and circumstance that goes with it. He was already firm from a commitment status standpoint. It was resolidified as we went.
”But come Saturday at 5:15, he takes in that atmosphere and whatnot, it just continued to enhance what he was already feeling in terms of being firm in his commitment to Syracuse.”
Blair’s commitment was never in doubt prior to the visit, but Syracuse did not treat it that way. They rolled out the red carpet as if he was an uncommitted target. The visit gave him the fuel he needs in order to make sure he qualifies.
”The question I asked him about it was ‘do you still feel good about it?’ Haas said. “His immediate response was, ‘yes.’ We talked a little bit in the hotel before we left and I asked if he liked everything and liked the people he met. He said ‘yes’ and it makes him excited being a part of it and being around it.
”He’s, in general, really excited about being part of the Syracuse family. It provided a spark and a motivating factor to reenergize him in both the weight room and the classroom.”