Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep tight end Ray Marten is one of the top players at his position in the 2016 class. Syracuse has been among the schools recruiting him very hard, and he took a visit to the campus on Saturday.
"Syracuse was a great experience," Marten said. "We started the day with me, my dad and my brother going in early to have a one-on-one meeting with the tight ends coach, coach Moreland. He gave us a good idea on what to expect in the spring game, the different schemes that they run and how they use the tight ends at Syracuse. He seemed very personable and I really enjoyed being in his presence. He seemed to know what he was talking about and was very passionate. I really enjoyed my time with him.
"From there, we got a tour of the facilities, the weight room and locker room and things like that. From there, we boarded the buses and went to the spring game. It was a really great day. I had a great time."
At the spring game itself, Marten was watching the tight ends. He wanted to see if what tight ends coach Jake Moreland told him about their system was accurate. It was.
"They used their tight ends quite a lot," Marten said. "I liked what I saw. I know from the tight ends coach that in the future they plan to use the tight ends more depending on what type of personnel they have. I really liked it. The tight ends had some big catches. The one had that big touchdown right down the middle. I was excited to see that. Seeing them throw the ball to the tight end is very important to me.
"At the same time, they use the tight ends as blocking backs as well. I really like how they use the tight ends. They use them in a lot of different ways. It's basically what I do now at my high school. So if I went there, I'd basically be doing the same thing."
The individual time Marten spent with coach Moreland was critically important for both sides. It allowed Marten to start the relationship with what would be his position coach if he chose Syracuse.
"Coach Moreland told me personally that I'm one of his top targets and he really wants to coach me," Marten said. "That meant a lot coming from him considering he's been at some big time places and played in the NFL. So for him to say that to me meant a lot. I didn't get to talk to coach Shafer one-on-one, but all the other coaches told me I'm a priority for him as well.
"It meant a lot to hear that and I'm looking forward to moving forward with them."
The visit was a strong one that continues to keep the Orange on Marten's mind. Being one of the best players in New York, Syracuse will continue to make him a priority.
"Syracuse has always been in my top three or five schools," Marten said. "They're staying there. If anything, it's increasing. (Saturday) I got to see more about what it's like outside of football there. Speaking with the academic advisors there, just really getting a feeling for what it's like outside of the football program. That was very important to me."
Marten said he is taking the process day by day. He wants to visit every school that offers in order to properly weigh the pros and cons of each and ultimately make the right decision. But he loves the Syracuse coaches and the academics that the university provides. He expects the Orange to have a bounce back season.