The facilities were nice and the school impressive. Neither, however, were the major reason why Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek High safety Will Harper. It was the coaches that were the biggest factor in his decision.
”It started kind of early,” Harper said. “This was the first time I went on a visit where every coach came out and greeted me and my family. They had a little welcome pamphlet with my face on it. I just felt at home as soon as I arrived.”
The Syracuse coaches did not push a commitment or pressure him into a decision, Harper said. Instead, they simply focused on pitching the program, the school and their interest in him. The fact that they did not push a verbal was important to the 6-foot-0 versatile athlete.
Harper had both parents in tow during the visit. As much as he enjoyed his time at Syracuse and felt at home on campus, his parents had similar feelings on the trip.
”My parents loved it just as much as I did to be honest,” Harper said. “They were very happy for me. They kind of felt relieved that the process is over.”
Harper says as of now, he is done with the recruiting process and is not planning to take other visits. This despite the fact that he did not think he would commit prior to taking the trip to Central New York.
”I was really planning on maybe committing sometime in July,” Harper said. “Maybe early July. But after visiting ‘Cuse, I just fell in love with it.”
After the visit was over, Harper told the Syracuse coaches what he had known throughout. He wanted to don the Orange uniforms during his four year collegiate career. Their reaction reinforced his decision.
”They were all very excited,” Harper said. “They all were welcoming. They all made it seem like they wanted me. They were all very excited that I committed.”
Harper will play a versatile position that Syracuse looks for in their Okie package. Someone who can play safety, linebacker or nickel back. That is something that Harper already does at Sandy Creek, and he foresees a seamless transition.
”I think I fit in very well,” Harper said. “Especially with the fact that that I’m going to play the same position I play now at Sandy Creek. I’d say I know the position already and I fit into their system pretty well.”