Three-star Waukesha (Wisc.) West offensive guard Sam Heckel jumped onto the Syracuse radar over the last few weeks and the two sides quickly scheduled a visit. During the trip, he picked up an offer from the Orange, but did not commit. His previous leader, Northwestern, filled up with their offensive line slots, which forced Heckel to look elsewhere. That is when Syracuse got involved.
On Thursday and into Friday morning, Heckel checked out the Orange program. He toured the campus and the facilities, met with coaches, and got a feel for what it’s like to be a part of Syracuse football.
”Going into it, I thought it was a good comparison to Northwestern,” Heckel said. “That’s where I previously wanted to go. I thought it compared well and was even better facilities wise and with the coaches and stuff. I kind of knew coming in that Syracuse was a pretty prestigious school. I talked to an academic advisor. Their academic facilities are nice. I think it would be a challenge but good overall.”
Throughout the trip, Heckel spent a lot of time with Joe Adam, Syracuse’s offensive line coach, as well as head coach Scott Shafer. The message to the 6-foot-5 guard was simple. There is only one offensive line slot left, and despite their interest in several other prospects, the slot is Heckel’s if he wants it.
”They have a number of o-linemen that they want,” Heckel said. “I just happened to be found late. They didn’t know who I was, really, until a couple of weeks ago. They really want me to go there. Coach Adam said he thinks I would be a great fit and would do extremely well. I think I would to.
”They said there’s one spot. That’s why I’m kind of nervous whether or not someone else wants to commit in the next couple of days or week or so.”
Heckel said he down to Syracuse and Northern Illinois. He has visited the Huskies a few times, and now has taken in Syracuse. He likes both schools for different reasons, and is going to evaluate his options over the next week to find the best fit. He has no set decision date during that time, but believes he will come to a decision over the next several days that could come at any point.
His interest in Northern Illinois is the reason why the Orange did not receive a commitment before he left campus. Heckel wanted to go home, think about his options, and figure out the best fit by taking a look at both schools.