When Syracuse fired Scott Shafer as head coach on Monday, the immediate thought was towards recruiting. How would Shafer's departure impact the status of the 2016 commits. Specifically, one of their most coveted pledges Moe Neal.
His father told CuseNation.com shortly after the announcement that they would take a wait and see approach. See who Syracuse hires and go from there. On Tuesday, Neal reiterated that point.
"My first reaction was it was crazy," Neal said. "I've been hearing he was going to get fired but I didn't think it would be like that. It happened at 10 o'clock (Monday), my phone started blowing up. It's crazy. You hate to have the coach that recruited you be gone when you get there. It's crazy, but I'm just dealing with it.
"Me and the other recruits, we're all just going to tough it out and see who they bring in."
In the case of most commits and recruits, they have time. Signing day is still over two months away. That is plenty of time to evaluate their decision, get to know the new Syracuse staff and see where things go from there. In the case of Neal, he is enrolling early, which shrinks his window to weigh his options.
"It's a sense of urgency," Neal said. "Because I'm trying to see who they bring in, see how they're going to run their offense and get an outlook on how he is and how he wants his players. Hopefully they get it done pretty quick with me going in January. That's right around corner."
Indeed it is, and that is why Syracuse is doing what they can to keep Neal despite the hectic situation. Even though they are in the middle of a coaching search, the administration understands the importance of recruiting. Athletic Director Mark Coyle reached out to Neal on Tuesday to make sure he knew the offer was still extended and that they still wanted him.
"They're going to push my official visit back," Neal said. "The athletic director called me, from Syracuse, telling me they're going to try to get somebody in as quick as they can but my offer is still on the table. Hopefully everything goes smooth and they get him in there quick."
Having Coyle call meant a lot to Neal, and reinforced some of why Neal chose Syracuse in the first place.
"It just shows that I'm one of their priorities and that they want me to stay," he said. "They want me to stay. It's a real honor for him to call me and take time out of his day. Because they're trying to find a new head coach."
Neal admitted that Boston College and Wake Forest have both reached out in an attempt to get him to reconsider his commitment. For now, however, Neal has kept those conversations brief.
"I haven't set up any visits," he said. "Schools like that, I just keep it real short with them. They've been checking on me to see how I am with the situation. See if I'm opening my recruitment back up. I just tell them that I'm sticking with Syracuse right now until they get their new staff in and everything."
That all sounds quite promising for the Orange.