Union (N.J.) High defensive end Mike Tverdov is one of the top defensive line in New Jersey, and his offer list reflects that. Already holding scholarship opportunities from Boston College, Duke, Rutgers, Temple, UCF and Virginia Tech, Tverdov added another on Saturday when he visited Syracuse. His communication with the Orange goes back much further, however.
"Coach Reynolds, their defensive line coach, followed me on Twitter a month ago or so and we've been in a lot of contact since," Tverdov said. "He loves the way I play and my leadership and toughness. They wanted to get me up so I came up today to see their scrimmage with my mom. Everyone greeted me and it was really nice to see them practice and to learn a little.
"After that, I went to eat in the facility with coach Reynolds and my mom. We were just getting to know him and his family and he was telling us about the chance they've made in the program. How they really need defensive ends a guy like me would be perfect for Syracuse. Afterwards, we met with coach Babers just my mom and I. We were talking about the visit and he asked if I had any questions or stuff like that.
"Then he said, 'we would like to offer you a scholarship.' I was very happy and thankful. Coach Babers is a soft spoken guy. He is a great person but at the same time, he is a hard nosed, tough coach."
Tverdov noted the facilities as a highlight of the trip. He said they were really nice and new. He also likes the stability that seems to be in place with the new staff.
"Everyone is new and young," he said. "That is good. No one should be going anywhere."
The Rutgers legacy said he was also introduced to the defensive linemen currently on the roster, and he was able to interact with them a bit.
The scrimmage on Saturday was another moment that stood out for Tverdov. He loved what he saw from the linemen, but sees an opportunity for early playing time.
"I would fit in right away, especially since they are short on defensive ends," Tverdov said. "So they could use me as soon as I get there basically. Coach Reynolds is an uptempo guy. He is really involved with his players."
Tverdov's mom also enjoyed the trip and felt comfortable with head coach Dino Babers. She liked that the coaches were up front and honest with her as opposed to being a care salesman type.
After the visit, Tverdov says he is high on the Orange and hopes to be back soon.
"They are in a good place for me," he said. "I like Syracuse a lot."