One of Syracuse football's early top targets in the 2018 class is athletic offensive tackle Jake Kradel out of Butler Area Senior High in Pennsylvania. Kradel picked up an offer in June during a previous visit, and was back on campus to watch the Orange face South Florida.
"The visit was awesome," Kradel said. "Coach Lepak gave me a tour of the facilities, weight room, locker room and the practice field. Also got to sit down with (offensive line) coach (Mike) Lynch and (tight ends) coach (Reno) Ferri and talk football for a little bit."
Kradel left impressed by the facilities that he called "state of the art." The weight room really stood out, but the Butler High standout also liked some of the player amenities.
"I also liked the cafe and the lounge room where you can just chill and take your mind off football," he said.
Kradel's conversations with coach Lynch and coach Ferri covered a variety of topics. They were some of the highlights of the trip, and he left with a very favorable impression of both.
"I really enjoyed talking to coach Lynch and coach Ferri," Kradel said. "It was awesome to catch up on some football things. We talked about how my season was going and about the offense they are running at Syracuse.
"Also talked about how I fit in the offense. I think they are great coaches and are very good at developing players. I also love the family atmosphere they bring to the program."
From there, it was time for Kradel to head over to the Carrier Dome for the game between Syracuse and South Florida. His impression of the team, despite the loss, was only positive.
"I thought it was a good game," Kradel said. "Just a couple turnovers and penalties is what put them behind. I like the hurry-up offense. It gets the defenses exhausted and gets you more plays on the field. I feel like I can play anywhere on the line.
"I have the build and stamina to be able to play about 90 - 110 plays a game. The Dome was loud, but once they get that filled within the year or next, it will be rocking."
Kradel says Syracuse remains one of his top schools and they will stay there for the foreseeable future. He has a strong relationship with the staff and believes they will turn the program around.