SU to get visit from standout Ohio LB

Syracuse was the first school to offer a scholarship to Lakewood (Ohio) linebacker Justin Staples, back in April. And though Staples has since added a whopping 17 more offers, he hasn't forgotten who was on him first.


Syracuse was the first school to offer a scholarship to Lakewood (Ohio) linebacker Justin Staples, back in April. And though Staples has since added a whopping 17 more offers, he hasn't forgotten who was on him first.

The Cuse will get the first of what will likely be many visits by Staples when he heads to SU for an unofficial July 24th.

"It's saying something about my interest in them [that it's the first visit]. They were the first school to offer me and the first to show they believe in me as a DI player," said the 6-foot-3, 215-pound outside linebacker who is rated as one of the top 20 players in the state of Ohio.

Staples has been hearing from SU assistant Steve Russ and has formed a good relationship with the coach.

"He's a real good coach. We have stayed in contact, talking on the phone and texting. I also like that he played in the league, so he knows what it takes to get there," Staples said.

Staples' offer list is too long to name them all but include Michigan St., Pittsburgh, Purdue and UConn. Fortunately for him, he won't have any trouble checking out all of his options. His mother is a flight attendant, meaning he gets free flights anywhere in the U.S.

"That helps," he said, laughing.

He'll also check out Illinois and Northwestern when he heads to Chicago for a family reunion, but doesn't have other plans cemented yet. He is looking for a mix of comfort and academics, he said.

"I want to go somewhere I feel comfortable that has a good environment where I could see myself for the next four years, and of course, academics. Of course they have to have my major; I want to major in Criminal Justice," he said.

He doesn't know a great deal about Syracuse yet, but will take care of that in less than a week.

"I know they play in a dome, because I heard it's really cold there and I was concerned about that at first, and of course they play in the Big East," he said.

Staples has been a bit surprised by the glut of offers this summer, but has been helped through the process by his father, who played for Dennis Green at Northwestern before transferring to Missouri for two years. Last year he helped his team to a 9-2 record while recording 50-plus tackles, 11 pass breakups, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

"I think that I'm quicker to the ball than pretty much anyone else on the field," he said, "and I'm also a good tackler."

Syracuse was quicker to Staples than anyone else in the field, and hopefully it'll pay off.

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