Pickard has ‘awesome' Syracuse visit

Jake Pickard is one of the most talented players in New Jersey in the 2015 class. He visited Syracuse on Sunday to check out the Orange in person. He recaps the visit, and its impact, inside.

Three-star Millburn (N.J.) High athlete Jake Pickard visited Syracuse for the first time on Sunday. The visit went very well for the talented Garden State product.

"It was awesome," Pickard said. "I met with all the coaches, toured the facilities and went around the whole campus. We went to the Dome and met with some academic people."

The highlight of the trip for Pickard was meeting with the Syracuse coaching staff. It gave him a better view of the people who are recruiting him, and made him feel wanted.

"Definitely the coaches," Pickard said. "We bonded really well and were talking the whole time. Not just about football. It was a great atmosphere. It was coach (Scott) Shafer, (Bobby) Acosta and coach (Chuck) Bullough. Also the defensive backs coach (Fred Reed) stopped by to see me.

"They were all with me all day and came with me on all the tours. They told me where they see me fitting in and how I can help them win a national championship."

The coaching staff all participating in the tour with a prospect is rare. It shows how much Syracuse wants the three-star talent, who they like as a defensive end or linebacker.

"It showed me how much they wanted me," Pickard said. "Coach Acosta and coach (Tim) Daoust told me that coach Shafer hasn't ever spent the entire day with a recruit and come with him on the campus tour and academic tour."

The visit had a big impact on Pickard, who previously released a list of top schools that did not include Syracuse. But the Orange may be in this recruiting battle until the end.

"They are definitely towards the top of my list," Pickard said. "I will be back to visit. ‘Cuse is definitely at the top. In no order, I'd say my top are ‘Cuse, Nebraska, Virginia, Oregon and Boston College. I'll probably be back in July with my mom."

Pickard wants to make a decision at the end of August or early September.

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