Master recruiter A.J. Long took another trip up to Syracuse on Thursday to help the Orange make an impression on prospects. The only one of note on campus was an offensive lineman from Florida, Marcus Applefield.
"Really it was just getting him to understand that we need him," Long explained. "We're losing a couple linemen and my class really needs one. I don't want to wait one or two years until my left tackle then would have graduated. So getting one in this class is a priority. I mean he may not play left tackle, but just playing anywhere on the line.
"He's a necessity for us. Just stressing that to him. I only got to talk to him for about ten minutes but that was the key thing in our conversation. He brought his girlfriend and his dad. His girlfriend said before they went up there, this school wasn't really on his list. After today, it was an eye opener. Probably if he makes a top eight or top five, we'll probably be on that list."
The quarterback commit discussed the Chad Mavety situation.
"I talk to Chad quite a bit," Long admitted. "I talk to him two to three times per week. He always responds and is fairly quick with his responses. He really likes Syracuse. Growing up, we were his dream school. To have the opportunity to play for his dream school is a nice thing to know. With him, I'm feeling good that it's going to come down between us and Alabama.
"Just the history with Alabama, even with all of the great players they've had, they don't last too long in the NFL because they're so beat up and they get hurt either in training camp or early in the season. We'll see how Justin Pugh does this year, but there aren't too many Syracuse linemen or players that had their careers cut short due to injuries. That's the selling point we're giving him. It's a big thing to think about."
Long also discussed the situation with his four star cousin, who Syracuse is still recruiting very hard.
"When we were up there today I called K.J.," Long outlined. "The conversation I was having with Eric and Coach Perles, we were all sitting around waiting for Applefield to get out of the meeting with Coach Shafer. We talked to him and he didn't know that Michigan already had four receivers that were 6'4" or taller. So he's going to have to play the slot there. He didn't realize that. So I talked to him for about 20 or 30 minutes. We're still the top spot. Syracuse is the school.
"If he were to go anywhere else it wouldn't make sense. He can't go anywhere else and have what he has here. He doesn't have the family to watch out for him. On top of that, me and him are going to take the same classes and have the same exact schedule. As far as K.J. goes, we're pretty good on that and he'll decide before July 21st. If he doesn't commit before July 21st when Christian Blake takes his visit up to Syracuse. There may not be a slot for him to commit after that. We're taking two receivers and three at the most.
"With Christian Blake, it's between us and NIU (Northern Illinois)," Long continued. "I mean, they're a good school, but I don't see him going there after he comes and visits Syracuse. That's where K.J. comes in. Whether it's between those two or he gets pushed out. We talked to him today about it. When Blake takes his visit on the 21st, at that point it'll be a done deal with him. It's just a matter of whether he commits before that and if we'll take three receivers. Because we're not going to turn Christian Blake down."