St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia (PA) has helped the Orange land some talented basketball prospects in the past. However, there is a football target on Syracuse's radar who recently took a trip to check out the campus in three star wide receiver Jamal Custis.
"When I got there, I met up with some of the coaches," Custis described. "We took a tour of the facilities and the campus. I got to go to the Dome. After that I went to the practice and watched them practice. Then I talked to a couple more coaches and the head coach (Scott Shafer).
"After I talked to him, I talked to the receivers coach (Rob Moore). Then we went to dinner and I ate dinner. We went to the cafeteria and ate with the team."
While eating with the team, Custis interacted with some of the players. One encounter that stood out to him was with someone who hasn't even played a game yet for the Orange.
"I was talking to a couple of players," Custis recalled. "I didn't talk to them a lot about the school. But I actually talked to one about the school. He was a quarterback transfer (Drew Allen). I think he came from Oklahoma. He was telling me it was a great opportunity and a great school. He told me he likes it already. He was telling me likes it very much and I really should consider Syracuse."
Custis was impressed by the practice during the visit.
"It was great," the three star receiver said. "I was watching all of the players get after it. They were all out there working. I was talking to a couple of the coaches and they were showing me how practice is set up. The players were out there competing for spots. I really liked the atmosphere."
The part of the trip that stood out the most was Custis' conversation with Coach Shafer. The two spoke at length and that led to comparisons to some highly regarded wide receivers.
"He was really just telling me about his plans there," Custis explained. "He was telling me about what kind of coach he is. He just likes to keep it real. He wouldn't lie to a player. He likes to have a relationship with all of his players. He's a cool guy and real down to earth. He was saying I have a real good opportunity. They have other real good receivers coming in. But they are a certain type of receiver. The type of receiver he's recruiting me at, I'm the only one that's that type of receiver.
"Someone that's real tall and can move around. They're recruiting me at receiver and not tight end. He was saying they like me as a receiver that can be like Mike Williams at USC. Has comparing me to Brandon Marshall. It would be a great opportunity because I'm a different type of receiver and he likes tall receivers. He likes players that are real athletic so I have a good opportunity to come in and compete for a spot."
Those comparisons meant a lot to Custis. To further that point, there is a receiver that he can emulate that is conveniently on the Syracuse staff.
"I'm honored especially after talking to Coach Moore," Custis admitted. "He was a great receiver and he played in the NFL. I was talking to him and he was comparing himself to me. He was saying that we're both big type of guys and I can relate to that. So I really liked that about Coach Moore. He was telling me that when he came there, he really liked it. He was telling me about things I need to work on as a big receiver just like him. I really liked that about Syracuse."
The visit overall had a huge impact on Custis and his recruitment. He has a new leader and says he could see himself in Orange.
"Right now, Syracuse is my top school," Custis declared. "After this visit, I really like them a lot. The head coach made me feel welcome. He didn't only talk about football, he talked about life situations and things like that. Saying that he likes to be honest with players. It's not just about football, it's about having a relationship and helping players become better as a person. Right now, I like Syracuse a lot.
"Honestly, committing definitely crossed my mind. I'm still thinking about it now on my way home. I don't know if that's going to cut my visits short right now. But the only other school I'm looking at visiting right now is Pitt. But right now Syracuse is my top school."