Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic offensive tackle Liam Smith is one of the most talented players in the 2016 class. Syracuse has done well in the Garden State in the 2015 class, but wants to make a bigger splash in 2016. Smith is one of their primary targets to help them achieve that goal.
On Thursday, he visited the Syracuse campus for the first time.
”The visit was great,” Smith said. “I had a really good time with coach Adam and coach Acosta, my regional coach. They treated me and my family really well. We had a really good time and we got to see everything so it went really well.”
Smith got the full tour in order to see everything the Syracuse football program has to offer.
”First we just kind of toured everything,” Smith said. “We toured the campus. We saw the dorms and all of the football facilities. We saw the Carrier Dome and kind of got a feel for everything. Then we (Smith and his family) went and had lunch at Dinosaur Barbecue. It was awesome.
”Then we got to sit in coach Shafer’s office for quite a long time and got to know him. Then I met with coach Acosta and coach Adam. Then I met with the offensive coordinator later in the day to wrap things up.”
Visiting the Dinosaur is a popular stop on visits for Orange targets. It did not disappoint this time either.
”It was great,” Smith said. “That’s probably the best barbecue I’ve had anywhere.”
One thing that stood out to the four-star prospect were all of the facilities. He was impressed by what he saw.
”They were great,” Smith said. “The weight room was really big and the strength coach was awesome. It was functional because they had sleds in the weight room which you don’t always see. So that was really cool.
”The locker room was really nice. The student houses were really nice. The student lounge and things like that were great. So it was impressive.”
Another highlight was spending time with head coach Scott Shafer. He was able to get to know the man leading the Orange and came away impressed. In fact, Shafer has a family connection to Smith.
”With coach Shafer, he was just trying to get a feel for me and my family,” he said. “He just wanted to get to know us better and build the relationship. He coaches my uncle in college so we had a lot to talk about. He coached my uncle at Rhode Island. He says good things about coach Shafer.”
Smith spent most of the time with offensive line coach Joe Adam and his primary recruiter Bobby Acosta. They continue to develop a strong bond that could help the Orange in his recruitment down the road.
”The experience was great because we really did build up a relationship,” Smith said. “They are just solid guys. Spending a lot of time with them was great. They were just telling me what life would be like if I went to Syracuse.
”What I would do on a daily basis. Coach Adam talked a lot about the kind of scheme and different techniques. Guidelines that they live by, like morals and how to carry themselves.”
Overall, the visit had a big impact on the four-star talent.
”I think it stands really well,” Smith said. “It was a great trip. It was definitely unique and I had a great experience. So I had a really good time. I definitely have a high interest in Syracuse. I’m not sure what it was before, but it’s definitely high now. I will definitely be considering them down the line.”
Smith said he’s not ready to name favorites, but the visit did give him the feeling that he could see himself at Syracuse in the future. He said the Orange are definitely high on his list.