March 5, 2009

Haplea talks new offer

Annandale (NJ) North Hunterdon Regional tight end Kevin Haplea held offers from Penn State and Pittsburgh, but over the weekend Syracuse tossed their name in the ring by offering Haplea. The offer came as the prospect took a visit to Syracuse for their Junior Day.

Haplea, 6-foot-4, 226 pounds was no stranger to being offered a scholarship, but when the Orange came in with an offer it was different than the previous two.

"It was kind of surprising so I was excited about it," Haplea said. "They contacted me a little when the old staff was there, so when the new staff got into place I was trying to get in touch with the coaches. They had not hired a tight ends coach at the time so I did not have a position coach to e-mail or send some film to. I just started getting in touch with them on a more frequent basis about a week ago. They had just watched my film a few days before the Junior Day actually so everything just happened very quick."

His visit to Syracuse was the first he had taken to the school and he knew the Orange liked him, but it was not until he was on campus did he realize how much they liked him.

"It was the first time I got to get up there and meet the coaches. I knew they liked me and wanted to recruit me, but when I got the offer I was pretty excited," Haplea continued to talk about why the Orange offered him. "First of all they said they need tight ends and they want to sign a few tight ends in my class. They run an offense where they always have one tight end on the field at all times. The offense is actually very similar to what we run at my high school. I think that they just feel that I am a good fit for the offense."

What are the Garden State products initial thoughts about Syracuse at the start of this recruiting process?

"Well as a school Syracuse is really prestigious and my mom is from New York so she knows a lot about it. They have great academics and a top notch staff. They just brought in these new coaches with great credentials, so they have this program moving in the right direction. You can tell everybody is very excited about it."

On his trip the Orange had a lot to show him, but what stuck out most to him was not anything he saw, but the people he met.

"I would have to say the coaching staff as a whole. Just talking with these guys they were being very truthful which I think is good because they are not just going to tell you what you want to hear. They are just good people I think and they are definitely turning that program around really fast."

Other than Syracuse Haplea is getting a lot of attention from all schools up and down the east coast.

"I have three offers from Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Penn State and other than that Miami has come on really recently with a lot of interest. Other schools are Connecticut, Boston College, Rutgers, and Virginia."

A decision should not come soon from Haplea, but he will decide when the situation feels right.

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