April 17, 2009

NJ tight end hits the road

Annandale (NJ) North Hunterdon tight end Kevin Hapleais enjoying spring break this week and with his days off from school he is visiting colleges. Two of the schools he visited are in the Big East, Syracuse was his first visit of the week.

How was the trip for the tight end prospect?

"It was a good visit, we got a lot done and I got to spend a lot of time up there. It was good," Haplea said. "I got to spend a lot of time with one of the tight ends on the team, Nick Provo. I got to go to class with him and meetings, so I got a good taste of what it is like at Syracuse. That was really good for me."

Haplea, 6-foot-4, 226 pounds has already taken one trip to Syracuse, but on the trip there was not much time to chat with Doug Marrone. On this trip the Garden State product was given more time to talk with the Head Coach.

"We did a little bit, in and out of practice. We had a chance to talk and get to know each other a little more," Haplea stated. "It is [relationship with Marrone] pretty good. He was just telling me the direction him and the new staff is trying to take and where they are going in their offense as far as the tight end goes."

Back in March at the junior day Haplea attended Syracuse did not have a tight ends coach on the staff yet. Now the Orange have Bob Casullo coaching tight ends and the prospect spent a lot of time with him.

"I spent a lot of time with Coach Casullo. He kind of pitched the same thing about how their tight end oriented and things like that. He also talked about their need for tight ends right now."

Syracuse will play their spring game on Saturday and while on his visit Haplea saw one of the last remaining practices and liked what he saw.

"I think it was a pretty intense practice. They were in full pads and it was outside. They were getting ready for their spring game, so they had to get a lot done and stay intense. It looked pretty good."

On this trip Haplea was able to talk to players more that his last trip. In his time with Nick Provo they talked about the future and the current Orange tight end is excited for the new direction.

"I was talking with Nick and the overall vibe is that the coaches are not messing around and they want to win and they are going to do what it takes to win."

What does Haplea think about the situation?

"I think it is definitely headed in the right direction. They have a really great coaching staff and they have a lot of coaches with NFL experience like Coach Marrone and Coach Casullo. They have a great coaching staff and they are starting to instill a new mentality up there."

Besides Syracuse Haplea was also at West Virginia this week.

"I went to West Virginia Tuesday night and spent all day Wednesday at West Virginia," Haplea said "It was pretty good I got to go to class with Tyler Urban, their stating tight end. I went to their football building and got to meet a lot of the staff. I watched practice, which was good and I talked with Coach Stewart for a bit."

Other than these past two visit there could be more on the horizon.

"I think I am going to try and get up to the Penn State spring game. Originally I thought I would not be able to, but I think the baseball game I have for that day is canceled. If that is so then I will head to Penn State for the spring game. I know in June when I get out of school that is hen I am going down to Florida to see Miami and Florida."

At this time with a bunch of offers in hands and trips set up it is still to early for Haplea to name a leader.

"I think it is still pretty much even at this point. I am starting to get out and see a few schools again, but I think it will depend on when I am done making visits. I want to make a few more visits before I can start to think about narrowing things down a little bit more."

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