One of the top defensive ends in the 2022 recruiting class, Francois Nolton out of Edison High in Miami, committed to Syracuse Saturday during his official visit. Nolton is an elite pass rusher with an offer list that included such powers as Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas A&M, USC and several others. His official visit to check out the Orange was enough for him to pull the trigger.
"They showed me a lot of love," Francois said. "It felt like home."
The official visit was clearly going well based on social media activity. But there was a specific moment that clinched it for the 6-4 standout.
"When I was in the head coach's office," Francois said. "He was talking to my mom. He treats you like his own."
During the visit, Francois was in attendance for Syracuse basketball's game against Florida State. It was his first time checking out a college basketball game.
"I really (liked it)," Francois said. "It was my first time watching a basketball game. The fans were real cool."
Another vital aspect of Francois' decision was Nolton's relationship with lead recruiter Nick Monroe. Monroe was the first college coach to offer him back when he was a freshman. Now his recruitment comes full circle.
"A lot," Francois said. "Really important."
The message from the Syracuse coaches was simple. After losing three starters from last year's squad, the Orange needs immediate help along the defensive front. Nolton can fill that role when he enrolls later this month.
"Yes (immediate playing time)," Francois said. "Getting me up there early, learning all the plays and work. Get into the weight room."
Prior to his visit to Syracuse, Nolton was also looking at visits to Oklahoma and potentially either Louisville or Pittsburgh. Francois says those plans have changed.
"I'm shutting it down," Francois said.
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