One of the hottest transfers in the portal is Albany defensive end Jared Verse. Verse took his first official visit over the weekend to Syracuse and enjoyed his time on campus, specifically meeting with the coaches.
"It was good," Verse said. "Got to see a lot of the campus, the athletics facility of course, where we'd be living, everything like that. The part that stuck out to me the most was definitely the coaches, because I spent a lot of time with them. Transferring, I don't really need the whole freshman tour and everything like that. I know how that goes. I just really needed to talk to the coaches, understand what would be the best fit. But they really stood out to me with their knowledge of the game and how they perceive it and everything like that."
The two coaches that Verse spent the most time with were defensive coordinator Tony White and linebackers coach Chris Achuff.
"I got to spend a lot of time with coach White," Verse said. "As the defensive coordinator and everything, he explained to me down to a t, where I'd be, how I fit in, what my assignments would be, how they can use my athleticism as an advantage to help win the game. I spent a lot of time with him. I spent some decent time with coach Achuff. That guy's knowledge of the game is insane. He was really telling me everything along the lines of this move would work and how the linebackers would work. His knowledge of the game was insane. It actually impressed me beyond belief."
One of the plays that stands about Verse last season was when he chased down Syracuse running back Sean Tucker in the Dome.
"I saw him and a bunch of the team," Verse said. "They did talk about it but I didn't get to talk to him specifically about it. I did talk to him after the game about it."
Most of Verse's focus on the visit was on the coaches and the schematic fit. However, he did get to talk to the players while on campus.
"I got to see the team a little bit," Verse said. "But I didn't spend a lot of one on one time with them, or anything like that. At the end of the day I came for business, not pleasure. I spent more time with the coaches than the players. I did get to see them a little bit too, and they seemed like they have good heads on their shoulders. They understood that this is a game of football but it's a business before everything. They do seem like they have fun, because you only live once so you have to have a little bit of fun. But they were focused more on the football aspect when we were hanging out. It was just football, football. Watching the games on the TV, saying 'I would've done this move instead of that' and things like that."
One of the messages from the Syracuse coaches, beyond x's and o's, was that the Orange is losing all three starters along the defensive line.
"They did speak to me about that," Verse said. "We talked about it pretty broadly, the depth chart and how it would look if I did show up. Who I'd be working along side. I do see it at as an immediate need with all three starters leaving and a fourth that's actually leaving too that played major snaps."
Syracuse remains a strong contender for Verse after the visit. He says he got the information he needed during the trip.
"I think I definitely got a lot of information," Verse said. "This was my first visit out of the ones I'm planning on taking. This one did definitely open my eyes. I don't play a 3-4 defense or a 3-3-5, a three front at all. So coming here I was thinking how I would fit into a 3-4, how would that even work? The coaches, sitting down with them, they really explained the need and how it doesn't disrupt the disruption that you're trying to create up front. You're actually causing a lot of havoc with that three front. It did help me a lot. That was my major question coming in. I got to sit down with the coaches, watch film and everything. They told me what I was doing as a player and how that fits into what they're doing. So that helped majorly in seeing Syracuse in the right light."
Verse is planning on deciding around the early National Signing Day (December 15th). It could happen within a couple of days of that date. Between now and then, he has visits scheduled to Houston this week and Florida State next weekend. He is also working on scheduling a visit with Iowa for this week.
JARED VERSE VISIT PHOTO GALLERY