Syracuse offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is on the road visiting recruits since the Orange have finished their regular season. The first visit he made was to Pennsylvania to see quarterback commit Austin Wilson.
"He got here and I had basketball at 4:45," Wilson recalled. "He got here about 4:30 and came to practice. He watched us play a little bit. Then we went back to my house and talked, just about football stuff and family stuff. Then we sat down and had a family dinner and he took off about 9:00. We had steak and potatoes with a side salad for dinner."
During the visit, Hackett and Wilson discussed many things. The two star prospect was excited about being able to talk to his future coach.
"He said he's on a vacation because he doesn't have to be in the office," Wilson said. "Since this week they don't have a bowl or have their bowl week set yet or a game yet this week. So he's just out visiting me, Tyler Provo, and Zach Allen, his three recruits. We mainly laid back and talked about how the season's gone so far. We talked about how I'm going to fit in. He talked about how he tailors his offense around who his quarterback is. I was just real excited about being able to talk to him about it all."
Regardless of who becomes the new quarterback next season with the departure of Ryan Nassib, the up-tempo offense is here to stay. Hackett told Wilson that he can be the same type of player that the Syracuse senior has become.
"He envisions me as almost the same type of quarterback as Nassib," he described. "Someone who can get the yards with his feet if he needs to, but primarily just a pocket passer. Definitely keep the up tempo offense going. That's not changing. That's worked out tremendously for us this year.
"The balance of the offense with being able to run the ball and pass the ball. I don't think there's going to be much change between this offense with Ryan or with me because we're similar styles of quarterback."
Another topic of conversation during Hackett's visit was the move to the ACC. It's something both Wilson and Hackett are excited about. They believe the program is headed in the right direction to be successful in the new conference.
"We think the move to the ACC is going to be exciting," he said. "Definitely with the season we had and going to the ACC, we're going to be getting systematically better from a recruiting standpoint. It's going to be a lot of fun, and we think we can take the success we're having now into the ACC."
Coming up in a couple of weeks for Wilson and other prospects is an official visit at Syracuse. Wilson is looking forward to the visit, and being able to spend time with his future teammates.
"All of us who are coming up will be staying at the Sheridan," Wilson explained. "Then we'll get to go watch practice in the morning, go to meetings and things like that. Have a bunch of food and go to a basketball game that night. Then be able to hang out with the guys."
The way the season finished for the 2012 Syracuse football squad was extremely positive. Going to a bowl game is good for the program and the confidence of the players. Wilson says it's exciting for commits as well, as they can see the program headed in the right direction.
"I'm very excited," Wilson announced. "I'm excited we're going to play in a bowl and excited about how the season went. I think Ryan Nassib, personally, deserved what he got this year. How he improved himself from where they started at the beginning of the year. Their offense was there the whole season. They put up big numbers. I think it was the best offensive year in Syracuse history. They started off slow.
"For instance, when they started 0-2, they were the best 0-2 team in the country. It was close losses all the way through. I think it was just because we started slow and were playing catch-up. But the second half of the year we came out and showed what type of offense we are now and the team as a whole. It's a great balanced team."