There was a decent amount of negativity about Syracuse's future QB situation this morning following the news that Sawyer Smith picked UCF over the Orange. Coupled with the various quarterback snubs before that (all included in the post), things were starting to look less-than-great for SU in terms of picking up a new passer.
Luckily, we received MUCH better news later on today.
According to a very informative post from Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey, three-star Tampa, Fla. passer Rex Culpepper will be visiting campus next Tuesday, June 9. While there's no official offer (at least according to Rivals), Orange offensive coordinator Tim Lester has been cultivating a very strong relationship with the pro-style QB who is ranked 27th in the country at his position, per 247Sports. Said Culpepper:
"I've spoken with Coach Lester a couple of times in the past 10 days," Brad Culpepper said. "It seems like they're very interested in Rex and Rex is very interested in them... Quite frankly, there could be a decision made pretty quickly if things go well up there."
Rex is a very big player at QB, standing at 6'3" and 225 pounds. He currently has offers from a host of power conference teams, from Ohio State, Miami and Ole Miss, to Virginia, Wake Forest and NC State, so this would obviously be a nice win for this staff -- especially given the "undercover" nature of the entire recruitment by Lester. The quote above obviously gives us quite a bit of hope, especially since it's from the player's own mouth.
So we wait six days for the visit, and then after that... we wait again. Culpepper's indication is that a decision would come quickly, though how "quickly" that is would be determined later (and by the player). Getting a verbal from a well-regarded QB this early in the cycle would only continue to build momentum, which has seemingly slowed a bit since Robert Washington's commitment to the Orange back in April. Culpepper being from Florida -- even if not South Florida -- is also another boon, considering the concerns about the staff's ability to recruit the state after George McDonald's departure.
For those interested in some tape on Culpepper, see below. And cross your fingers that visit goes well next Tuesday!
UPDATE (4:50 p.m. ET): Culpepper spoke with Scout today and calls Syracuse "number one" on his list.