Syracuse Orange football is hoping that being the first to offer a scholarship holds some weight, particularly in the case of Class of 2017 TE Blake Williams. In this case, however, the first school to offer is taking a leap of faith.
In 2013, Williams was diagnosed with a type of dysautonomia, which is an umbrella term for various conditions that cause the nervous system to malfunction. The symptoms caused him to miss his entire junior season. Williams underwent an experimental surgery that has helped to improve his health since his initial diagnosis. Syracuse.com's Stephen Bailey details Blake's incredible story here.
Originally, he received offers from North Carolina and Illinois, but passed and reclassified from 2016. Williams has opted to attend Canada Prep Academy starting this August to attract more attention from schools. Syracuse has already seen enough to extend an early offer.
Reno Ferri, SU's tight ends coach, gave Blake and his family a virtual tour of Syracuse this spring through video chat. Blake's mother, Tammy, was so impressed with Ferri, she suggested that her son commit after he received an offer from the Orange.
Five other schools have extended a scholarship offer to Williams so far, but Syracuse has the advantage of being the first after Williams reclassified. The tight end position will be up for grabs, as 'Cuse has three fifth-year seniors at the spot. That bodes well for Williams in a system that values the use of tight ends in multiple roles.
You can view his highlights below.