February 4, 2010

Wilkes ready to step on campus

Around 2:00PM on National Signing Day 2010, it was official - Jeremi Wilkes had signed his letter of intent to play for the Orange this upcoming season. The decision ends the speculation that surround the coveted shut down corner, who picked the Orange over several other major programs, including the likes of Florida State, Iowa, Louisville, and rival Rutgers.

Wilkes, said Syracuse, presented the best opportunity for him on and off the field.

"I really liked the school and the opportunity not only on the field but education-wise. I have a great relationship with the coaches and I can't wait to be involved with the program."

Even with other big schools on the map, Wilkes said the academic prowess really was the clincher in his decision to attend SU. But don't think that Wilkes didn't take a look at the coaches, too.

"I like Coach Marrone a lot," Wilkes said of Syracuse's second year head man. "I feel like he's really focused on getting this program where it needs to be."

A relatively small corner at 5-9, 180, the Tampa Catholic (FL) product is relieved the recruiting process is over.

With the process over, relaxation means that Wilkes can finally take a break that the recruiting process brought, even if he enjoyed all of the attention. Wilkes added that he can now relax, having signed with the Orange, and can be proud of himself, enjoying a sense of accomplishment on signing day.

Wilkes is aware of coach Marrone's plan to get more recruits out of Florida, but admitted Syracuse stumbled upon him during his junior year in high school.

"Syracuse only came to me when I got my highlight film my junior year. It was just amazing - I hadn't heard anything and then all of a sudden I got a call from them. The rest is history."

While the recruiting process is a grind for coaches, the recruits do tend to enjoy it very much. Wilkes said his favorite part was meeting the coaches.

Getting to talk to coaches face-to-face was the most enjoyable for him, Wilkes said, and added it was pretty cool having these major college coaches visit his high school to talk to him.

Wilkes can't find an aspect he didn't like about the recruiting process. "I liked it all," he said.

Like most freshmen, Wilkes is ready to leave high school and get to the next level. As for what he's most looking forward to on the Syracuse campus, Wilkes gave a fairly common answer that indicated his excitement.

"I'm looking forward to getting on the field and getting ready. I'm ready to play."

Not even the cold north can faze Wilkes at this point. When asked if he was all set for the weather in Syracuse compared to sunny Florida, Wilkes was fairly short. "Yes, sir, he said. "I'll be ready for it."

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