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Friday, January 18, 2013
Syracuse after three-star NIU commitment

By Jared Shanker

One of Northern Illinois’ top commitments was all ready to sign with NIU and prepare for his future in Dekalb, but a new BCS program has him reconsidering his options.

Three-star Corey Winfield (St. Louis/Riverview Gardens) has been committed to Northern Illinois since early July, but Syracuse is making a late move on the No. 210 receiver nationally. Assistant coaches Tim Lester and Rob Moore recently made a stop in St. Louis to meet with Winfield.

“Syracuse has been talking to him, pushing hard,” said Winfield’s uncle, Neal Richardson. “Lester and [Moore] came to his basketball game Wednesday and said an offer is definitely coming. [Head coach] Scott Shafer is supposed to come meet with him and his mom next week and then offer.”

The Orange were not interested in Winfield until the coaching change, when Doug Marrone left for the NFL. Schafer is turning the heat on Winfield now with signing day closing in.

At the time of his commitment, Winfield said he would take visits elsewhere. But after the Huskies’ 12-2 season, he said he was solid and would not visit other schools. However, the offer from Syracuse will likely result in an official visit Jan. 25.

“Very much so,” Richardson said when asked if Winfield was interested in the Orange, “just because they’re going to be in the ACC and also the engineering and education they have to offer is very enticing.

“He loves Northern Illinois, but when a school like Syracuse calls, you have to give them an opportunity to show you what they have to offer.”