For months, Woodbridge senior linebacker Darius Parson thought he was bound for Syracuse after accepting an unofficial scholarship offer from the Big East school. He would watch some of the Orange’s games on TV and speak afterward on the phone with the assistant who recruited him, Rob Moore. In some ways, he felt like a part of the team already.

Several weeks ago, however, Syracuse told Parson it would not extend an official scholarship offer. Parson believes it was because he has not qualified academically; Woodbridge Coach Kevin Smith said Syracuse had offered more scholarships than it now has available.

Although he and Smith kept the news quiet, Parson says he is not bitter, nor particularly surprised. When reached Friday afternoon, he was on a drive to Michigan State for an unofficial visit as he re-starts the recruiting process.

“I think it just opens up a door for more opportunities,” Parson said. “I see myself going to a lot of colleges and getting a lot of feedback. It’s just something that I have to work out myself. I talked to a lot of colleges before that. [Syracuse] just happened to be the only college that offered.”

Parson spoke with a Hampton coach on Thursday. Parson said Old Dominion, North Carolina State, West Virginia and Boston College also could be possible suitors. He said he has no official visits lined up and no unofficial visits after Michigan State; Smith said Parson went down to N.C. State for the game against Clemson on Nov. 19. The signing period begins Feb. 1.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Parson led the Vikings in tackles this season with 92, and also was the team’s leading rusher, with 492 yards.

“Syracuse really reached out to Darius, and I thought it was going to be a really good match,” Smith said. “He understands it. At first, any kid would be upset about that. He’s doing a lot better now.

“We’re sort of back to the drawing board. There are schools that are happy he’s opening back up. There are a lot of options.”

In addition to touring the Michigan State campus this weekend and checking out the football facilities, Parson plans to attend the Michigan-Michigan State hockey game.

In other Woodbridge recruiting news, Florida and Tennessee have been at the school in the past two weeks to visit with 6-foot-5, 245-pound sophomore defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand.