Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A look at the new UConn recruiting class

UConn announced its new recruiting class today. There are 25 in all: 20 coming for summer preseason camp, five currently enrolled. One, Bristol's Drew Ghio, is a preferred walk-on. Here's the list with some interesting tidbits on each.

Brendan Battles-Santos, DE, 6-3/250, Eastham, Mass.: A Boston Globe, Boston Herald and ESPN Boston all-star pick who doubled as a quarterback last fall. Also one of the top wrestlers in New England.

Kyle Bockeloh, C, 6-2/286, Houston, Texas: Already enrolled and set for the spring. Also a Greater Houston Academic all-state pick.

Rennick Bryan, C/OG, 6-2/319, New Haven: Hillhouse star has major size and Pasqualoni says is athletic enough to play either guard slot as well as center.

Jazzmar Clax, FB/LB, 5-11/236, Freehold, N.J.: Made 156 tackles (72 solo) as Neptune HS won its first Central Jersey Group 3 title since 1998. Pasqualoni sees Clax as more of a fullback at this point.

Casey Cochran, QB, 6-0/216, Monroe: Two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut set career passing yards record. Already enrolled. Cochran needs some work on footwork and other little things, Pasqualoni said, but may get a real chance to win the starting job this fall.

Jordan Floyd, FS, 6-1/205, Bel Air, Md.: All-State honorable mention by Baltimore Sun who also played receiver.

Drew Ghio, OG, 6-1/297, Bristol: Former Loomis Chaffee and Bristol Central grad was all-city and all-CCC.

John Green, WR, 5-11/175, Miami, Fla.: Had 13 receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns last fall for Felix Varela. Also runs track.

Ricky Gutierrez, WR, 6-1/170, Hialeah, Fla.: Son of ex-major league baseball player Ricky Gutierrez, a 12-year veteran who played on 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series team. Pasqualoni said Gutierrez missed seven games with a broken collarbone last fall, which is why he fell by the wayside. A leaper with big hands, Pasqualoni thinks he has great potential.

Jonathan Hicks, LB, 6-3/245, Palmyra, Pa.: One of the top recruits in the class. Will participate in the prestigious Big 33 all-star game (Pennsylvania vs. Ohio), the first player from his high school to play in the game since 1977.

Richard Levy, OT, 6-6/280, Trenton, N.J.: A two-way lineman who also wrestles.

Ellis Marder, FS, 6-1/185, Windemere, Fla.: A Central Florida high school all-star who had other schools attempting to lure him away as recently as Tuesday night. Marder told them he was committed to UConn, and one of the many Pasqualoni is high on.

Obi Melifonwu, FS, 6-3/194, South Grafton, Mass.: A running back and defensive back in high school who rushed for 1,394 yards and 17 touchdowns. An ESPN Boston all-state pick. Ran for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Leichester.

Mikal Myers, DT, 6-0/300, Newburgh, N.Y.: First team Class AA all-state as a senior, second-team as a junior. Had 10 sacks last fall.

Elijah Norris, DE, 6-4/230, Upper Marlboro, Md.: Also a receiver, he made 102 tackles with 16 sacks. Pasqualoni called him a super athlete with the potential to be a tight end. Has excellent edge speed and room to grow, which is why he's coming in as a DE.

Bobby Puyol, K, 6-0/170, North Palm Beach, Fla.: Considered one of the top 10 high school kickers in the country by some recruiting services, Puyol broke the school record with a 54-yard field goal last fall. Also played baseball for Frank Torre Jr., son of the ex-major leaguer and nephew of Joe Torre.

Zach Rugg, OG, 6-5/285, Windber, Pa.: All-area pick by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat who had 72 tackles last fall and 99 as a junior.

Tyler Samra, OG, 6-3/250, Wycoff, N.J.: First team all-state pick by the Newark Star Ledger, helped team to 11-0 record and Group 4 state title.

Neil Shortell, TE, 6-3/250, Mission Hills, Kan.: Transfer from Butler CC who will have two years of eligibility at UConn. Had four catches for 60 yards last fall, but will be a monster blocker. Can bench 460 pounds.

Omaine Stephens, LB, 6-4/220, East Orange, N.J.: All-Area pick by the Newark Star Ledger who made 70 tackles with 13 sacks last fall.

Jason Sylva, LB, 6-3/235, Marion, Mass.: Made 72 tackles and 10 sacks for Tabor Academy last fall. Also rushed for 900 yards and 10 touchdowns. Two-time All-New England pick.

Wyatt Vinci, LB/FB, 6-3/238, Ridgewood, N.J.: Out of the Hun School, where UConn receiver Nick Williams went, Vinci was termed an explosive athlete who will get a chance to play fullback or linebacker.

Joseph Williams, TB, 5-11, 197, Allentown, Pa.: Already enrolled at UConn, spent last semester at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy. Rushed for 1,243 yards as a senior at Emmaus (Pa.). Also a track star who has been timed at 10.6 seconds in the 100 meters.

Jhavon Williams, CB, 5-11/185, Wellington, Fla.: Played in the Florida Atlantic Coaches' Association North-South All-Star Game after his senior year.

Chandler Whitmer, QB, 6-1/188, Newnan, Ga.: Already enrolled at UConn. Originally committed to Illinois before heading to Butler CC in Kansas last fall. Threw for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns for the nation's second-ranked Juco team.


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