Wednesday, February 06, 2013

UConn lands six in-state products

Paul Pasqualoni wasn't sure when the last time the UConn football program signed six Connecticut players and wasn't the least bit concerned about the way the previous regime viewed the talent level in the Nutmeg State. What did concern and thrill him was that his staff, even with the departure of a couple of key coaches and recruiters, did secure the services of six talented Connecticut natives.

Leading the way was Hand's Matt Walsh, the Register's State Football Most Valuable Player, who could push for immediate playing time at fullback as well as former Boston College commitments Tim Boyle and Cory Jasudowich.

Boyle was a member of three Class LL championship teams at Xavier High and was the first player Pasqualoni mentioned in his remarks to the media on Wednesday when UConn announced its 24-player recruiting class. Jasudowich is a former Cheshire Academy star who will be a linebacker for the Huskies and he is coming off a strong performance in last night's International Bowl.

"I am obviously very excited about several things today, I think first off is we signed six players from the state of Connecticut," Pasqualoni said. Obviously extremely excited

"We can’t thank them enough for keeping the door open and giving them a chance to come in and recruit, being supportive of us and giving us a chance to really work recruiting in the state. They are a big part of this certainly."

Pasqualoni likes the athleticism of Windsor defensive end Cole Ormsby and Coventry tight end Tommy Myers as mentioned the speed and soft hands of former St. Luke's star Noel Thomas, who is a receiver already enrolled at UConn.

It was a rather hectic last couple of weeks for UConn as nine of the 24 commits recently pledged the Huskies. Pasqualoni credited new offensive coordinator T.J. Weist and running backs coach/special teams coordinator Kermit Buggs for hitting the ground running. Weist was particularly vital in securing a commitment from record-breaking Pennsylvania receiver Brian Lemelle.

When Kermit came in and got right out recruiting, T.J. got in and got us going, it kind of gave us a little energy coming down the stretch, coming down the final turn," Pasqualoni said. "I think it kind of helped us with the guys that they knew and fortunately Kermit Buggs knows the East coast. He was a high school coach in Virginia, he was at Penn State for eight years so this is not his first rodeo. He knows a lot of people up and down the coast.

"What we are trying to do in building the program, and it is hard to do it overnight, we are trying to recruit pro-type size guys. We’d like to have a big, athletic, smart tough football team here so the size factors are a big part of what we are doing. "

The two names which emerged almost out of nowhere today was defensive tackle Michael Boland from Dunmore, Pa.(one of five Pennsylvania recruits) and quarterback Kivon Taylor out of Atlanta.

"Kivon Taylor, we made the decision in the summer than we are going to take two quarterbacks. I can’t make comments on another quarterback situation but we wanted to sign two. Kivon is another dual sport player, he plays basketball as well. We are excited, today at 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock have two quarterbacks in this class which is something we felt was important to us. It is a good, solid group of guys

"Michael Boland was in our camp, we got the chance to get to know him so from an interior defensive line we like those guys."

The quarterback that Pasqualoni was not commenting on was Plano, Tex. HS star Richard Lagow who was expected to be one of the headliners of the class. He had already made quite an impression on Twitter, welcoming UConn's newest recruits and even reached out to make sure top offensive lineman recruit Kyle Schafenacker was planning to sign with the Huskies after visiting South Florida. Now he is in limbo. Lagow spoke to a reporter from the site and admitted to be caught off guard at the Huskies' signing of Taylor. 

It looks like UConn commits Jamar Summers from Orange, N.J. and Jalan Branford from Reading, Pa. could be headed the prep school route although sources indicate that UConn is still interested in both of them.

As for the 24 current members of the class, 12 of them attended UConn's camp which was something Pasqualoni was happy to crow about.

Pasqualoni said there are no preconceived plans to redshirt a particular player or players.

"I talked to Kyle (Schafenacker) over and over and you get in there and you compete, let’s see if you can be in the top seven offensive lineman. If you can be in the top seven, maybe you don’t redshirt and you play. We are no different from any other coach, I am going to play the best players we have and it doesn’t matter if they are fifth-year seniors or first-year players. Donovan McNabb was a great player who redshirted, Marvin Harrison, who may be in the Hall of Fame some day, he redshirted. Dwight Freeney, he didn’t redshirt. He showed the ability emotionally to make the transition and he did well academically and for us that is the other side.

"Philosophically I have never been a guy that said ‘this freshman is going to do this or that freshman is going to do that.’ I just have never felt like that was fair to make those predictions."

So who else did he rave about?

"Brian Lemelle is a really productive guy.," Pasqualoni said "Noel is more of an outside guy and Brian is more of that slot guy, We have some nice guys on campus who are going to compete for that spot, Brian Lemelle has a good skill set for it is going to depend on how grown up he is. Jalen Stevens is a very highly regarded defensive end and outside linebacker, a lot of people would have liked to have sign him.

Here is the recruiting class
e-Bradley, Dhameer    WR      5-10        175      New Castle, DE/Red Lion Christian Academy/
Boland, Michael       DT       6-5          265         Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore
Boyle, Tim               QB      6-4          215         Middlefield, Conn./Xavier
Britton, Chris           LB       6-3          210         Harrisburg, Pa./Harrisburg
Fatukasi, Foley         DT       6-4          280         Far Rockaway, N.Y./Beach Channel
Fuchs, Jordan           TE       6-5          220         Malvern, N.Y./Christ the King
Hadley, Javon          CB       5-11        170         Miami, Fla./Miami Palmetto
Holines, Sha-ki         DE       6-3          255         Springfield, Mass./Commerce
Hopkins, Thomas     OT       6-6          300         Hawthorne, N.Y./Westlake
Jasudowich, Cory    LB       6-2          227         North Branford, Conn./Cheshire Academy
Joseph, Junior           LB       6-1          243         Sinking Springs, Pa./Wilson Westlawn
Lemelle, Brian          WR      5-11        175         Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt
Lucas, Thomas         CB       6-2          185         Silver Springs, Md./Paint Branch
Marriner, Joshua       RB       5-9          188         Chesapeake, Va./Western Branch
Myers, Thomas         TE       6-5          237         Coventry, Conn./Coventry
Ormsby, Cole           DE       6-4          235         Windsor, Conn./Windsor
Schafenacker, Kyle  OG      6-4          285         Cooper City, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas
Stapleton, Cameron DE       6-4          225         Staten Island, N.Y./Poly Prep Country Day
Stevens, Jalen           DE       6-4          220         Goose  Creek, S.C./Goose Creek
Taylor, Kivon           QB      6-5          196         Atlanta, Ga./Grady
e-Thomas, Noel           WR      6-1          183         Norwalk, Conn./St. Luke’s School
Thompson, Quinn    TE       6-5          225         Edinboro, Pa./General McLane
Walsh, Matthew       FB       6-0          225         Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand
Wright, Chasz          OT       6-7          285         Woodbridge, Va./Hylton
 e-both Bradley and Thomas are enrolled at UConn for the spring semester.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home