Tuesday, October 21, 2014

UConn continues to hit pay dirt with Canadian prospects

The coaches and coaching staffs have changed over the years but whether it was Randy Edsall, Paul Pasqualoni or Bob Diaco calling the shots, UConn has continued to secure commitments from north of the border.

The commitment of Trinity Pawling receiver Hergy Mayala, a Montreal native, gives UConn three Canadian natives among its 18 current Class of 2015 commitments. He joins Canisius (N.Y.) High kicker Michael Tarbutt from Grimsby, Ontario and St. Paul's (N.H.) defensive end Philippe Okounam, who is also from Montreal.

UConn coaches can't comment on committed recruits until they sign national letters of intent but I did ask UConn senior center and Ottawa native Alex Mateas if there was something special that the Huskies do to entice Canadian prospects to come to school in Storrs.

"They just create a real good environment for any sort of incoming freshman Canadian or from down here," Mateas said. "Coaches really welcome them in and it is just a great place to learn."

Assuming all three recruits arrive on campus in August, UConn could have its largest contingent of Canadian players since 2003 even with Mateas' graduation since offensive lineman Trey Rutherford out of Markham, Ontario, and tight end/defensive end Sheriden Lawley of Abbotsford, British Columbia would join the three incoming freshmen.

For those wondering, there were five Canadians on the 2003 squad - receivers Dan Desriveaux and O'Neil Wilson as well as defensive ends Shawn Mayne, Jason Ward and Hakeem Kashama. As far as I can tell, the 1999 season is the last time UConn didn't have at least one player from Canada on its roster.

Going back to 2003, UConn has had 11 players from Canada on the team and each year had multiple Canadian players on the roster. Every one of the Canadian players have been taken in the CFL draft and I would imagine the streak will continue with Mateas being selected as well.

John Delahunt and Martin Bedard are still in the CFL while Jesse Joseph's rights are owned by Montreal but he opted to give the NFL a shot this year so we'll see if he makes it onto a CFL roster next year. The other player is former UConn center Moe Petrus, who also worked his way into an NFL training camp.


Anonymous Terry Lawley said...

Good evening Mr. Fuller. Unless British Columbia is no longer part of Canada, there is another boy who is a Canadian. Whoever checks the facts before writing the article should be sent back to school for a geography class. Have a nice evening

October 28, 2014 9:50 PM 

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