Monday, February 02, 2015

Still some decisions to make for potential UConn walk-on

When Dario Highsmith Jr. woke up this morning, the next four or five years of his life seemed to be setting up perfectly.

The two-time Register All-Stater had plenty of options including going to Yale but the chance to head to UConn as a preferred walk-on seemed too good to pass up. So Highsmith posted on his Twitter account that he had committed to UConn. However, a couple hours ago Army came through with a scholarship offer leaving Highsmith, a quarterback who ran for more than 2,000 yards as a senior at Middletown High School, with some decisions to make.

"I liked what I saw a lot (on a visit to UConn) and just everything about it seemed right," Highsmith said. "Coach (Bob) Diaco explained the preferred walk-on situation to me really well and I saw it as no problem I guess but they it got mixed up because Army offered me. They actually offered me a few hours ago and it really mixed things up for me because it is the different between walking on and playing for free

"I am definitely still thinking things over, trying to set up a visit to Army," Highsmith said.

Since he is not signing a letter of intent with UConn on Wednesday, he has time to weigh his options. He said there is no rush to make a final decision although if things were the same in about a month he would need to speed up the process a bit.

Regardless of whether he goes to UConn or accepts the offer to go to Army, Highsmith was left with incredibly positive vibes about the direction Diaco is taking the program. He bonded with players both committed to UConn and those already there. He said he loved how vibrant Diaco is and the prospect of being a part of that squad is something that appealed to him in a major way.

Highsmith was being looked at as a running back and a guy who could contribute as a returner on special teams. Other teams viewed him as a defensive back while Army could have him be a quarterback in the triple-option offense.

Army has been involved with the recruitment of Highsmith for a while although there hadn't been too much contact in recent weeks. Obviously setting up a visit to West Point is the next step for Highsmith. Either way, it seems like he will walk into a good situation whether it is as a walk-on at UConn or a scholarship player at Army.

It wasn't too long ago that UConn was listed as one possible landing spot for former Notre Dame safety Eilar Hardy, based in large part on the fact that Diaco coached him at Notre Dame.

However, Hardy announced on his Twitter account that he was transferring to Bowling Green.

I will be headed to Bowling Green to play with my brothers @PrimeTimeLewis & @marc_mention4 lets put on for the 6⃣. Blessed opportunity ✊🙏

With Hardy set to graduate in May, he will be eligible to play right away for Bowling Green.


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