Monday, January 23, 2017

Good news for former UConn commit

It was good to see the Jake Byczko saga have a happy ending.

The situation of the Lawrence Academy linebacker/tight end didn't get anywhere near as much attention as what happened with fellow UConn commit Ryan Dickens even though they both posted on Twitter that they were reopening their recruiting on the same day after being committed to UConn for quite some time.

Today there was more news coming out of Byczko's Twitter account as he announced that he has committed to UMass.

There's things about the recruiting process, especially the college football recruiting process, than make my skin crawl but seeing that Byczko has a chance to realize his dream of playing Division I football was good news considering what the alternative could have been with Byczko being on the market as an uncommitted recruit so close to signing day.

I've only been covering UConn football for about five or six years now but this has been one of the most topsy turvy years for players coming and going.

Yesterday former UConn commits Dallas Hobbs and Rob Saulin announced via social media that they had committed to Washington State and Baylor respectively. Not long ago one-time UConn commit Max Cummings committed to Texas.

Many of the remaining UConn commitments including quarterback Jordan McAfee, defensive backs Bebe Olaniyan and Jordan Swann visited UConn. There was a post from commit Stanley Hubbard and another one from the football coaches for James Tunstall earlier today talking about positive interactions they've had with new/old UConn football coach Randy Edsall. Commit Ryan Van Demark posted photos of him with UConn offensive line coach J.B. Grimes a few days ago so it certainly sounds like the new staff is on board with the rest of the players who committed while the former staff called the shots.

Obviously there's only one more weekend before national signing day so it's going to be a pretty important one as the new staff attempts to finish off the recruiting class in strong fashion.

A couple of other things to report.

First, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl posted its box score. Noel Thomas did not record a catch although the play by play had him targeted at least four times. His only stat was a tackle after an interception. Andreas Knappe also played for the American squad, which lost to the National 27-7.

This is sort of a big week for Obi Melifonwu, who gets to show what he can do in front of the scouts attending Senior Bowl practices leading into Saturday's game which will be televised live on NFL Network beginning at 2:30 p.m. Melifonwu will play for the North squad and wear his familiar uniform No. 20.According to the Senior Bowl database, he will be the 13th former UConn player to take part in the Senior Bowl and first since Shamar Stephen in 2014.

Finally, I've seen reports that Vincent Brown has been hired as the defensive coordinator at Howard. Hopefully I didn't miss anybody but counting strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis being hired at Notre Dame, he is the fifth staff member from the 2016 football team to land elsewhere. Bob Diaco is the defensive coordinator at Nebraska, defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter has been hired at Purdue and quarterbacks coach Wayne Lineburg is now the tight ends coach and special teams coach at Wake Forest.


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