Learn to love watching this young man.
OK, I vividly remember the last time I was excited about UConn football. It was right after this moment, when Donald Brown announced he would return for his senior season, in order to lead my soon-to-be alma mater to the Orange Bowl. And I laughed. But I was happy.
Then, Donald shattered that fleeting moment by pulling a Randy Edsall and vigorously withholding the truth from all of us. My spirit is still recovering from such a blow, though it will be cushioned when Brown gets picked by Baltimore and moves ahead of Ray Rice on the Ravens' depth chart.
Anyway, that was months ago, so it's just about time that some sunshine cover this tiny corner of the Division I football bowl subdivision universe.
Thanks to Rivals.com's Zac Boyer, the hardest working man in Connecticut, that day has arrived:
UConn head coach Randy Edsall's hunt for a big-time wide receiver has ended.
Dwayne Difton, a four-star wide receiver ranked No. 39 at the position in the Class of 2009, gave a verbal commitment to Edsall and the UConn coaching staff this morning, becoming the highest-ranked player ever to commit to the Huskies out of high school.
"When I was up there, I knew," said Difton, referring to his official visit to UConn last weekend.
George Smith, the head coach at St. Thomas Aquinas, agreed.
"He's very happy with the way he was treated there and he's very happy with the opportunities presented before him," Smith said.
Difton, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, had previously made a trip to Southern Miss and had trips scheduled to Purdue this weekend and Rutgers the next.
Yes, Randy Edsall has finally kowtowed, like a 15-year-old kid at a party who really doesn't want that beer you're offering, to the peer pressure of recruiting skill players that other Division I-A football teams want! I mean, no offense to the current skill players, but a guy who can run places and then catch objects thrown in his direction would be a great improvement.
Now, this by itself - a 4-star high school player's commit - is exciting and new in and of itself. But now, also courtesy of Z-Bo III (in the tradition of Z-Bo I and Z-Bo the Clown), I present to you the first-ever reason to ever be optimistic about UConn football.
But none are likely to make a bigger impact in their first year than Difton, who will forgo a redshirt season and play immediately for the Huskies in their new no-huddle offense.
Count the awesome:
- Difton will waive his redshirt.
- He will play immediately at receiver for a team that had...issues throwing and catching the ball.
- The Huskies will play a no-huddle offense under new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, hired the other day to replace new Towson HC Rob Insidedrawbose and who, oh-by-the-way, has recruiting connections in talent-laden Ohio.
In 32 words, I have hope that the Huskies might be an exciting 8-5, instead of a soul-destroying 8-5.
Indeed, I have hope that one day, UConn can move into the top seven in passing in the Big East. It's a simple dream.
Now, all the Huskies need are a special teams coach, or at least one whose time isn't cluttered by pissing off the Connecticut media. Baby steps.