Last week we covered the first three football players to commit to head coach Bob Diaco and the UConn Huskies for 2015. With two more commits since, Diaco has now added five players to the squad.
Let's take a quick look at the team's newest additions:
DE- Philippe Okounam
Philippe Okounam is a 2-star Defensive End from Montreal, Quebec who plays for St. Paul's in Concord, New Hampshire. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds he has the requisite size to be a formidable edge defender in Bob Diaco's new scheme. A few Ivy League schools and Michigan had also shown interest in the recruiting process.
Okounam chose UConn because he felt a special connection with the coaching staff and that they were best equipped to help him achieve his goal of playing in the NFL. Also, he wants to go to business school and liked what he saw from UConn.
Philippe brings an international flavor to the roster, as his father is from Congo and his mother is from Russia, which is where he was actually born. At the age of 9 he moved to Canada- where he currently lives.
He visited UConn on June 4th after receiving the scholarship offer in May. Offensive Coordinator Mike Cummings has been in charge of Okanoum's recruitment throughout.
ATH- Marshe Terry
Marshe Terry is a 6-foot-4, 190 pound athlete who was recruited by Co-Defensive Coordinator Vincent Brown. His other offer was from Fordham, but he also had interest from Syracuse, Temple, Army Navy, Boston College and Rutgers. He visited BC and Rutgers.
Terry chose UConn because it offered the full package. The facilities, academics, coaches and campus motivated an early decision from the New Jersey product who plays Wide Receiver and Safety at North Burlington Regional HS in Columbus. As you can imagine by who his recruiter was, he is penciled in to play Safety for the Huskies.
@Luke_Zola thanks for the welcome fam!!— MARSHÉ (@SAFE_6) June 17, 2014
The defensive side of the ball is where Bob Diaco will make his mark. So far the recruiting class has three defensive players and there is a clear theme: size. These guys are huge. It reminds me of a Diaco quote where he mentions taking hunks of clay and molding them into football players. Some time in the strength and conditioning program should help Kevin Murphy and Philippe Okounam become impact players on the line and Marshe Tanner should serve as a play-making safety in the mold of UConn's current starter, 6-foot-4 Obi Melinfonwu. Tutelage from the likes of Vincent Brown (10+ years NFL experience) and Anthony Pointdexter (2-time All-American) will arm them with the technique to succeed.
The two offensive commits, QB Tyler Davis and TE Ben Hartwick are not lacking in size either, standing 6-foot-5 and 6-foot-6 respectively. But if this team is going to get better, we need some offensive linemen. Hopefully we have a few of those on the way.
It's also very nice to see so much enthusiasm surrounding the program. These recruits are all congratulating each other on Twitter, you can see there are 2014 commits reaching out to 2015 recruits who announce and all of them are spreading the good word for what Coach Bob Diaco is doing up in Storrs. Exciting stuff!