The UConn defensive line got a little bit beefier on Sunday when the team gained a commitment from 6-foot-2 315 pound nose guard Felton "Trey" Blackwell of Cedar Creek High School in New Jersey. Co-defensive coordinator Vincent Brown was his primary recruiter.
The 2-star recruit, according to Rivals.com, had offers from Central Connecticut, Monmouth, and Morgan State in addition to UConn, and had interest from Maryland, UMass, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Temple, Towson, and Penn State.
Blackwell was in attendance for the Boise State game and came away impressed with both the way the team played and the crowd. He actually attended Penn State at Rutgers that same day, but said the environment at Rentschler Field was better.
He also told Rivals that he loved when the big screen showed a pack of huskies on third downs. Season ticket holders may recall that the Boise State game was the debut of that change (along with the glorious return of "Welcome to the Jungle") from the atrocity that was that horrendous snarling Husky noise on third down. We now have evidence that the switch is already drawing returns.
Blackwell is also a track and field athlete with good upper-body control and strength that is still improving. He has faced more double and triple teams this year and is getting pretty good at taking them on due to his increased lateral quickness. After losing over 50 pounds since his freshman year he has become a much better athlete. Rivals listed Blackwell as a preseason candidate for New Jersey defensive line MVP.
The nose guard is an unfinished product, a trait which has shown to be a trend for the recruits of Bob Diaco's staff, who have seemingly placed an emphasis on athletic potential, character and motivation. After a few years in the strength and conditioning program with the opportunity to learn from the talented interior defenders already in Storrs, Blackwell could be a fixture in the middle of the UConn defensive line.