One year ago today, UConn Football had one verbal commitment for the Class of 2014. It took another month before two more players would sign on to play for the Huskies. When Paul Pasqualoni was fired in early September, six total players were committed to the class.
Since our last football recruiting update eleven days ago, six additional players have committed to the Class of 2015, bringing the total to eleven.
The years before 2014 had better results, but our most recent class demonstrates how low UConn's stock had fallen after two uninspiring 5-7 campaigns. New Head Coach Bob Diaco faces a major challenge turning around the quality of this roster but so far it's going pretty well. I have a feeling these players are going to be leaders on the UConn teams that revive our football program.
Here's a quick primer on three of the newest members of the Class of 2015. Aaron Garland and Nazir Williams are two of the three highest rated players in the recruiting class so far, according to 24/7.
CB - Aaron Garland
Aaron Garland might be the highest rated recruit so far in the class. From just outside Chicago, he garnered interest from schools across the Big Ten including Indiana, Purdue, Northwestern and Michigan. He's a big, physical corner who appreciated that UConn wanted to keep him in his natural position whereas other schools were looking at him as a Safety. Secondary Coach Josh Reardon recruited him.
Garland had offers from Bowling Green, Buffalo, every directional Michigan, Nevada, Northern Illinois and Toledo. UConn moved onto his radar after Bob Diaco accepted the head coaching position because he knew Diaco from his time at Notre Dame. He played 7-on-7 with 2014 commit Vontae Diggs and future captain (calling it right now) Kevin Murphy had an informal role in his recruitment. Bob Diaco's defense is shaping up nicely.
247 Composite Score: 0.811 (3-stars) Overall: 83
OLB - Nazir Williams
Nazir Williams has only been playing organized football for two years, but he was built for the game. Standing 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, he has the frame and athleticism to be a playmaker in the defensive front seven. Williams will be an edge rusher in Diaco's new defense. In high school he played hybrid defensive end and wide receiver.
Williams also had offers from Buffalo, Temple and University of Delaware. Minnesota, Rutgers and Maryland had also shown interest. According to reports he was very impressed by UConn's campus and football facilities.
Before committing to UConn, he mentioned that good academics and the opportunity to play early were two of his biggest priorities in choosing a school. Co-Defensive Coordinator Vincent Brown recruited him.
247 Composite Score: 0.811 (3-stars)
TE- Ian Campbell
Ian Campbell is the second Tight End to commit to the Class of 2015. At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds he'll be an end zone threat whether he ends up playing Wide Receiver or Tight End- he played both in High School.
Campbell had interest from Virginia, Pitt and Temple, and visited all three. Fellow New Jersey product Ben Hartwick is the other Tight End in the class.
247 Composite Score: 0.766 (2-stars)
From all accounts it seems Bob Diaco is generating sincere enthusiasm for the University of Connecticut and it's football program. His low-pressure sales approach has been appreciated by coaches and recruits alike and 11 players by the end of June represents really good momentum for the recruiting class.
With his success as a Defensive Coordinator, players on that side of the ball are going to be very inclined to make their way to Storrs. UConn's defense has always been pretty good, it looks like Diaco might be able to take it to the next level.
As you can see, the trend of size among the recruits has continued. All three secondary recruits, two of which are cornerbacks, are over six feet tall and three pass catchers are all above 6-foot-5.
With the recruiting class about halfway full, my wish list is for offensive linemen. Lets find a few high-caliber talents and let them know that they stand a very good chance of earning immediate playing time. If we can sway a highly rated OL to come start at UConn over sitting on the bench somewhere else that would be swell.
Overall though, great work so far Bob. Keep 'em coming.