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UConn Football Recruiting: National Signing Day Primer

Two scholarship players were added to the incoming class this past weekend. The Huskies have also shown a commitment to pursuing walk-on candidates to fill out the roster going into training camp.

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With National Signing Day coming up tomorrow, let's take stock of who we believe the Huskies have coming to Storrs next year.

But first, a quick update as two high school seniors have accepted scholarship offers from UConn:

Catch up on all of our 2015 Football Recruiting coverage here!

Zordan Holman

Let's get the most important fact about Zordan Holman out of the way, he's a jiu-jitsu world champion. In reading about the sport in that article it sounds like some of those skills may translate to the football field.

Holman is a 6-foot-6, 235lb. prospect who plays defensive end and tight end for Cheverus High in Portland, Maine. 247 Sports has him rated as a 2-star prospect, and he's expected to play tight end at UConn. He received his scholarship offer after a visit last spring, according to an interview with Rivals. Zordan had been in talks with a number of schools in the area but his only other scholarship offer was from Maine.

There are a number of players with verbal commitments to UConn who played tight end in high school, though it is unclear as to how many of them will end up at the position once they arrive on campus. I'll take an educated guess at the end of this article- STAY TUNED!

David Ryslik

David Ryslik endured some hardships along his journey to UConn (h/t our friends at A Dime Back) to make his official visit. During that time, various outlets were reporting his verbal commitment even though this tweet came out last night.

Ryslik is rated a 3-star prospect by 247Sports and also held offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Syracuse and Temple. He will be playing defensive line and possibly projects as a space-eating defensive end in Bob Diaco's preferred defensive scheme. He played on the nose in high school, but I would imagine his best fit at the collegiate level is at end in a 3-4 front or tackle in a 4-3.

Preferred walk-ons

The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner wrote an informative article about Bob Diaco's strategy for the recruitment of preferred walk-ons. These student-athletes are guaranteed a spot on the 105-man roster which every team takes into camp before whittling it down to 85 during the regular season. The one major difference is that they pay their own tuition but ultimately will have the same opportunity to earn playing time.

So far UConn has received verbal commitments from seven players with preferred walk-on offers:

Brandon Bisack (6-6, 210), QB from Fairfield

Warde Jack Dexter (6-3, 215), LB from Wilton

Tom Tabur (6-3, 290), DT from Worcester Academy in Mass

James Bedell (6-3, 205), LB/Long Snapper from New Jersey

Bryan Coney (6-1, 190) WR from Naugatuck

Luke Sowa (6-4, 230) from the Gunnery School in Washington, CT

Dario Highsmith (5-10, 185) ATH from Middletown -  received an offer from Army yesterday

This strategy is employed at numerous institutions, including programs Diaco has been a part of at Iowa, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. For a team in UConn's situation, these players have as good a chance as any to make it onto the 85-man roster and be contributors down the road. It also helps the Huskies drive interest locally by being able to bring in more 'homegrown' players.

It does look like Pasqualoni did this as well, only with less vigor. For example, tomorrow, UConn's preferred walk-on commitments will be announced by the school on National Signing Day.

Anticipated 2015 Recruiting Class

*QB Tyler Davis has enrolled early and is on campus already.

**TE Ben Hartwick suffered an injury during his senior season. He will grey-shirt and according to Rivals plans to enroll at UConn next January.


Thanks to contributing writer Dan Connolly for his help with this chart



High School(Hometown)

247 Rating

Rivals Rating

Kevin Murphy - DT


East HS (West Chester, PA)

81 (3-stars)

5.5 (3-stars)

Tyler Davis - QB*


Mepham (Bellmore, NY)

80 (3-stars)

5.5 (2-stars)

Marshe Terry - S


N. Burlington (Columbus, NJ)

81 (3-stars)

5.2 (2-stars)

Connor Freeborn - OLB


Salesianum (Wilmington, DE)

80 (3-stars)

5.3 (2-stars)

Ben Hartwick - TE**


Mahwah (Mahwah, NJ)

78 (2-stars)

5.3 (2-stars)

Aaron McLean - WR


St. Mark's (Southborough, MA)

78 (2-stars)

5.3 (2-stars)

Ian Campbell - TE


Pequannock (Pompton Plains, NJ)

78  (2-stars)

5.2 (2-stars)

Nazir Williams - LB


Bridgeton (Bridgeton, NJ)

82 (3-stars)

5.3 (2-stars)

Aaron Garland - CB


Fenwick (Oak Park, IL)

81 (3-stars)

5.5 (3-stars)

John Robinson - CB


Dwight Morrow (Englewood, NJ)

79 (2-stars)

5.3 (2-stars)

Frank Battle - WR


Belen Jesuit Prep (Miami, FL)

81 (3-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Philippe Okounam - DE


St. Paul (Concord, NH)

87 (3-stars)

5.2 (2-stars)

David Ryslik - DT

6-4/295 The Peddie School(Hightstown, NJ) 80 (3-stars) 5.4(2-stars)

William Richardson - DE


Frank W. Ballou(Washington, D.C.)

80 (3-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Chris Lee - TE


Severna Park(Severna Park, MD)

79 (3-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Felton "Trey" Blackwell - DT


Cedar Creek High (Egg Harbor, NJ)

79 (2-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Michael Tarbutt - K


Canisus (Buffalo, NY)

73 (2-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Tyraiq Beals - WR


East Orange (East Orange, NJ)

78 (2-stars)

5.5 (3-stars)

Brian Cespedes - OL


New London (New London, CT)

77 (2-stars)

5.2 (2-stars)

Hergy Mayala - WR


Trinity Pawling School (Montreal, QC)

86 (3-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Matthew Peart - OL


(The Governer's Academy (Byfield, MA)

77 (2-stars)

5.2 (2-stars)

Dallas Parker - DE


Point Vendra (Point Vendra Beach, FL)

78 (2-stars)

5.4 (2-stars)

Zordan Holman - TE 6-6/235 Cheverus (Portland, ME) 76 (2-stars

5.3 (2-stars)