Bob Diaco and staff have been successful this past week on the recruiting trail, gaining the verbal commitments of defensive back Ian Swenson and hybrid end Jake Byczko.
Swenson, a cornerback from the Chicago area, committed on Friday and is the Huskies' highest-rated pickup so far. At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he has the size that Bob Diaco looks for in the secondary, and for all recruits really. He is listed as a 3-star recruit on Rivals and held offers from Iowa State and Louisville, among others, at the time of his commitment. Swenson is the fourth big recruit to come from the Chicago area in the past few years, with LB Vontae Diggs signing in 2014, DB Aaron Garland in the class of 2015, WR Quayvon Skanes coming in last year’s class.
On the current roster, Jamar Summers, Jhavon Williams and Javon Hadley are all key players returning to a strong secondary this season. The secondary is also stocked with young and emerging talent such as Garland, John Robinson IV, Marshe Terry, and Brice McAllister.
Jake Byczko is relatively local, committing to UConn from Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts on Wednesday. He's a hybrid edge defender type, likely to switch to an outside linebacker role in Bob Diaco's system. Byczko had interest from a number of FBS schools, including Boston College, UMass, and UCF and held offers from Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Byczko is not rated on Rivals.com or 247sports.com, but a big part of that could be to that lack of attention much of New England gets when it comes to football recruiting. Many regional players who were relatively less heralded have been major contributors at UConn, most recently offensive lineman Matthew Peart, who will be starting at left tackle as a redshirt freshman this year. While ratings are somewhat important, player development, as well as being in the right system, are the most important factors.
The duo joins a recruiting class that so far has been heavy on the defensive side of the ball. Of the seven commits, five have been defenders. It's still somewhat early in the recruiting season, so it's likely that it will even out over the next few months.
Full breakdown of the class below:
|Name||Position||Height, Weight||School (Hometown)||Rivals Rating|
|Ryan Dickens||LB||6-2, 210 lbs||Raritan (Hazlet, NJ)||2-stars|
|Ian Swenson||CB||6-1, 180 lbs||Loyola Academy (Wilmette, IL)||3-stars|
|Jake Byczko||DE/LB||6-2, 234 lbs||Lawrence Academy (Groton, MA)||NR|
|Bebe Olaniyan||DB||6-1, 185 lbs||Woodberry Forest School (Woodberry Forest, VA)||2-stars|
|Ryan Fitton||TE||6-5, 235 lbs||Staples HS (Westport, CT)||2-stars|
|Jordan McAfee||QB||6-4, 198 lbs||Everett HS (Everett, MA)||2-stars|
|Rob Saulin||DE||6-5, 250 lbs||Pennsville Memorial (Pennsville, NJ)||2-stars|