clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UConn Football Recruiting: Defense an Early Focus for Edsall

New, 2 comments

Randy Edsall and his staff have added three defenders to the mix on the recruiting trail.

Ian Bethune - The UConn Blog

Over Randy Edsall’s first tenure at UConn, his teams were characterized by a strong defense. Just four months into his second go-around in Storrs, the first full recruiting class is off to a great start on that side of the ball.

Since 2017’s National Signing Day in February, the Huskies have added three new defenders to the program: two 2018 commitments and a graduate transfer from Miami.

The first member of the class of 2018 came from UConn football’s backyard. East Hartford LB Kevon Jones committed in late February after his official visit. Listed at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Jones accumulated 101 tackles in nine games during his junior season. He is rated as a 2-star prospect by Rivals and held interest from Syracuse but was not offered.

Jones grew up as a big UConn football fan in large part due to the Goal Line Project, a program created by Randy Edsall in 2006 to help at-risk youth. Through the program, Jones spent time with players such as Darius Butler and Donald Brown while in middle school.

The second commitment came from Dillon Harris, a 3-star linebacker from Cheshire Academy. Harris is a huge pickup for Edsall, as holding an offer from Michigan along with a host of other “power five” schools. Standing 6-foot-1, 218-pounds, Harris is the No. 2-ranked player in the state and could be a force in Billy Crocker’s 3-3-5 defense.

The Huskies also added some defensive line depth from an experienced transfer, but there are red flags. According to Andy Slater, former Miami DL Courtel Jenkins will be joining UConn’s defensive line. At this time, it’s unclear whether he will be eligible immediately or have to sit out next season.

Jenkins was dismissed from the Hurricanes in February for a violation of team rules and has a history of both on-the-field and off-the-field issues. In 2015, he was sent home from the Sun Bowl after academic violations and in 2016 he was suspended for a game due to a “lack of discipline”. Last season, he committed three personal foul penalties. The exact reason for his dismissal, in February of 2017, is still unknown.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds, Jenkins has amassed 54 tackles and 2.5 sacks over his three-year career at Miami. In 10 games last year, he collected 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack.

Edsall was often criticized for his recruiting in Connecticut. However, having his first two 2018 recruits come from in-state is a big step forward for the new staff. As for Jenkins, if he can stay out of trouble, he has the ability to make an impact on a defensive line that has been depleted over the past few seasons.

UConn Football Class of 2018

Name Height Weight School/Hometown Rivals Rating 247Sports Rating
Name Height Weight School/Hometown Rivals Rating 247Sports Rating
Kevon Jones 6-foot-2 215 pounds East Hartford/East Hartford, CT 2-stars N/A
Dillon Harris 6-foot-1 218 pounds Cheshire Academy/Bloomfield, CT 3-stars 3-stars