High school recruiting might not be as important now as it was in the pre-transfer portal era, but Wednesday’s early signing day still marks a significant stage in Jim Mora’s future as UConn football head coach.
With no real surprises in the mix, the Huskies inked 12 players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday morning, including 11 three-star recruits according to On3 for a class ranked 98th in the country, No. 96 per 247 Sports.
Get to know the first batch of UConn football’s class of 2023 here:
- Quarterback Cole Welliver is one of the most highly-touted recruits signing with UConn this cycle, a three-star rated as the No. 32 quarterback in the country per ESPN. Welliver hails from Flower Mound, Texas, and held offers from several Power 5 schools before committing to the Huskies. He considers himself a pro-style quarterback and has impressive size (6-foot-6) and arm strength.
- Tyjai Hopper is one of the more exciting additions on the defensive side of the ball for UConn, a three-star who held offers from Missouri and Ole Miss before committing to the Huskies. Hopper recorded 41 tackles and two interceptions playing at the 6A level of high school football in Alpharetta, Georgia, and already has good size for a college DB at 6-foot-1.
- Cooper Ackerman is another defensive three-star signing with the Huskies. The defensive lineman from nearby Shrewsbury, Massachusetts stands at 6-foot-3 and weighs 225 lbs., signing with the Huskies over local interest from Rutgers and Boston College.
- Dominic Toy, from Chester, Pennsylvania, looks to come into the program and strengthen the tight end corps recently depleted with the exit of Justin Joly to NC State via the transfer portal. Continuing on the theme, Toy has great size at 6-foot-5 and received interest from Penn State, Rutgers, and Pitt.
- Harper Holloman joins the cohort of defensive linemen in UConn’s class of 2024, hailing from Westlake in Atlanta, Georgia. Holloman, too, has an impressive offer list as a three-star recruit, receiving interest from Missouri and Georgia Tech.
- Brock Montgomery is the highest-rated wide receiver in this class for the Huskies, a three-star who chose UConn over offers from Louisville and Cincinnati. Montgomery is the No. 39 rated recruit in the state of Tennessee and had back-to-back 1000-yard receiving seasons in his junior and senior years of high school.
- Deron McLaughlin is the highest-rated offensive lineman of the early signing period for the Huskies, who grabbed him out of Park Ridge, New Jersey. McLaughlin is rated as a three-star offensive tackle and received interest from a number of MAC and higher-level Group of 5 schools before committing to UConn.
- Running back Oliver Lundberg Coleman arrives at Storrs all the way from Sweden and is UConn’s highest-rated running back recruit since Devontae Houston in 2020. Coleman was previously committed to Western Kentucky before UConn flipped his commitment in June.
- Diego Rodriguez is the second of a pair of offensive tackles signing with UConn on Wednesday and at 6-foot-5 and 275 lbs. he has plenty of size for his position. The Huskies have had solid line play the last two years, and recruiting three-stars like Rodriguez will go a long way toward keeping that continuity up.
- Kaleb Stewart is a three-star linebacker from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Steward had offers from Florida International and Indiana and took visits to UNC and Florida State before committing to the Huskies.
- Clemens Richter, a tight end from Sheffield, Massachusetts, committed to UConn after his official visit in June. Richter adds to the European contingent in the team, originally from Germany, and is rated the No. 15 recruit in the state of Massachusetts per 247 Sports.
- Jonathan Morris is the Huskies’ lone Connecticut native to sign with the Huskies on Wednesday, a 6-foot-3 safety from Fairfield Prep.
- Ethan Hogg is a three-star linebacker out of Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. Hogg has quality size for an LB at 6’4” 217 pounds, and joins Kaleb Stewart as the second high school linebacker commitment for the 2024 class. Ethan had offers from Army, Kent State, and Lafayette among other universities before deciding to commit to UConn on December 17th.
- Terrance Smith Jr. is a three-star athlete from Aiken, South Carolina. Smith had received interest from various other universities, including offers from Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Liberty, and others before his commitment to UConn on July 17th. He projects well as a wide receiver, with a 6’0” 165-pound frame, however, he has also played quarterback as well on occasion often utilizing designed QB runs.