After speculation throughout the offseason about Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall leaving for greener pastures, he ended up staying right at home in Storrs. When he first takes to the sidelines in 2010, he’ll have 22 new players there with him.
On Wednesday, Edsall announced UConn’s new recruiting class of 20 players as well as two who had been recruited last season but didn’t enroll until the start of the 2010 spring semester.
The Huskies’ class was rated rather poorly by recruiting sites, finishing tied with UTEP and Northern Illinois for 83rd in the country according to Rivals.com, last in the Big East.
Just a few years removed from Division I-AA status (now the FCS), UConn has been very competitive with college football’s big boys, finishing with eight wins or more in each of the last three seasons. The Huskies went 8-5 in 2009, with their five losses coming by a total of just 15 points. But Edsall was not able to turn his team’s on-field success into big-name recruits.
Even so, it’s not as if a school competing for a BCS bowl every year is giving its scholarships out to the stars of local intramural flag-football leagues.
The 22 players coming in next season are highlighted by Leon Kinnard and Mike Osiecki, both players who rolled over their commitments last year to enroll this spring. Kinnard is listed as a quarterback despite his 5-foot-9 stature, but he has the versatility to move elsewhere. Osiecki was the 2008 Gatorade state player of the year in Connecticut, and the linebacker decided to stay close to home.
Yawin Smallwood and Greg McKee headline Edsall’s class of more recent recruits. Smallwood is another New England product who played linebacker at Doherty Memorial High School in Worcester, Mass. McKee is a mountain of an offensive tackle, coming in at 6-foot-7 and 395 pounds before he ever hits a college weight room.
Another name that sticks out among the UConn freshmen-to-be is Tebucky Jones Jr. Jones Jr., a wide receiver from New Britain, Conn., is the son of former New England Patriots safety Tebucky Jones. Despite his dad playing at Big East rival Syracuse, Jones Jr. decided to play closer to home and give his dad a headache on which team to root for once a season.
Edsall may not have brought in the biggest or the brightest haul of recruits, but the beauty of recruiting is the uncertainty. You can throw an arbitrary star rating on these kids, but you really won’t know what you have until they throw on the pads and get on the field.
Here is the Huskies' complete 2010 class:
Name, Position, Height, Weight, Hometown (School)
Joshua Alexander, LB, 6-3, 215, Waldorf, Md. (Westlake)
Ty-Meer Brown, DB, 6-1, 180, McKeesport, Pa. (McKeesport)
Gus Cruz, OG, 6-4, 256, Manchester, N.H. (Kimball Union Academy)
Geremy Davis, WR, 6-2, 205, Lawrenceville, Ga. (Norcross)
Reuben Frank, FB, 6-2, 229, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (Poughkeepsie)
Mark Hansson, OT, 6-5, 256, Clearwater, Fla. (Palm Harbour University)
Byron Jones, DB, 6-0.5, 175, New Britain, Conn. (St. Paul)
Tebucky Jones, WR, 6-0, 180, Farmington, Conn. (New Britain)
Jonathan Louis, DE, 6-5, 240, Brockton, Mass. (Wyoming Seminary/Pa.)
Taylor Mack, DB, 5-10, 170, Powder Springs, Ga. (The Lovett School)
B.J. McBryde, DE, 6-5, 250, Beaver Falls, Pa. (Beaver Falls)
Lyle McCombs, RB, 5-8, 175, Staten Island, N.Y. (St. Joseph By The Sea)
Scott McCummings, QB, 6-2, 210, Natick, Mass. (Natick)
Greg McKee, OT, 6-5, 295, Chicago, Ill. (Martin Luther King College Prep)
Andrew Opoku, DB, 6-4, 226, North Brunswick, N.J. (Fork Union Military Academy/Va.)
Bryan Paull, C, 6-4, 290, Parkland, Fla. (M. Stoneman Douglas)
Angelo Pruitt, DL, 6-2 1/2, 270, Cincinnati, Ohio (North College Hill)
Yawin Smallwood, LB, 6-3, 215, Worcester, Mass. (Doherty)
Gilbert St. Louis, CB, 5-11, 175, Davie, Fla. (Plantation)
Brandon Steg, LB, 6-3, 220, Coral Springs, Fla. (J.P. Taravella)