Monday, December 5, 2011

Response To Reader Comment Regarding Recruiting

As of right now, next year's recruiting class will be the best in the school's short FBS (or division one for those of you still thinking in the old format) according to the ESPN star system with seven three star recruits. That is three more than Randy Edsall got in his entire tenure with the Huskies, however there is a serious disconnect between a players ranking coming into college and what happens when they work with the staff. To give you a better perspective Zach Frazier was given a ranking of 86 out of 100 and was recruited and accepted a scholarship offer from Notre Dame before transferring to UConn, the same year Frazier went to Notre Dame Randy Edsall secured the commitment of one Kendall Reyes who got a 40 out of 100. Now in hindsight it is easy to pick out the better player who impacted their team more, as Reyes is now projected to be the 5th best at his position in the country heading into this year's NFL draft.

So the system of recruiting rankings is flawed, no one should be surprised by this but the question revolved around quarterbacks and why any would want to come to UConn with our run first mentality. I would argue that under Pasqualoni the team was a lot more balanced in terms of play selection and that if I were an accurate and athletic passer who wants to compete for a starting job right away UConn is a solid fit because you know you'll have the support of a great offensive line and a run game to alleviate some of the pressure. Which is why in the last two years UConn has secured it's two highest rated quarterback prospects in Scott McCummings, a redshirt freshmen this year rated a 71, and Michael Nebrich, a true freshmen this year rated a 74. I think the true problem behind the quarterback situation is a lack of trust in the freshmen's ability as a pocket passer, and although this seemed to deter Pasqualoni from playing them I think it was actually in the Huskies best interest due to the continued struggles at the wide receiver position. Having a quarterback with the ability to move outside the pocket and create plays seems to fit the UConn style much more than a conventional quarterback does which is why we've had success recruiting these types of athletes in the last few years. Not to say that a conventional quarterback can't succeed in Pasqualoni's system I just firmly believe that the types of guys who are going to be attracted to UConn at this point in time are going to play Michael Vick style compared to Peyton Manning and unless Pasqualoni can adapt his system to these players this team will continue to fall short of expectations.

A better core of wide receivers is also going to breed more confidence in UConn as a choice for quarterbacks coming out of high school. As noted in earlier posts wide receiver has been an area of concern with an inexcusable average number of passes dropped a game, talented wide receivers have a habit of making mediocre quarterback play look great and bad receivers make mediocre quarterback play impossible to watch. This turns into a terrible cycle though, wide receivers want to play for a great quarterback and bad quarterbacks need great receivers and unfortunately for UConn fans we haven't had either in so long that neither wants to come here anymore. Defense, offensive line, and running back have long been UConn's claim to fame and until we have a breakout year at quarterback this streak will continue and I fear that will Johnny McEntee at the helm we're still a long ways from seeing it happen.

This all being said there are a lot of good looking players coming into Storrs for next season and there is a lot to look forward to as Lyle McCombs matures as a running back and these athletically gifted quarterbacks get more of a share of the load. A lot gets lost on defense this off-season but again Pasqualoni has managed the highest rated class in UConn history so there is talent and athleticism coming in. This of course assuming he is there to coach them.

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