Bob Diaco signed 21 players to letters of intent this week. And while none received the fanfare we were inundated with from ESPN on signing day, the second-year coach sounds excited about bringing his players into a program he's trying to rebuild.
"We have 12 states represented in our 22 players," Diaco said last week. "We have signed the best rated corner in Illinois, the best player in New Hampshire, the best player in Maine, the two top rated defensive tackles in New Jersey, the top rated defensive tackle from Pennsylvania, the top rated quarterback, the top rated specialist and wide receivers all from the state of New York and finally the top rated defensive player from Delaware."
All the players also come from winning programs, which is important when trying to change a culture of losing.
"We have this culture built now," the coach continued. "We have this culture, it was a challenge but it was built. The floorboards and the foundation have been laid and it was a challenging venture but it has been done. And is it still fragile? Absolutely. And is it still raw? Absolutely, but we have a language of winning. So this collection of guys that's going to show up that's going to show up and be inserted into the locker room is going to be a tidal wave of positive energy and an understanding of winning because they are already talking about winning."
There's plenty to be excited about if you're a UConn fan -- especially given how far the program has fallen in recent years -- but skeptics remain. Take, for example, ESPN's computer preseason power ratings. It ranks the Huskies' 117th overall -- the offense comes in at 128, the defense 72 and the preseason FBI, an estimate of team strength, is -13.8.
Put in perspective, the Huskies are 11 spots out of last place.