We touched on it yesterday, but Paul Pasqualoni might not be the most charismatic coach on the planet. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. For starters, popularity contests seldom win football games (look no further than Bill Belichick for proof of that). More than that, college football is about coaching and recruiting.
Pasqualoni has plenty of the former although we were concerned that his six years away from the college game might affect his abilities in the latter. Turns out, he knows exactly what he's doing. The Huskies went from zero to 11 commitments in just a few weeks, and from last in the Big East to third behind Cincinnati and West Virginia.
It's quite the turnaround in such a short period. And the Hartford Courant's Desmond Connor, in a recent mailbag, explained the difference in recruiting this year.
"…I think one difference is in the number of commitments they have already. That's higher, at this point in the year, than the program has had most years previously. Also, physically, some of these recruits are already built to play as soon as they arrive, not that they will, but body development won't be a big issue for a lot of them.
"That wasn't the norm previously," Connor continued. "Probably the biggest difference is that UConn is involved with kids who have been offered by several very good BCS programs and has tapped into some tradition-rich programs for players such as Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey and Archbishop Carrol in D.C. I think all of it has to continue the the way it is and even better for UConn to reach that next level. Seems to be on a good course there right now."
We've mentioned it several times during the off-season, but commitments don't equal wins; ultimately, we'll have to wait until the players show up in Storrs to see what they can do and how they can contribute. But the laws of probability suggest that the more quality athletes you recruit, the better your chances of finding a superstar.
Plus, as Connor notes, not only is Pasqualoni's first class "built to play" physically, but UConn is going up against and winning recruiting battles with other BCS programs. It was one of the goals Pasqualoni outlined in May and now, less than two months later, it appears to be paying off.