New coach Bob Diaco has talked about the recruiting footprint -- from Boston to Buffalo and all the way down to Northern Virginia -- but the reality is that UConn hasn't always recruited particularly well in ... Connecticut.
Some of that has to do with Connecticut, a relatively small state, not producing a ton of FBS-level talent. But Diaco, from the moment he was hired, said he wanted to create a partnership with every school in the state, ostensibly to increase the probability those high-profile players don't get away.
"The collective responses we got from all the coaches was off the charts," Diaco said, via the Hartford Courant. "There is always, like in anything, a few people that aren't quite in yet for whatever reason, history, bad history, a history from 15 years ago or 10 years ago or something. I need to work on it with care, diligence and consistency and honest communication. There are a few of those instances that virtually have nothing to do with us, just harbored negative feelings I need to chip away at. But overall, collectively, it's been an awesome, very warm response."
But according to the Courant, some high school coaches across the state said that UConn has been true to its word and is recruiting players from those programs
"The new staff is in constant contact, but the previous staff wasn't present enough with [Boston College commit RB Marcus Outlow]," Norwich Free Academy coach Jemel Davis told the Courant. "And one of the concerns was, being only 35 minutes away, they could have been down here talking to him. There was a change at BC, and as soon as that [coaching] change happened, [BC] were down here recruiting immediately."
And while former Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni, a Connecticut native, has supporters in high schools across the state, Diaco remains committed to developing those relationships for his program.
"The practices are open to high school coaches any day, every day," Diaco said. "When the coaches were in the schools, they had the chance to tell them, 'We've got a clinic for you guys in the spring where you can come, full access, full meetings, full practice and full staff access afterward. We have six very inexpensive, a 100 percent service to the players in the state, and we're going to have six clinics at the end of June. The final two weeks in June, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, just six great one-day clinic dates for the players in the state. We're trying to do everything we can."