Last month, we first noted that the recruiting efforts of the UConn football program were well behind those of every other Big East school except Pittsburgh. And, in general, the fastest, most reliable way to build a program and sustain it is by annually out-recruiting everybody else.
Easy to say, much harder to execute.
Things began looking up when the Huskies landed their first commitment for the class of 2012, offensive lineman Tyler Samra. They're still playing catch-up with the rest of the conference, but first-year head coach Paul Pasqualoni has a plan.
ESPN.com Big East blogger Andrea Adelson writes Monday that, yes, the Huskies' 2011 class ranked last according to ESPN Recruiting, but that's on former coach Randy Edsall.
Whoever you blame, this is Pasqualoni's team now. Fans don't have much patience for losing, particularly when it's accompanied by excuses blaming the old coach. Adelson spoke with Pasqualoni at the Big East spring meetings last month, and asked him his philosophies on recruiting.
"Geographics do a play part in it, so we hope that we can do a thorough job within a five or six-hour driving radius within the University of Connecticut," Pasqualoni said. "There will be other areas. We’ve always recruited Florida, we’ve always recruited Texas. We’ve got a pretty good number of players on our team from the state of Georgia, so that’s something we’ll do as well. We’ll go wherever there’s interest and try to do as complete and thorough a job as we can."
Pasqualoni has previously spoken about his ties to the Northeast, especially in regards to recruiting. Perhaps that's why he sounded unconcerned with having just one commitment for 2012.
"I grew up in the Northeast and always recruited the Northeast," Pasqualoni told Adelson. "Being at the University of Connecticut, that puts me in somewhat familiar territory so it’s nice to be familiar with a lot of the high school coaches and familiar with the geography and where you’re going and what the culture in certain areas is. Our staff is made up that way, too. Don Brown, our defensive coordinator is from the Northeast. George DeLeone, our offensive coordinator is from the Northeast. We hope that it all proves to be beneficial in recruiting."
Now it's just a matter of, you know, convincing these kids to come to UConn.