Randy Edsall, Connecticut Huskies Head Coach Since 1999 (Photo NY Times)
Connecticut head football coach Randy Edsall is apparently livid with high school football coaches in the state of Connecticut.
Why livid? Well, because high school coaches in the state simply aren't driving enough local kids to consider UConn football up in Storrs. According to Scout.com, there were 8 recruits in 2010 from the state of Connecticut with 3-Stars or more. Only one of them, 3-star WR Tebucky Jones, committed to play for Edsall's Connecticut Huskies. The rest of the best were poached by raiding recruiters from Penn State, Boston College, Florida State, Florida and Tulane. Even more startling, out of UConn's 20 player recruiting class for 2010, Jones was the sole player from the state of Connecticut. In 2009's 21 player recruiting class, only 3 of Edsall's recruits were from Connecticut.
So OK, maybe Mr. Edsall is on to something here. Losing top state players like 5-star tailback Silas Redd and 4-star OLB Khiari Fortt to Penn State has to be frustrating. Edsall has been the head coach at UConn for the last 11 seasons. The Huskies have been invited to bowl games for the last three straight seasons, not to mention a media-filled 2009 season, and a gloriously decisive victory over a decent SEC defensive team (South Carolina) in the Papajohns.com Bowl. Under Edsall the Husky football program is definitely moving upward.
But if a UConn recruiting conduit to some of the most talent-rich high school football programs in the Stamford area were ever to be formed, would it not have already been accomplished by now?
On September 4 Connecticut opens up the 2010 college football season in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines - another major media event that will provide Edsall's Huskies plenty of national exposure for the program and future recruiting. Edsall can probably accept some solace in the fact that he's not a lone with this phenomenon of local kids going astray and deciding to play football elsewhere. Michigan landed only 4 in-state players in their 2009 class of 22 recruits, and just 3 Michigan players in the Wolverines' 2010 class of 27.
It begs the question just how much does this "I gots to be No. 1 in the state!"-recruiting philosophy really matter? It seems like every year we see Texas kids ending up at Nebraska and Oklahoma. Michigan kids heading to USC and Ohio State. Texas, Arizona, Ohio and Florida kids then somehow choose to play their careers up north at Michigan. What comes around really does appear to go around, and kids today more than ever before probably want to make up their own minds.
Interestingly, Rich Rodriguez did successfully snag one Connecticut player from Edsall's clutches back in 2008: 4-star, No. 35 running back, Mike Cox of Avon, CT. Cox will likely get some serious consideration for playing time in 2010 too since Michigan lost its two leading rushers of 2009, Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown, to graduation.