By Erica Brancato
UConn head football coach Bob Diaco wasn't looking for just any recruit to join the Husky football team during National Signing Day. He was looking for "RKGs"- the right kind of guys.
Diaco, who just completed his first year in charge of the Husky program, complete his first entire recruiting class last Wednesday with the signing of 22 players. Diaco and the Huskies strongly believe that "the good times are coming."
Diaco was enthusiastic and eager upon detailing traits that the UConn coaching staff looked for in the new Husky student-athletes. He wanted new players with passion and character who are self-motivators and coachable types.
One common unique theme among the signees was that they are all big players. With an average height of 6-foot-4, Diaco wanted the players to be "match up nightmares" against their opponents. The 2015 recruiting class has the stature; skill and enthusiasm that will help the Huskies succeed.
"We have 12 states represented in our 22 players," Diaco said. "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."
Another important trait for the 2015 recruiting class was that they all came from winning backgrounds. Each player has a winning record under their belt, which means they come from a good culture. They already speak the language of winning, Diaco said.
"We have this culture built now," Diaco said. "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."
Diaco and the coaching staff sought out student-athletes with not only talent, but with character and dedication as well. Each new recruit was spoken highly of and showed impressive talents on and off the field. On one of the official visiting days, William Richardson, a senior at Frank W. Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., and other recruits woke up at 4:30 a.m. to get in a workout before the day even began.
As Diaco would say, the little things cause winning and this 2015 recruiting class is eager and ready to do what it takes to succeed.
"Some coaches, they get enamored by chasing the talent, for talent sake," Diaco said. "We are not going to operate that way and we hold ourselves accountable and we don't mind getting at each other to make sure we are collecting and recruiting RKGs for a spectacular university. These guys are going to add to the student body, they are going to add to the classroom conversations and they are going to add to the football team."
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