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Friday, February 6, 2009

Why Edsall Wins By Recruiting Character

The UCONN Huskies are not (yet) in a position to start pulling in recruiting classes chock full of 4 and 5 star recruits (those days are coming though). But guess what? It doesn’t matter.
Coach Edsall has built the premier program in New England, from the ground up, using players that, basically, no one else wanted. Who was Darius Butler, or Cody Brown, or Alfred Fincher coming out of high school? Deon Anderson (starting fullback for the Dallas Cowboys) was an absolute nobody.
He and his staff work tirelessly to find the best recruits. Not based on what has to say (cancel your subscription now) or what any other “scout service” thinks. Fortunately and unfortunately dropping the name “UCONN” to a potential recruit doesn’t always get them all hot-and-bothered. UCONN is not USC (there’s just something about Pete Carroll that does it for me).
Instead the UCONN Football staff weeds through tape after tape to find not only players that can compete and succeed at Divison I levels, but also young men of character.
It doesn’t matter if you are from the suburbs of New York (that’d be me), the ghettos of Miami, or the Tundra of Canada. If you can play football well, and you are of high work ethic and moral caliber then you will be found by Randy Edsall.
I am the first to say that over my five years at UCONN the sheer quality of athlete has improved. However, one thing has remained constant: men of character. Edsall believes it, and it is true, you can win with character.
The old adage “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard” couldn’t be truer than it is in Storrs. The practices are the toughest, the training the hardest, and the facilities the absolute best. The result is guys that can turn heads on Saturday afternoons.
However, this process is not air-tight, no one is perfect. And Coach Edsall is the first to take these “problems” head on. The 2006 season Edsall took a lot of heat from the media for kicking players off the team throughout the season. These individuals were just that: individuals. And while they were my friends, at the end of the day, they were a cancer doing nothing but bringing the team down.
It paid off. The 2007 UCONN Huskies were the Big East Champs. The 2008 Huskies won the International Bowl.
So with all this hoopla and fanfare surrounding National Signing Day, and the relative inattention paid to the University of Connecticut, I’d like to offer this:
It’s the quiet ones you got to watch.

1 comment:

Frats_Frosh said...

YOu know, I can't place the quote, but I know it from an old story or two - I think a Louis L'Amour western, and is alway true.

When I sat in Memorial stadium for the Coach's first Blue-White game a few years back, I had an interesting conversation with someone who raved about the character of the coach and where he was directing to program. I am gald to see where the coach is going.