UConn football inks five new recruits to round out class of 2018

Randy Edsall addressed the media on National Signing Day. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

UConn football signed five players to their recruiting class of 2018 on Wednesday, adding to the 19 players who faxed in their letters of intent during the early signing period on Dec. 20.

It was a nasty day in Storrs weather-wise, even though the snowstorm that caused UConn to cancel classes and other events past noon never really came to pass

“It must be nice to be a weatherman, you can get it wrong and still not be fired,” head coach Randy Edsall opened his remarks. “All that technology they have and still miss, I don’t know.”

Edsall went on to talk about two members of the Huskies’ 2018 class that other schools with more resources might have missed on in a similar fashion: OL Pierce DeVaughn and LB Kevon Jones.

A native of Frisco, Texas, DeVaughn was undersized in his junior year and transferred high schools the year before, making him miss out on spring practices. As a result many schools passed on DeVaughn, but he ended up growing three inches and 35 pounds between his junior and senior years and he might not be done growing, Edsall said.

“He’s a guy that has some natural ability that you don’t teach,” Edsall said. “When you see his game tape and you see...the way he can bend and dip, and he does it full speed and never stops, you see some guys in the NFL that can’t even do that.”

Kevon Jones, who signed on December 20, was another one of the late bloomers Edsall mentioned while talking about the class.

“If you just look at the tape, Kevon might have been the best player in the state this year.” Edsall said.

Edsall also spoke highly of the multi-sport athletes in the class: DBs Jalon Ferrell from Killian High School in Miami and Messiah Turner from Tampa Catholic in Tampa.

In addition to playing football, Ferrell ran track in high school and is a physical defensive back who doubles as a return man.

Turner is a very versatile prospect who could be slotted in at cornerback, safety or nickel back, Edsall said, even comparing him to Huskies great Reggie McClain. Turner was also a prolific basketball star in high school, and Edsall actually attended a game of his on one of the visits.

“I was very very impressed with his savvy and his knowledge, not only in the game of basketball but when you sit down and talk to him about football he grasps things very quickly,” Edsall said.

According to Rivals, the highest rated prospect in UConn’s 2018 class was late signee Dante Black, a running back from Brookwood High School in Georgia. Black had 2295 all-purpose yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior, and Edsall was excited to get him on campus.

“He has all of the components of a good running back,” said Edsall. “He’s got really good vision, ability to make people miss, a really good burst, and a really good jump cut.”

Offensive lineman Christian Haynes rounded out the 2018 class. Stressing the importance of offensive line depth, Edsall said that Haynes was unique because he could play just about any of the spots in the line.


Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at luke.swanson@uconn.edu.