Randy Edsall opened up his Wednesday morning press conference calling the day uneventful; however, his comments over the next 25 minutes would turn it into anything but that as he once again sent UConn Twitter into a firestorm.
“I’d rather go with high school kids or junior college guys,” Edsall said. “Guys going into the portal to me, they got issues. They got issues, that’s why they’re going into the portal … sometimes these guys from the portal think that they’re enabled and entitled to something.”
Edsall said that the team will most likely not be pursuing any transfers for the 2020 season unless they find a good reason to make an exception.
Randy Edsall says he doesn't want players from the transfer portal, because they often "think they're enabled and entitled."
"I'd rather go with high-school kids of junior-college guys. Guys going into the portal, they've got issues. That's why they're going into the portal."
— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) February 5, 2020
“Unless I know the guy or our coaches know the guy or we were involved with recruitment, I don’t know if you can get enough information that you need to make the proper evaluation,” Edsall said. “We did it a year ago because it was something that I thought that we had to have a need. But after experiencing for a year, I think that’s the whole thing: In life, you always take a look at things and evaluate things after you do it, I just think it’s best for us in our situation that we go with the junior college route and we go the high school route, unless, there is somebody in the portal that we were involved with and we can feel comfortable to say, ‘Hey, these guys could fit in here.’”
UConn had five transfers on their roster last season: running back Art Thompkins, quarterback Mike Beaudry, quarterback Micah Leon, linebacker D.J. Morgan and wide reciever Ardell Brown.
Brown and Thompkins both graduated after the 2019 season. Beaudry transferred out of the program and is now at the University of Idaho. Morgan and Leon are still in the program.
This winter saw over 20 players from the 2019 roster enter the transfer portal, including two captains, Tyler Coyle and Donovan Williams.
“At the end of the day, if they wanted to do it, I was all for ‘em,” Morgan said on Tuesday. “Whether they wanted to stay or leave, I’m all for it. Especially being that I left, so I definitely understand.”
The Huskies also locked up five more recruits to complete their 2020 class: linebacker Tui Faumina-Brown, running back Devontae Houston, defensive back Durante Jones, defensive back Tre Wortham and offensive lineman Remon Young. Here’s a little bit of what Edsall had to say about each of them.
Full list of @UConnFootball 2020 signees. Tui Faumina-Brown, Devontae Houston, Durante Jones, Tre Wortham & Remon Young all signed this morning. pic.twitter.com/ehJW7wba2F
— Daily Campus Sports (@dcsportsdept) February 5, 2020
Tui Faumina-Brown: “Tremendous athlete. Played both sides of the ball, tight end, linebacker, basketball player. Gonna play linebacker for us. Very athletic, very productive, guy that’s very versatile. The kind of guy that you like, who’s got that versatility, who’s got that athleticism, who’s made plays on both sides of the ball, but like I said is gonna be a defensive guy. Great family, had a chance to watch him play basketball last week, you just see the athleticism, not a basketball player, but he moves well and does things that you like.”
Devontae Houston: “You just look at the productivity that he had this past year. I mean 2,800 all-purpose yards, 33 touchdowns, very, very fast, quick. … very productive, great kid, like I said can really run. Can not only carry the ball but also is a good receiver coming out of the backfield. Very fortunate to be able to land him.”
Durante Jones: “Very versatile, could be a corner, could be safety, probably going to look at him more as a safety. Tough, physical, a leader, is a guy that has a mindset that he knows what he wants to accomplish and he’s gonna go about doing it. Really liked the way he played physically, liked his length, so we’re very happy that he decided to join the family.”
Tre Wortham: “I was very impressed with him, I don’t know if I’ve seen a guy in a long, long time get up and play with the fundamentals and techniques that a young man coming out of high school or junior college plays with. He gets up and plays press coverage, plays physical, just his fundamentals and techniques were really things that stood out. His ability to make plays and be physical in the run. He was very, very impressive on film, very impressive as a person.”
Remon Young: “He’ll be a center for us … this is all part of the recruiting process, is that he’s a guy that you watch on tape, just about 6-foot-2, but he doesn’t have the length to be a tackle. So you take a look at his skill set, and you take a look at how he moves, and there was a guy that I just felt, hey, he can go inside and be an outstanding center. You bring him here, you redshirt him and you teach him. You watch him on tape, and he’s got all the things you want in an offensive lineman. And it’s hard to find centers, cause most of the time in high school, coaches, if they’re the best athlete up front they’re gonna play him at tackle. So he’s a guy that has the abilities that we were looking for to play as an offensive center.”
These five signees completed a 25-man class for the Huskies, with 14 on the offensive side of the ball and 11 on the defensive side. The Huskies will now have 79 athletes on scholarship for the 2020 season, and Edsall said they are looking for 26 total walk-ons to round out the roster as they go into camp.
“From a roster management standpoint, we’re gonna continue to work on that, but feel good about where we are,” Edsall said. “Feel really good about all these guys.”
They’re just not going to work on it using the transfer portal.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @jorge_eckardt31.