- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Connecticut coach Randy Edsall raised a lot of eyebrows on national signing day when he basically called out some of the high school coaches in his state.
"A lot of coaches in this state have never even come up and seen our facilities, and that's what's disappointing to me," Edsall said at the time. "We are better received, in my opinion, outside the state of Connecticut than what we are within the state of Connecticut, in certain pockets."
The Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner and Tom Yantz examined the issue in a lengthy story Sunday, talking to lots of high school coaches in the state. Some agreed with Edsall's take, while others had their own criticisms of UConn.
For example, high school coach Sean Marinan recalled an incident when he was trying to get the Huskies interested in prospect Amari Spievey, who played defensive back for Iowa and is expected to be drafted this spring.
"When I brought film of Amari Spievey up to UConn, I had to physically grab [former offensive coordinator] Rob Ambrose's hand to put the film in it before he would take it. Then they said they didn't recruit him because he did not come to their camp. UConn needs to reach out and show interest in in-state players. I am not going to say I have a player that can play for UConn if I don't, and it would be nice to at least be asked if I had any prospects."
Another coach called it "infuriating" that Edsall would make a blanket statement about all of the high schools in the state.
At stake is whether UConn can start to keep the local talent at home, particularly Fairfield County. Three of the state's top prospects this year chose to go to Penn State and Florida rather than play for the Huskies.
Edsall went on a limb with his signing day comments but perhaps, as this story shows, he began a conversation that could lead to better relationships down the road.