Thursday, January 6, 2011
Gifford, Nwokeji sticking with UConn
With Randy Edsall spurning UConn to take the head coach position at Maryland, ESPN's Roger Brown has an update today on his recruiting blog on the Huskies' two Massachusetts commits for the Class of 2011, Thayer Academy's Paul Nwokeji and Bridgton Academy's Dalton Gifford.
Gifford, a Barnstable native who did a postgraduate semester this past fall at the North Bridgton, Maine school, originally committed to Northeastern his senior year at Barnstable High before the Huskies slashed their program. He said he hasn't heard from anyone since Monday, when offensive line coach Mike Foley called him to let him know that assistant Hank Hughes would be the interim head coach and that his scholarship was still being honored.
"I'm still firm with Connecticut. I'll begin school there in a couple weeks and that's when I'll start in their lifting program," Gifford told Brown. "Coach Foley told me he has no intention of leaving, but that it's up to the new head coach. I wasn't too close with [Edsall]. It's all business, so I can't really blame him. It was just unexpected."
Nwokeji, a Randolph native, appears to still be honored on his scholarship as well. Thayer head coach Jeff Toussaint told ESPNBoston's Brendan Hall in an email on Monday that "Paul has been informed that his status at UConn is unchanged; his scholarship is intact. He has not indicated any desire to look elsewhere. He has a strong connection with Mike Foley, the o-line coach who recruited him and who'll be his position coach if he stays. We'll see what happens once UConn makes a decision on the permanent head coach. I am sure Paul will stay at UConn if Hank Hughes is head coach and Mike Foley stays."
Yesterday, Nwokeji confirmed as much, telling Brown, "Foley filled me in on the whole situation. He told me not to worry about anything. My scholarship is still good. I'm still going to Connecticut."