The Maroon Musket has learned that some UMass coaches are pitching the “possibility” of moving to the Big East to some recruits, and, in at least one instance, it worked.
Chris Anderson, who covers recruiting for 247 Sports’ Boston College site (bostoncollege.247sports.com), said he has heard the UMass-to-Big-East pitch from two recruits. He recalls a conversation he had with Jordan Page, an offensive lineman who committed to UMass back in June.
“Current commit Jordan Page told me back in September that the coaches had mentioned to him the possibility of moving up as a reason he committed to UMass. Here is what I wrote for a piece back on September 6th:”
“I want to play for a Division I-A team,” said Page. “And I like the possibility of them being in the Big East.”
I’m sorry. UMass to the Big East?
‘Yes [the coaches] said that is what they are aiming for.”
Anderson said he was later talking about the Big East sales pitch on Twitter, when Eric Carter, a wide receiver on UMass’ radar who eventually committed to Minnesota, “confirmed that the coaches had said the same thing to him when they were recruiting him.”
Upon reaching out to a number of recruits, the Maroon Musket learned that UMass has discussed the Big East with some, but not all, recruits.
Steve Casali, a linebacker from Sachem East High School who verbally committed to UMass in June, indicated that he heard the Big East pitch during the recruiting cycle, but it wasn’t a major portion of the conversation.
“They mentioned it once but didn’t go into detail about it,” he said.
Others simply had never heard anything about the UMass/Big East connection. For example, UMass commit Tyshon Henderson said no one said anything about a possible move to the Big East. Marlon Crook, a UMass recruit who eventually committed to Fordham, also had never heard the pitch.
Spencer Schnell, a wide receiver from Indianapolis who is being looked at by UMass’ Jeff Burris, said that neither he nor his coach has heard anything about UMass and the Big East.
A younger recruit also hasn’t heard anything about UMass and the Big East. Brad Mayes, a 2015 quarterback with a UMass offer, said he has not discussed the Big East during his conversations with UMass coaches.
The fact that anything is being said about the Big East is interesting since the conference has yet to extend an invitation to UMass. The university and the MAC are still operating within the original Membership Agreement, and neither has mentioned the possibility of parting ways.