Recruiting: RB Kevin Mensah Discusses Spring Game Visit & Recruiting Process
April 24, 2017
For those who attended Friday night's spring game, it was hard to not come away impressed with the offense that was on display. A welcome change to an up-tempo offense seamlessly has occurred in just fifteen practices, looking like a system the returning players had been running for years. What's more is it didn't hurt that there were several recruits in the house taking in every moment. One of those targets was a familiar name from 2017 recruiting, running back Kevin Mensah, who reclassified into the 2018 class and is receiving a lot of interest not just from the Huskies, but every regional power and more.
"UConn is a beautiful place," Mensah said over the phone on Monday night. "That was actually my first time in PW Stadium and it was amazing. The coaches really like me, told me how I should come up to camp. Hopefully I'll be coming for an official visit during a game this year, but I know they are keeping an eye on me every week."
Like every recruit, Mensah has been hearing about what head coach Randy Edsall did during his first go-around with the Huskies, building the program from 1-AA competition, overseeing the building of The Rent and creation of one of the best indoor facilities in the nation. Not just that, but he had consistency and wins. The final four seasons saw UConn reach four consecutive bowl games, capped with a dominating win over the SEC's South Carolina Gamecocks and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma.
"He's a great, great coach," Mensah said of Edsall. "Everyone has been telling me great things about him, how he got them to all those bowl games. It's great that he came back to build up the UConn football program. I want to be a part of that."
What impressed the soon to be member of St. Thomas More in Montville, CT was the Huskies offensive style under new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
"Coach Lashlee has been in contact with me since January," Mensah said. "He likes the way I run. I love how he's up-tempo with everything; no huddle, run straight to the ball and run the play until you get the other side tired."
It was a busy weekend for Mensah, who took home the 7v7 championship in the 2nd annual Northeast Drills & Skills Showdown in Westford, MA on Sunday, competing against national club teams from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He confirmed he is being recruited as a running back at UConn, a position he ran for 1,518 yards and 14 TD's with Holy Name in Worcester in 2015 as the top player in central Massachusetts. He kept an eye on that position throughout the game on Friday.
"The running backs are really fast," Mensah noted. "I can see they they want running backs that can fly like Arkeel Newsome, ones that can get out of the gap and explode through the hole. I know how to find open space, break through defenders and get to the end zone."
His performance in 2016 for Sheperd Hill Regional proved just that, as he ran for another 1,255 yards and 19 touchdowns in a year that was shortened due to Massachusetts HS transfer rules. Prior to the UConn coaching change in late December, Mensah was actually scheduled to take an official visit on January 27th, but that did not occur. By reclassifying to 2018, he has started to see additional interest come his way, including from the Huskies, one of the goals of doing just that.
"I've been to Michigan and Boston College," he said. "Pitt wants to come up to see me and Penn State wants me to come down for a camp and hopefully an overnight stay. A lot of school's have been in contact since I reclassified, so that's a good sign."
Holding an offer already from Bryant University, Mensah will seemingly have a number of options by the time it's decision-making time. What is he looking for in a school that will help in that process?
"Where I'll be able to play," he was quick to respond. "I want a school that really wants me. The goal is to try to lock it down by our first game next year. Ever since the new rule came out, I want to be finalized and have signed papers by December. That's the goal."
That goal, by all indications, seems to be the same intention the UConn program has with his recruitment. Time will tell if he ends up with the Huskies, but all signs point to them being high on Mensah's wish list and vice versa.
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