The UConn offense is looking to fill a hole left by the departure of their top two tight ends, as Aaron McLean has graduated and Tyler Davis transferred to Georgia Tech during the offseason. On the roster, only Jay Rose returns having registered a catch, just one grab. Offensive coordinator John Dunn likes to target the position in the passing game, as McLean and Davis combined to account for 54-receptions this past season.
So as the team looks to replace a starting quarterback and four of their top five pass catchers, finding a player on the recruiting trail that could come in and compete on day-one at tight end is imperative. For Dominick Mazotti, it was an opportunity that intrigued him enough to travel cross-country to check it out in-person. Hailing from Pleasanton, CA, Mazotti played quarterback for Amador Valley High, but with a large frame at 6’4″ 230-lbs, the Huskies saw enough size, athleticism and speed (4.8 40-time) to offer him as a tight end and he found himself in Storrs this past weekend.
“I liked the visit a lot,” Mazotti said on Monday evening. “I loved all of the coaches, they have some of the best coaches I’ve ever met, all great guys out there. I really enjoyed my time with them. The thing that stood out to me the most were the future plans for the program.”
Those plans include a redesigned locker room and revamped lifting area, something Mazotti indicated he was looking forward to see how the projects ultimately turn out. He confirmed the UConn facilities were on par with anything he’s seen on the recruiting trail to date and with an offer from Cal and having visited UCLA, that says something about what the Huskies program has.
“I was talking to coach Corey Edsall, he and Coach Chapman, those are the two guys I talked to the most,” Mazotti continued. “The schemes they have put in [under Dunn] are definitely going to showcase my abilities over the next couple of years if I decide to go to UConn.”
Following the visit, UConn remains a top contender for Mazotti.
“[UConn is] highly considered,” he verified. “I’m down to my top-five right now. They are up there with it. I’m going to be making the final decision and announcement the night before signing day at my football banquet.”
That banquet is well-deserved not just for Mazotti, but his entire team for what they had to endure late in their season in preparation for the state playoffs, as their proximity to the wildfires that were raging on the west coast impacted their ability to play the game they love. For three weeks, they were barred from the practice field, while their first opponent in states was not affected. The results were as expected in that situation, but overall, it was a good season.
“It went great,” Mazotti said. “It all came together for us this year. We had a lot of pieces in place, our line was great, a lot of great receivers to throw to and we went 8-2 and got a first round bye.”
For Mazotti personally, he had quite the year, averaging 17-yards per carry under center and recorded 31-touchdowns to just 2-turnovers, an astounding 15.5:1 touchdown-to-turnover ratio. It’s that productivity that turned the Huskies on to the California kid, who earned quite the nickname early on in his recuriting journey.
“When I visited Wyoming, they kind of gave me the nickname, ‘Unicorn’ just because they felt I could play every position on the field,” he said. “I don’t necessarily think of myself like that because I’m just out there because I love playing the game. I’m just an athletic football player that is going to do whatever it takes to win.”
His love for the game has only grown over the years and it’s directly impacted his life.
“Growing up, I wasn’t the biggest kid believe it or not,” he said. “I was actually pretty short in middle school and my freshman year I grew a little bit. I didn’t really have much confidence in myself. The one thing I was always good at was I was really fast, I ran track my whole life. So when I started playing football, it kind of just came to me. I’ve always had the ability to throw because it’s just what you do at lunch when you’re younger. I got some more confidence in myself and I grew up because of football. My plan is to stay around the game for as long as I can. When that’s over, I’ll use whatever degree I get.”
What interests him?
“I will probably go into sports journalism,” he said. “My uncle is actually an announcer for the Mountain West Network, so I’m trying to follow down that path.”
Loves football. Is a versatile player. Has size, speed and athleticism? Sounds like the perfect fit for head coach Randy Edsall and the rest of the UConn football staff. With just about a week to go until signing day, it won’t be long to find out if Storrs will be Mazotti’s home for the foreseeable future.
Check out Dominick Mazotti’s highlights from his senior year at Amador Valley High School:
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