by Dillon Meehan
It’s February, which signifies the start of the 2017 season for Central Connecticut’s football team.
First there is national signing day, where thousands of kids across the country formally announce where they will be attending college. For the Blue Devils that number was 17. Eight of which came out of Connecticut, which was by far the most from any state.
“It was a strong class,” said Pete Rossomando head coach of the Blue Devils. “They really fit our needs the guys that we took. In the past we’ve always tried to focus on Connecticut first and then move on after that to our outlying areas. But this year was especially strong for us and kids wanted to stay close to home.”
However signing day is not the only way to improve a roster. Two seasons ago, the Blue Devils brought in Cameron Nash who transferred from West Virginia and quickly became one of the main contributors to the Blue Devils offense. This year it is Kyle Baum, a safety from Temple. Bringing in Division I talent is a great way to improve the team. But Rossomando insists they’re not bringing in kids with bad backgrounds, he does not want to cut corners in order to win.
“It’s got to be the right fit overall, the kid that we took from Temple is a 3.5 GPA pre med major. We want to make sure we get good people. It’s important to get good players I get it. Everyone wants to win, but at what costs. I got to work with these kids everyday, I want to make sure I work with good people.”
It’s going to be an important year for Rossomando, who is feeling the pressure of not meeting it up to some fans expectations.
“I’m in my fourth year here, and we haven’t necessarily turned it around the way everyone else has expected. But we want to make sure we’re doing it the right way. When I was at New Haven, I didn’t do that, when we were at Albany, we didn’t do that. We built it the right way.”
This particular Blue Devils team has the luxury of being filled with upperclassman. Having only a handful of players, Rossomando hopes to see just how good they can be with spring practices starting next month.
We’ve got a lot of guys back. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’re gonna be better but we’ve got a pretty good chance at being better,” said Rossomando of his team. “Defensively we only lost three guys that played. They’re good players, but I think we have some depth behind them that will help us. I think we’re ready to make a jump this year. We have a veteran team coming back, which is nice. They understand expectations, they understand what it takes to win in this league.”
This fall is going to see the Rossomando face off against a FBS team for the first time in his career. The Blue Devils are opening their season against Syracuse. It’s tough to face a Division I program, let alone from one of the “Power 5” conferences. Rossomando doesn’t know what to expect, but he knows it’s a huge opportunity for his team.
“I don’t know, I’ll let you know on Sept. 3,” Rossomando said with a smile. “They’re a good team, it’s just going to be fun. It’s going to be fun for our kids. It’s the Carrier Dome one of the iconic buildings in the country, specially at the college level.”
Spring practice generally starts in mid to late March, with the spring game coming in the last week of April. Stay tuned for more updates on the Blue Devils.