Breaking down UConn’s 2022 football recruiting class ahead of signing day

Bristol Central's Victor Rosa breaks a tackle during a football game between Plainville and Bristol Central at Plainville High School, Plainville on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Bristol Central's Victor Rosa breaks a tackle during a football game between Plainville and Bristol Central at Plainville High School, Plainville on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021.

Pete Paguaga / Hearst Connecticut

UConn football coach Jim Mora has made headway on the recruiting trail during his first month on the job, connecting with existing Class of 2022 commits and building relationships with new ones.

While he still has work to do, Mora can exhale a bit Wednesday.

The day marks the beginning of the NCAA’s early signing period, which runs through Friday. The Huskies expect at least 11 players to ink their letters of intent, with the potential for more uncommitted prospects to announce they’re headed to Storrs. Five of those recruits are enrolled in Connecticut schools, including Bristol Central’s Victor Rosa, the Gatorade State Player of the Year.

There will be another signing day on Feb. 2.

Here’s a closer look at the (soon-to-be) newest Huskies.

Donovan Branch, DE, Foundation Academy (Winter Garden, Fla.): Originally decommitted from UConn in October following Randy Edsall’s abrupt retirement, only to re-up his pledge under Mora. Three-star recruit rated by 247Sports as the top prospect in the Huskies class. Ranked 65th nationally at his position. Other FBS offers included Army, Central Michigan, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Navy and Syracuse.

D’Mon Brinson, DB, Dillard (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.): Athletic cornerback at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds. Rated a two-star recruit by 247Sports. Also had an offer from South Carolina.

Kylish Hicks, ATH, Mergenthaler Vo-Tech (Baltimore): Versatile athlete started at both wide receiver and safety. Helped his team win a state championship in 2021. Also was offered by Kent State and Old Dominion, along with several FCS schools.

Justin Joly, WR, Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.): Big target in the passing game at 6-4, 215-pounds. Named Offensive MVP of the New York State Catholic High School Athletic Association championship game. For the season, had 67 catches for 1,033 yards and 10 touchdowns. Flipped commitment from Delaware.

Denzel Mountali, TE, Loomis Chaffee (Vancouver, British Columbia): Canadian product saw time at tight end, defensive end, and linebacker for Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor. Also had offers from Marshall and Yale, among others.

Ben Murawski, OL, St. Thomas More (Harleysville, Pa.): A massive presence at 6-7, 320 pounds. Was a team captain for St. Thomas More in Oakdale.

Timothy Passmore, DT, Cocoa (Cocoa, Fla.): Big body at 6-3, 290 pounds. Had 42 tackles, 10 for loss, and three sacks in 12 games. Was the first player in UConn’s class to commit, announcing on June 10.

Victor Rosa, dual-threat QB, Bristol Central (Bristol): Dynamic offensive athlete at 5-11, 187 pounds, rushed for 2,728 yards and 41 touchdowns in 11 games. Poised to be the first Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year to play for UConn since Casey Cochran. Will join the program as a running back but may also see snaps at slot receiver. Also had FBS offers from Air Force, Army, Boston College, Navy and UMass.

Derek Spearman, DB, Loomis Chaffee (Cornelius, N.C.): The first recruit landed by Mora. Three-star safety rated No. 124 at his position by 247Sports. Other FBS offers included Purdue, Miami, Nebraska, and UMass. UConn is also pursuing his brother Jaiden, a Loomis Chaffee safety in the Class of 2024.

Nathan Voorhis, DE, Stroudsburg (Stroudsburg, Pa.): Like Branch, had reopened his recruitment in October. Changed his mind again following an official visit to Storrs earlier this month. Rangy athlete at 6-4, 230 pounds.

Brady Wayburn, OL, Loomis Chaffee (Gastonia, N.C.): Imposing figure at 6-6, 290 pounds. Was a team captain. Rated a three-star recruit and the No. 9 prospect in Connecticut by 247Sports.; @DougBonjour