Football | Web Update

Rocco excited about UR football team’s 13-man recruiting class

Published: February 8, 2013, 1:54 pm ET
Collegian Reporter

Richmond football coach, Danny Rocco, said on Wednesday that his 2013 recruiting class exhibited three characteristics: length, speed and versatility.

“It’s an outstanding class,” Rocco said. “It will allow us to continue to build momentum and generate some energy for the program.”

Speed was a characteristic Rocco had been satisfied with among players in certain positions when he had first joined the program, he said, but he hoped this recruiting class would add more team speed.

Two players, he said, who would help fulfill that need were Tafon Mainsah, a defensive back out of Charlotte, N.C., and Jeremiah Hamlin, a running back out of Jacksonsville, Fla.

Hamlin said he was excited about coming to Richmond next year and for the opportunities that the university would provide him.

“My mind is still blown,” Hamlin said. “But, I’ve still got to stay motivated and focused for next year.”

A combination of size and speed in the back field is something that Hamlin said he would be able to contribute to the Spiders right away.

Tall and long bodies have also been a focus, Rocco said, because he hasn’t always felt good about the size of some players on his team. He wanted recruits this year who would be more disruptive and take up more space, he said.

As for versatility, Rocco said, there were 11 of 13 recruits that he would expect to play multiple positions. It was something he said he had focused on intently and valued.

One of the two players who will not move between positions is Kyle Lauletta, a quarterback from Exton, Pa., Rocco said.

“If this were the NFL draft, Kyle Lauletta would be our first round pick,” Rocco said. “That’s how good we feel about him.”

Lauletta has great leadership qualities, intangibles and a bright future ahead of him, Rocco said.

One other characteristic of the 2013 class that impressed Rocco was the amount of high school success, he said.

A vast majority of the class, he said, had won district, county and state championships in high school. Kieran Gregory, a defensive lineman from Germantown, Md., won two regional titles and two state championships with his high school team.

Gregory said he had decided to attend Richmond for the academics, but also because of the direction the athletic program was taking.

“My goal as a student is to graduate with a degree,” Gregory said. “But, my goal as a player is to win divisions and win championships.”

The coming class comprises seven offensive players and six defensive players, numbers which should provide more balance and a bigger team roster, Rocco said.

“In the past, our roster has been somewhere in the low 80s,” Rocco said. “I’d like to see that get up to 90 players.”

Contact reporter Scott Himelein at

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