ESPN's Roger Brown checks in today on the East Recruiting Blog with BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Avon Old Farms (Conn.) wideout/defensive back John Van Allen, who both received offers over the weekend from UMass.
The offers were made following the program's Junior Day on campus, and are also the first scholarship offer for both players.
“It was definitely a good feeling to get that first offer in the books,” Van Allen said. “They didn't tell me specifically what position, but I got a strong feeling it was as a safety.
“UMass is an up-and-coming school at the Division I level. They're joining the MAC and it looks like they have a bright future. I can definitely see them as one of my options. They showed interest in me and I appreciate that.”
Van Allen said he plans to take an unofficial visit to Connecticut on Feb. 25 and an unofficial visit to Duke on March 31.
O'Neil said UMass coach Charley Molnar told him the school is committed to landing the best players from Massachusetts.
“He told me they believe the core part of their team can be the top players in Massachusetts,” O'Neil said. “He said he believes there's a great base of talent here in the state.”
Molnar first heard about O'Neil from Shane Waldron, a former assistant coach at BB&N who is now on the UMass staff.
O'Neil said he plans to attend a junior day at Duke next month. He has attended a junior day and a game at Boston College, and a game at Notre Dame.
“The tour of the [UMass] campus was good and the offer was exciting, but it's too early to speculate where I might end up right now,” O'Neil said.
Brown also reports that the Minutemen have also extended an offer to BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, while Rutgers becomes the ninth school to extend an offer to Everett offensive tackle John Montelus. In the last week, Montelus has seen offers pour in from Florida, West Virginia and Michigan, in addition to the Scarlet Knights.