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UMass football gets six verbal commitments at recruiting clambake

The University of Massachusetts football staff’s first clambake recruiting event at McGuirk Stadium dug up six verbal commitments Sunday.

ESPN Boston reported that Jason Sylva, a linebacker from Plymouth, who is playing at Dean Junior College, and Dan DiNicola a lineman from Brookline both gave UMass verbal commitments Sunday. Both will be part of the class of 2014.

MaroonMusket.com reported that Chris Carter, a defensive end from New Jersey, Josh Smiley, a linebacker from Chicopee, Jack Wynne, a defensive end from Greenwich, Conn., and Jacob Largay, a defensive tackle from Granby, Conn., also committed.

Sylva, who originally committed to Connecticut out of Tabor Academy in Marion, instead went to Dean when he didn’t qualify. He will be a junior and have two years of eligibility remaining.

Scout had him as a three-star recruit coming out of high school, while ESPN gave him two stars.

ESPN’s assessment coming out of Tabor was as follows:

“Sylva is productive as a running back and linebacker. Has the ability to dominate on both sides of the ball at his present level of play. We feel his size and athleticism are best suited for the inside linebacker position at the major level of competition. The strong tackling skills he demonstrates should prove valuable as a special team’s coverage defender; also has a blocked punt to his credit. Is a strong upright runner with good pull through ability but lacking lateral quickness and break away speed; runs good short/medium routes demonstrating the ability to catch out of the frame.

“We detect some hip tightness when playing in space however his balance and agility are better than average; does a good job with key and diagnosis reaction skills against the run and pass; is effective playing inside out and is quick to scrape off the edge. Works to play downhill while flashing the ability to move through traffic in pursuit of the football; long makeup speed is not a strong suit. Flashes potential as an inside and edge pass rusher; uses his upper body playing strength well but lacks a dominant closing burst to the quarterback. Demonstrates good short/medium route awareness with eyes on the passer however locking up in man coverage could challenge his playing speed and athleticism. This is a tough guy who makes his presence known when he gets to the football. Sylva is a (borderline) major level prospect, worth keeping an eye on as the upcoming season unfolds.”

DiNicola is a 6-foot-6, 280-pound lineman from Brookline who will be a senior at the Dexter School. He had an offer from Old Dominion. ESPN has him listed as a two-star prospect with the following assessment:

“DiNicola has the size and athletic ability most would like for in an offensive lineman at the next level. May be a guard in college if he does not improve his quickness to be an edge protector. Improved technique and strength will increase his value. Most likely a low level Division I prospect.”

Carter is a 6-foot-4, 258-pound defensive end from Bridgewater, N.J. He had interest from AAC, Big 10 and ACC schools and offers from Miami (Ohio) and Monmouth.

He tweeted his commitment just after 6 p.m.

“Thank you family, friends and coaches that helped me make it. University of Massachusetts football ‘18 !!! #UMass #Minutemen, #FBS”

He’s one of at least seven players in the class of 2014 to be named Chris or Kris Carter.

Smiley, who is from western Mass. but attends the Pomfret School, is a 6-foot-5, 225-pound linebacker. According to Rivals.com, he has offers from Boston College, Connecticut and Virginia and has also received some recruiting interest as a basketball player.

Wynne, a 6-foot-4 defensive end, had interest from BC, UConn, Iowa, Maryland and Penn State according to Rivals.com.

Largay is a 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive tackle whose progress hasn’t been covered by the major recruiting sites to date.

The six commitments gives UMass 11 for the class of 2014.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage .

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