UMass Football Signing Day: What you need to know about the Minutemen heading into the 2021 season

Minutemen have one open slot remaining for this year’s class

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Parker Peters

Parker Peters/ Daily Collegian

By Joey Aliberti, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts football team landed eight more signees on National Signing Day, bringing its total to 23 for the 2021 recruiting class.

One of the most notable additions was Colorado-transfer Tyler Lytle. Lytle threw only 13 passes in his three years in Colorado, completing eight of them for 68 yards along with an interception. With only two years of eligibility left, Lytle makes for an interesting addition to a UMass team that started two freshmen last year in Will Koch and Garrett Dzuro, while also bringing in Brady Olson.

“He had four or five other FBS opportunities,” said head coach Walt Bell. “He’s a high academic kid, so being at a place like UMass can benefit him in terms of graduate school appealing to him. And to know he’s immediately going to have an opportunity to compete for a job is also appealing to him.”

Year one and two of Bell’s recruiting classes were highlighted by nearly all high school recruits, where this year sees Bell and his staff bring in seven transfers.

“Now there’s going to be a wealth of experience, which is going to create two things,” Bell said. “Number one, a little bit of leadership and, number two, it’s going to create great competition. You’re going to have to earn the right to be on the field as opposed to our first year here where if you were around, you were going to be on the field on gameday.”

With the arrival of numerous seasoned transfers, Bell and his staff have the flexibility to recruit players that have a lot of untapped potential.

“A lot of it has to do with what physical traits you see that they have and how they’re going to fit into a system one, two and three years down the road.” Bell said. “A great example is Aquan Robinson. Aquan is 6-foot-5 and a half, 250 pounds and very easily could be a 285–290-pound man… if he can carry it, now all the sudden, we got a really large, physical [defensive end].”

Robinson is the lowest rated prospect in this Minutemen recruiting class, and one of their four two-star recruits.

With 23 players signed and the 24th spot expected to go to punter commit Tom Weston, UMass is left with one open slot left in its 2021 recruiting class. With the departures of starting tackles Larnel Coleman (draft) and Brian Abosi (transfer), it will almost certainly be an offensive lineman to fulfill that final slot.

The Minutemen will head into spring football with 13 defensive players, 12 offensive and two specialists in this recruiting/transfer class.

The next seven weeks will provide for “clanging and banging” in the weight room until Tuesday, March 23, when spring football officially begins.

Joey Aliberti can be reached via email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JosephAliberti1.