Hand rising senior Jack Driscoll has given a verbal commitment to play at UMass. The 6-foot-4, 245 pound offensive tackle said he informed the UMass coaching staff of his decision on Wednesday.
Driscoll attended the annual “clam bake” held at UMass last weekend and was impressed with both the coaching staff and facilities. Former University of New Haven coach Mark Whipple begins his second stint as head coach at UMass this fall. Whipple led the Minutemen to the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 1998.
UMass finished 1-11 in each of the last two seasons.
“I think the coaches are serious about making changes for the better,” Driscoll said. “I just thought the program was going in the right direction, and I felt like it was the best choice for me.”
Driscoll said he also received offers from Holy Cross, New Hampshire, Brown and Army. Driscoll has yet to plan his official visit to UMass. Recruits cannot make an official visit until their high school begins classes after summer break.
Driscoll said he wanted to make a decision about his future plans before the season begins.
“I thought if I committed early, I could put it behind me and get ready to play this season,” Driscoll said.
Hand, which went 8-4 and advanced to the Class L state quarterfinals last season, opens its 2014 campaign against defending Class L champion New Canaan at home at the Surf Club on Sept. 12. The Tigers are expected to be one of the state’s top teams this season.
New Canaan defeated Hand in the season opener for both teams last year.
“It could be a very special team,” Driscoll said. “Our schedule is extremely difficult, but we feel we have the pieces to have a great team.”