The St. Thomas football team flew to San Diego on Friday as they appear to go 2-0 in the Pioneer Football League. But early feedback on the Tommies’ first recruiting class of Division I players suggests there are still plenty of sunny days to come.
Tight end Aiden Carlson, right guard Shea Albrecht and nose tackle Jordan Titus have started this season. Left tackle Alec Rasmussen and cornerback Yusef Leak took over last week in the win over Butler.
Additionally, left guard Langston Robinson, wide receiver Andrew McElroy and running back Shawn Shipman all saw significant playing time for the Tommies (2-1).
âI think our coaches did a good job of not just bringing them in early, but keeping the systems pretty simple in some situations,â said St. Thomas head coach Glenn Caruso. “So even if they don’t understand the whole scheme, we can take what this player can do and let him play.”
Caruso considers the 6-foot-4, 318-pound Albrecht to be the most polite rookie on the team.
âHe arrived on Day 1 ready to contribute,â Caruso said. “All we had to do was teach him the offense.”
Albrecht is a Power 5 talent, Caruso said, and the type of rookie the Tommies can’t expect to land on a regular basis.
âIf a kid is completely polite, the chances of us having him against a Power 5 school are limited,â Caruso said. “But if we can take a guy like McElroy or Carlson and develop them and grow, that generally bodes pretty well for us.”
At 227 pounds, Carlson will continue to add to his 6-4 frame, but Caruso said he has already shown his ability to block and catch the ball.
Leak, a native of Orlando, Fla., Began his high school career as a wide receiver and running back before moving to the corner as a junior. He took the job.
âI like taking the best player off the other team,â he said.
Leak is a good size for a cornerback at 6-1 and has already added eight pounds after hitting 172 pounds.
Titus (6-1, 303 pounds) is more than a running executioner, Caruso said, highlighting his speed and athleticism.
The 6-6, 288-pound Rasmussen earned the highest rating among the Tommies’ offensive linemen against Butler, Caruso said.
âI think I did a really good job,â said Rasmussen. âThe coach (Jeff Duvenbeck) did a really good job preparing me. He helped me do the little things well, and on Saturday it showed.
A few dozen rookies were at O’Shaughnessy Stadium last Saturday to watch the Tommies win their home debut. Caruso has a good idea of ââthe type of student-athlete who came out in awe.
âThere are three common threads in our recruiting,â said Caruso. âA kid who loves his team, a kid who has played several sports, and we have a disproportionate number of coach kids. There are 56 kids on the list whose fathers trained them in high school.
âI think the kids of the coaches are drawn to the type of program we run.
Winning also helps. San Diego is 0-4, including a loss to Davidson last week in its first conference game. But Caruso was impressed with what he saw of the Toreros on the tape.
âThey’re going to test us in the passing game,â Caruso said. âThey play with a lot of staff groups, which you don’t see a lot. They have a very talented quarterback who is able to push the ball vertically. ”
Defense is also a team force. San Diego is coached by Dale Lindsey, a former NFL linebacker and defensive coordinator.