UMass Recruiting 2017: Junior Day Visits

Today (Sunday February 21st) the Minutemen are hosting a New England area Junior Day for local prospects they’ve identified as potential recruitment candidates for the 2017 cycle. The list of visitors is almost exclusively from Massachusetts and Connecticut with one exception from New Jersey.

Here’s the list of players scheduled to be on campus Sunday, per sources:


Kevin Mensah, ATH, Worcester (Holy Name) [Hudl]

Austin Burton, QB, Newton (Newton South) [Hudl]

Noah Gray, ATH, Leominster (Leominster) [Hudl]

EJ Perry, QB, Andover (Andover) [Hudl]

Coreese Everett, WR/DB, Springfield (Springfield Central) [Hudl]

Tank Walker, ATH, Springfield (Springfield Central) [Hudl]

Jake Byczko, TE/DE (Lawrence Academy) [Hudl]

Travis Demby, WR/DB, Nantucket (Nantucket) [Hudl]

Mehki Henderson, DB, Cumberland, RI (Xaverian) [Hudl]

Allan Rappleyea, OL, (Milton Academy) [Hudl]

Ifeatu Melifonwu, ATH, Grafton (Grafton) [Hudl]


CJ Lewis, QB, (Cheshire Academy) [Hudl]

Griffin Burke, LB/TE, (Cheshire Academy) [Hudl]

Hunter Verdi, OL, (Cheshire Academy) [Hudl]

Zach Verdi, LB/DE, (Cheshire Academy) [Hudl]

Seth Willis, OL, Newtown (Newtown) [Hudl]

Ben Mason, LB, Sandy Hook (Newtown) [Hudl]

Niam Coward, OLB, East Haven (East Haven) [Hudl]

Andrew Stueber, OL, Darien (Darien) [Hudl]

New Jersey-

JP Roane, WR/DB, Williamstown (Deptford) [Hudl]


Highlighting this list for Minutemen fans are Austin Burton, Kevin Mensah, Noah Gray, CJ Lewis, and Ben Mason.

As the only player on this list to hold a UMass offer, Burton is certainly one of, if not the top target among the attendees today. He’s still a little raw but had great numbers as a junior and is starting to pick up more and more interest. UMass is his only offer at the moment but that won’t last for long.

Mensah is a good athlete playing in an archaic offense, but his skill should translate well to the next level whether he comes in as a RB or a DB. Will be interesting to see how UMass handles his recruitment going forward and if an offer is in the cards at some point.

Gray is a very nice player coming out of Leominster High. A QB for the Blue Devils, he might end up moving to a spot like WR at the next level. He’s a guy on the top of my list as a local player for 2017, he’d be great in Amherst; he’ll need to show that athleticism off in this upcoming senior year. He’s going to have several offers to choose from before it’s all said and done.

CJ Lewis is an interesting QB prospect out of CT, holding an offer from UConn. He’s a dual-threat QB with some serious athletic ability, though he’s certainly not the traditional QB that you might see in a Mark Whipple pro-style offense. But it’s not about tradition, it’s about results, and Lewis can certainly deliver those. I would put UConn clearly in front for his services though.

Ben Mason is a big name that UMass has not offered though I imagine they have plans to if they are having him visit today. He’s got offers from some big programs like Cal, Rutgers, and Duke along with Syracuse, BC, UConn, Army, and Temple. He’s a prototypical linebacker, the kind that just makes plays. Ideal size, speed, athleticism at the position, he’d be a huge get as a strong 3-star if UMass were to land him (but they have to offer first).

There are some other interesting attendees today as well. Byczko plays at powerhouse Lawrence Academy and just visited BC for their Junior Day yesterday (as did CJ Lewis). Melifonwu has offers from BC and UConn and has two brothers playing college ball. Perry and Rappleyea have a handful of FCS offers apiece. Henderson is an interesting story, commuting every day from Rhode Island to play for the powerhouse Hawks.

I’ll follow along today with social media to see how these kids are enjoying the trip, so keep an eye on my feed for updates today.


Go U.


One thought on “UMass Recruiting 2017: Junior Day Visits”

  1. Would like to see Umass grab some of these Conn kids, especially one or two from Cheshire. Nice to make in roads there while kicking dirt on UConn


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