With the NCAA basketball tournament set to begin Saturday in Charlotte, a recruiting drive to find quarterbacks for the next batch of recruits is underway.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Nick Saban reported Monday that the UConn Huskies are the first team to announce a QB recruit.
According to Schefter, the Huskies announced the signing of QB Tyler Murphy on Monday.
Murphy is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound redshirt junior who played quarterback at UConn from 2013-15.
The 6-3, 210-pounder also played linebacker and wide receiver for UConn in 2015 and 2016.
Schefter also reported that the Wolverines also have signed a pair of other QBs to fill the void left by Murphy.
One of those is a 7-foot, 190-pound prospect named Kevin Gannon, a 6:04-second passer who also plays quarterback.
The other is a 5-foot 8, 215-pound, 5-star prospect who was a four-star recruit by Rivals.com in May.
Both Gannon and Murphy are expected to compete for a starting job in 2018.
Gannon’s decision to sign with UConn comes on the heels of UConn signing QB Brandon Harris earlier this month.
Harris will join the Husky roster for the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Scheper also reported on Tuesday that the Huskers are one of four teams that will begin the season with two QBs on the roster.
Two other teams, UConn and Georgia Tech, also have three QBs.
UConn QB Kevin Gorman (center) and Georgia QB Zach Mettenberger (right) are the only other quarterbacks to sign in 2017.
The Huskies, who had two of the three most talented quarterbacks in the country, lost four starters to graduation and have lost seven other players in the last four recruiting classes.
A key to UConn’s success in recruiting has been the team’s ability to develop high-quality passers in the past two years.
Under Brian Kelly and coach Chris Ash, Uconn has developed an elite quarterback class.
The 2016 recruiting class ranked in the top 20 nationally in total offense, scoring, passing yards and touchdowns.
In 2017, the group averaged a total of 5,621.8 yards passing per game.
In 2018, the UMass program led the nation in total passing yards per game with 3,819.7 yards per contest.
UMass also led the Big East in passing yards in 2017 with 3.86 yards per pass attempt.
Last year, the offense averaged 2,918.6 yards passing and 2,086.7 rushing per game, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
UMich, meanwhile, has been a top-10 offense for three consecutive seasons and was No. 2 nationally in both passing and total offense last year.
This year, UMich has been ranked No. 1 in both scoring and total scoring in the Big Ten and No. 4 in both the Associated Press Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25.
UM, meanwhile was ranked No to the top 25 nationally in scoring, scoring efficiency and rushing offense last season.
A few other factors have helped UConn land Murphy: a 6’4″ senior who was an All-Big Ten performer in 2016 and 2015, and a quarterback who is listed at 6-2, 230 pounds.
Murphy played in 13 games for the Husker defense in 2016.
The sophomore is the highest-ranked quarterback to sign for UMass in the 247Composite rankings.
Last season, Murphy led UMass with 1,826 yards passing with 21 touchdowns, and added 1,922 yards rushing with 22 touchdowns.
The junior also led UConn with 7,878 total yards passing, while also rushing for 1,093 yards.
Murphy was a three-year starter for the U.S. Army All-American football team and the All-Mountain West Conference team in 2015.
The 5-10, 195-pound Murphy also ran for 1 and rushed for 34 yards in 2016’s win over Montana State.
M also signed two other quarterbacks, including a 6–3, 190–pound prospect out of Miami.
The former Miami (FL) standout has been recruited by UConn as well as UMass.
UMB has also added a pair more quarterbacks to its roster: a 5–8, 185-pound sophomore out of West Virginia, and an 6–2, 215–pound sophomore from North Carolina.
Murphy has also been mentioned as a possibility for UMIk in the 2018 class.
Last September, Murphy committed to play at UMIlick (Mich.)
University and signed a letter of intent to play for the school.
UMIiks head coach Chris Buescher is also a former UConn quarterback and currently is a defensive coordinator for the Mountaineers.
The recruiting cycle will be filled with two quarterbacks,