UConn an easy choice for Ligonier Valley's Bloom
TribLIVE Sports Videos
For tight end Alec Bloom, it was an easy decision to choose Connecticut. He considered what he was getting into on and off the football field, and there were no other schools that came close.
“UConn was my first choice because I went up there and worked out in front of them at a camp, and they offered me that day,” the Ligonier Valley High School senior said. “I saw what they were all about. I liked their coach (Paul Pasqualoni). He's old-fashioned.”
Bloom spurned several offers from FCS schools and gave Connecticut a verbal commitment for 2014. UConn is one of five former Big East Conference teams set to begin their first year as members of the American Athletic Conference, a newly formed league immediately eligible for the Bowl Championship Series.
Bloom hadn't decided on a major, but he said he's serious about more than just playing football at UConn.
“It's a great academic school,” he said. “If you're going to play sports, you're a student-athlete. That's what they call it. You need to be good in school before you're allowed to play. I've always tried to be the best in school and combine sports to go with it.”
The 6-foot-7, 242-pound Bloom, who caught 16 passes for 337 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior in Ligonier Valley's run-oriented offense in 2012, also had been receiving interest from other BCS schools, including Pitt and Rutgers.
In addition, there were offers from FCS schools Colgate, Lafayette and Lehigh, where former teammate Micah Tennant, an offensive lineman, is in his first season.
“It just proves you can stay at home and still find your way,” Ligonier Valley coach Roger Beitel said, citing a perception that District 6 schools may get less exposure to college coaches. “We've been able to get two of our kids full Division I scholarships the past two years, and that's a tribute to the level of football being played in the Heritage Conference.”
At least two other conference members — Penns Manor and Northern Cambria — produced full scholarship recruits to D-I schools last season.
Bloom is a three-sport athlete at District 6-AA Ligonier Valley, participating in football, basketball and track and field.
He excelled in the stretch-run of the 2012 regular-season, helping Ligonier Valley to a share of the Heritage Conference championship with Penns Manor. The Rams posted an overall record of 10-2 following a 26-12 loss to Forest Hills in the second round of the District 6 playoffs.
“He had all of his touchdown catches in the toughest games of the year down the stretch,” Beitel said. “We didn't throw the ball much early on. Alec's end-of-season films really impressed the coaches.”
Bloom also helped Ligonier Valley advance to the District 6 boys basketball playoffs, averaging 13.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and he competed in four events in his first season in track and field.
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- 2 teens charged in shooting in New Castle
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- 2014 has been among deadliest for the world’s airline industry
- Steph Chambers | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
- Morgan Stanley settles for $275M
- Smartphone coupons just one way stores aim to increase spontaneous buys
- Annual game never gets old
- Family’s reunion an opportunity to learn history of Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s land, official say
- Uber, Lyft get tentative PUC permission to operate in Allegheny County
- LaBar: John Cena leaving WWE for Hollywood?