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Ligonier Valley's Bloom sticks with commitment to UConn

| Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Ligonier Valley's Alec Bloom didn't want to make a big production of his commitment to play football at the University of Connecticut on National Signing Day. Instead, he preferred a small gathering at the high school.

That simple plan was nearly derailed when inclement weather caused a school closing and Bloom and coach Roger Beitel were left scrambling to find a way to send Bloom's letter of intent. Eventually, last-minute arrangements were made to have a press conference at the closed school and Bloom's letter safely arrived in Storrs, Conn.

It was a fitting epitaph to a recruitment that pitched the 6-foot-7, 245-pound tight end a few curveballs.

Bloom committed to the Huskies in August prior to the start of the season. That was before UConn fired Paul Pasqualoni and hired Bob Diaco in his place. Further complicating matters was the increased interest of Pitt, Wake Forest and Temple during that time.

“Whenever coaching changes happen you have to consider your options,” Bloom said. “But when it came down to it, when I visited up there I knew I wanted to go there. It's such a nice campus and their facility is just amazing. It was just a matter of waiting until I could sign.”

Bloom caught 45 passes for 830 yards, but a torn meniscus caused him to miss the final three games of the season. He hopes the injury will be fully healed before the end of the school year — he even plans to be able to compete for the track and field team in the spring.

Before heading to college, Bloom has one more high school game to play in, the Big 33 Classic on June 14 at Hersheypark Stadium. Bloom is one of only two tight ends selected to the Pennsylvania squad.

After that, it's off to Storrs for Bloom, who is listed as a two-star recruit by Rivals.com. He said he is planning to compete for snaps right away, but will redshirt if necessary.

Beitel said he expects Bloom to fight for playing time.

“We didn't raise him from a pup at Ligonier Valley to shy away from competition,” he said.

Ed Phillipps is a freelance writer.

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