- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
A small town in Connecticut has made the state the center of the sports universe. The ESPN studios in Bristol have put the state in everyone's sports vocabulary. But now that the Hartford Whalers are long gone, there were few things in the state that one could associate with sports, outside of ESPN and UConn basketball. That's quickly changing.
Those who know football know that one of the fastest rising teams in the Division I ranks is the UConn football program that just joined the Big East. While Connecticut and Rhode Island aren't major producers of football talent, they are states that cannot be overlooked. Every good recruiter knows that you cannot leave any stone unturned, and it is in states like these where you can find a diamond in the rough. NFL players like Hall of Fame QB Steve Young, linebacker Bill Romanowski and DE Dwight Freeney are from Connecticut, and players with that type of ability will again be found for those willing to look.
Rhode Island and Connecticut have produced NFL stars like Steve Young, Dwight Freeney and Bill Romanowski.