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January 3, 2013

UConn checking on NYC junior

UConn has tried to make a recruiting push into the New York City area in recent years, and may look to do the same in 2014. After making a play for Staten Island (N.Y.) Tottenville running back Augustus Edwards this year, the Huskies have turned their attention to his teammate, 2014 offensive lineman Ariel Amaya.

"Recruiting for me is good," said Amaya, who is 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds. "I talked to a lot of coaches, including Pitt, Miami, Syracuse, Rutgers, UConn and smaller schools like Monmouth."

Amaya attended the Rutgers camp last summer, but did not have the time to make it out to any games during the fall.

As he gets used to the recruiting attention, having Edwards nearby has been a big advantage for Amaya.

"I learned from him that hard work pays off and to follow your ambitions," he said.

Amaya became familiar with UConn during their chase of Edwards, and along the way the Huskies began to take notice of him.

"I just think that they have a great program with great coaches," he said. "I think all of the coaches are cool. They all know how to coach a team and their players."

The coaches that Amaya will encounter during his recruiting process may play a big part in his final decision.

"I'm hoping to find a school that has coaches that take care of their players and communicates with them," he said. "I'm also looking for a good community and players, and a team that wins games."

Amaya's junior season concluded with a one-point loss to Erasmus in the championship game at Yankee Stadium, but overall he was pleased with his level of play.

"I think the season was good for me, but I think I could get better. There is always room for improvement," said Amaya "The parts I want to improve this off-season are my strength and speed. I need to get a lot stronger."

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