The 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive tackle from Lakewood (OH) St. Edward already had a connection to the Jayhawks in place, thanks to newly-minted assistant coaches Rob Ianello and Ron Powlus. The duo recruited Connolly during their two-year stint at the University of Akron – a stint which ended following the 2011 season.
Upon arriving in Lawrence, Kan., Powlus remained in contact and preached patience. He advised Connolly to look at his options, and once they knew if a scholarship would come open they would get him on the horn.
"Last Friday they pulled the trigger at 4 p.m," Connolly said. "And at 8 p.m. I was on a plan to Lawrence."
The visit made an impression on the mountainous tackle, as Sunday - after discussing things over with his family - he decided it was in his best interest to become a Jayhawk.
There were a number of things that sold him on the program, Connolly said, such as the academics. During the visit, the support available to football players and the relationship between athletes and teachers impressed him a great deal.
"It's not like that at every university," he explained. "I came there and they gave me a book of phone numbers I could use to call these professors if I needed any help at all."
The coaching staff played a key factor as well.
"The vision for the program," Connolly added. "Coach Weis has a really good vision for the program and what he wants to do, how he wants to turn it around."
Last weekend's campus visit with his father was, technically, an unofficial. This weekend, Connolly will return to Lawrence with his mother in tow for his official visit.
"She's had to put up with me for 18 years," he said, laughing. "She deserves to see where I'm going and enjoy it for a weekend."