Bardzak Hopes to Give UConn Some Pop

The first few practices for any college athlete can be a period of transition. It's a time of unknown, a constant struggle to find your level of comfort within a new area of surroundings. For Gary Bardzak, the switch was easy.

After flirting with different Division one programs throughout the east coast, Bardzak picked UConn, joining coach Randy Edsall's Husky program; a unit many people seem to think is on the brink of something special.

"Coach Edsall: He's easy to get along with," Bardzak added.

A 6-foot-3, 283 pound offensive lineman, Bardzak worked out in Storrs with several college athletes and coaches. Unlike other high school athletes, he found his first workouts at the college level to be very similar to what he experienced at Pottsville Area high school in Pennsylvania.

"The camp aspect is not too much different from the way our high school runs things," Bardzak said. "Our coaches go to college seminars and stuff like that. Just recently, our staff went to a conference at Pitt, so things aren't that much different"

Although he still has one year of high school football left, Bardzak feels comfortable with his choice, choosing the Huskies over Pitt, Syracuse, and others.

"It's hard to explain, but my gut feeling told me to go to UConn," Bardzak added. "It's a beautiful place -- I really liked the new facilities that they built, and I think they're going to be real good the next few years. The coaching staff was easy to get along with."

In addition to having a chance to contribute right away for the Huskies, Bardzak likes the closeness of the Storrs campus, located right in the heart of the Northeast.

"It's a good distance away," Bardzak added. "I don't mind it; it's like five hours away."

Now all he has to do is have a strong senior season and be ready to go when Edsall and the rest of Husky nation comes calling in the fall of 2007.

"I just have to go out there and play my best," Bardzak said. "I want to get stronger and hopefully get some playing time"

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