Staples’ Fitton to play football for UConn
WESTPORT — At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Staples High School rising senior Ryan Fitton is the prototypical college prospect at the tight end position. The interest predictably began flooding in after a breakout sophomore campaign, and intensified after his junior season.
Multiple offers arrived over the last several months, including one that afforded him the opportunity to play in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and remain close to his Connecticut roots.
Fitton finalized his college plans over the holiday weekend by announcing his commitment to the University of Connecticut. Fitton becomes the first football player from Staples to play for UConn since Sean Mulachy (2001-2004), and just the second in the long tenure of head coach Marce Petroccio.
“I’m very excited, UConn was always high on my list,” Fitton said. “I’m happy to stay home and play big time legit football. Coach (Bob) Diaco is doing great things up there. I loved the facilities and it’s just a perfect situation.”
Fitton received the offer from the Huskies in April and took the last several months to contemplate the choice, as well as feel out interest from other FBS schools. UConn first contacted Petroccio in January about Fitton, who attended the school’s Junior Day with an offer in hand.
“It can be stressful at times but in the end I know Ryan made the right decision,” Petroccio said. “He had a lot of opportunities, but he had a great comfort level with UConn; their coaches were fantastic. It’s all going to work out and it’s a great thing for our program and for the Fitton family.”
Operating in the Wreckers’ run-heavy offense, Fitton caught 22 passes for 79 yards and a pair of touchdowns in seven games last year. Fitton had a pair of monster games last season — a six-catch, 85-yard effort against Stamford and five catches for 97 yards against Ridgefield — as Staples went 7-3 to reach the state playoffs.
A formidable blocker and first team All-FCIAC and Class LL All-State punter, Fitton’s contributions went far beyond pass-catching, something that may translate to the next level. UConn utilities a ground-and-pound, two-tight end approach with multiple running backs.
“They think I can have a great career there,” Fitton said. “They use two tight ends which is great for me. Hopefully I can get on the field early. I feel like I really fit in there; it’s a great place and a great school.”
A standout pitcher on the mound, Fitton has a no-hitter and one-hitter to his resume. He noted a two-touchdown performance during a Thanksgiving Day win over Greenwich opened his eyes toward playing on Saturdays.
“(UConn) is getting a kid who has the ability to change a game,” Petroccio said. “He has great hands, is a great blocker and hard worker on and off the field. He is a great student academically and he wants to win.”
Fitton will serve as one of the captains for Staples this fall and both player and coach are excited to see what he can deliver before trading the Wrecker blue for Husky blue.
“We’re really counting on Ryan to have a great year,” Petroccio said. “He’s worked hard to get himself into football shape. He’s a leader, he along with the other seniors; this is a special group.”
“I’m super excited to go out there with my brothers, have a good senior year and play under the lights,” Fitton said. “The goal is to win an FCIAC and state championship; I think we can do it this year because we return a lot of guys and we’re a lot more experienced.”