Diaco will turn to Davis, Jones

Byron Jones, Ryan Donohue, Spencer Wilkins, Obi Melifonwu

 

John F. Silver

NEWPORT, R.I. — UConn head football coach Bob Diaco isn’t someone to mince words.

The first time head coach knows what he has to work with, has an idea about what the teams strengths and weaknesses are and believes there is a lot of work to be done.

The Huskies were picked ninth in the preseason media poll, just four points out of last place.

Why?

The Huskies go into camp with an unsure quarterback position, an offensive line that has little experience and even less depth, and a running back position that is going to have a redshirt freshman step in with three other true freshmen possible.

Diaco knows this. But he also knows there are some pieces to work with, namely his two guests at American Athletic Conference Media Day in Byron Jones and Geremy Davis.  To read more of this story, click here

UConn football: QB, OL up for grabs

John F. Silver

NEWPORT, R.I. — It’s going to change in the next couple of weeks, but UConn and head coach Bob Diaco gave a first public look at a working depth chart.

There were few surprises going into camp with quarterback up for grabs this camp, but Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer favorites for the job and Tim Boyle perhaps a tiny step behind.

On the offensive line, LT Richard Levy, C Alex Mateas and RG Tyler Samra are locked in on the line with LG Zach Rugg and Gus Cruz battling it out. At RT, Andreas Knappe and Dalton Gifford are in a battle for that spot. Knappe was converted from defensive line to offensive line this spring and has made rapid progress. Offensive line remains the biggest issue on the team with experience hard to come by.

“Offensive line is a different animal,” UConn head coach Bob Diaci said. “There isn’t many who have played competitive winning football games. they are getting better. I would say that is one position to see in their pads and see the growth.

 

Here’s the Depth Chart:

LT Richard Levy/Thomas Hopkins

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UConn picked ninth in American

John F. Silver

NEWPORT, R.I. — UConn was picked to finish in a tie for ninth in the preseason American Athletic Conference media poll released on Tuesday morning at media day in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Huskies, coming off a 3-9 year, are tabbed with Tulane for ninth in the 11-team league with 98 points. Tulsa is picked last with 94 points.

Cincinnati is picked as the league champion garnering 17 of 30 first place votes and 311 points. Defending champion UCF is second with 296 points and seven first place votes while Houston is third with 268 points and six first place votes.

Here’s the full poll:

1. Cincinnati              (17)    311

2. UCF                             (7)    296

3. Houston                      (6)   268

4. East Carolina                      262

5. SMU                                        158

6. USF                                         157

7. Memphis                               133

8. Temple                                   105

9. UConn                                       98

9. Tulane                                       98

11. Tulsa                                        94

Genesis of a QB recruit

John F. Silver

Bryant Shirreffs was transferring from N.C. State and eyeing a lot of the places who wanted him before.

Bryant Shirreffs transferred to UConn on Monday.

There were the Ivy League schools such as Yale and others. There was Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State. Temple was looming.

The choice was coming. There was a chance to play major FBS football, or, get an education at an elite school.

For Shirreffs, it was a going to be a tough call to make.

Then UConn called, out of nowhere.

That’s how things happen in the summer on the football equivalent of the free agent market.

In a flash Shirreffs got the best of both worlds as far as he’s concerned and UConn took care of an acute need on the roster that had to be filled immediately.

After a visit last week to UConn, and meeting with head coach Bob Diaco, Shirreffs was sold.

Two weeks ago the Huskies weren’t looking for a transfer quarterback and Shirreffs was at N.C. State. To read more of this story, click here

Huskies add QB transfer Shirreffs

John F. Silver

UConn fortified their quarterback position on Monday with N.C. State transfer Bryant Shirreffs committing to the Huskies.  /sny-editorial]

Shirreffs

Shirreffs will have to sit out the 2015 season, but will have three years of eligibility after that.

Shirrefs helps bolster a quarterback unit that was down to senior Chandler Whitmer and sophomores Casey Cochran and Tim Boyle after Kivon Taylor left the program earlier this month.

He slots nicely into the quarterback position.

Next year, UConn would lose Whitmer but would have Cochran and Boyle returning as well as incoming 2015 recruit Tyler Davis of North Bellmore, New York.

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Commit No. 11: John Robinson, Englewood, N.J.

John F. Silver

UConn picked up a corner commitment for the second straight day with Englewood, New Jersey prospect John V. Robinson out of Dwight Morrow High School.  

Robinson is a tall corner — 6-2, 185-pounds — and joins Aaron Garland, who committed on Friday.

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Commit #10: CB Aaron Garland, Oak Park, Illinois

John F. Silver

UConn picked up its 10th commit of the 2015 class on Friday, and this time went out of the footprint nabbing Oak Park, Illinois cornerback Aaron Garland.  

Garland is 6-0, 185-pounds and had nine scholarship offers and also interest from Big 10 schools.  Garland plays for Fenwick High and is now the 10th member of the class for the Huskies. This one is much different than the other nine for the Huskies. UConn’s first nine recruits were all from the Northeast footprint from New Jersey and up North into New England. This recruit comes from the heartland as the Huskies went out to the Greater Chicago area and plucked Garland from the Midwest.Garland announced the news on his twitter account.

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Commit No. 9: OLB Nazir Williams


 

John F. Silver

UConn picked up its ninth commit on Thursday with New Jersey LB Nazir Williams giving a verbal commitment.

Williams is a 6-4, 225-pound linebacker out of New Jersey, the third recruit from the state for the Huskies with Ben Hartwick and Ian Campbell earlier commits.

Williams is listed as a WR/LB, but is going to be a linebacker at UConn.

Here’s UConn’s recruiting class so far:

2015 commits

QB: Tyler Davis (6-4)

DT: Kevin Murphy (6-2)

OLB Connor Freeborn (6-4)

DE Phillipe Okunam (6-4)

FS Marshe Terry (6-4)

TE Ben Hartwick (6-6)

WR Aaron McLean (6-6)

TE Ian Campbell (6-5)

LB Nazir Williams (6-4

Commit No. 8: N.J. TE Ian Campbell

John F. Silver

The Huskies are continuing to hit the pavement on the recruiting trail as the school picked up its eighth commitment this month with 6-foot-5 TE Ian Campbell of Pequamnock Township (Pompton Plains, N.J.)

Campbell is a big receiving target and is listed as a TE/WR, but will be a tight end at UConn. He’s the second tight end of this class for the Huskies, who have little depth at the position.

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