John F. Silver
McQuillan, a sophomore from Glastonbury, took a pass in the flat and when he turned up field collided with a corner back Taylor Mack. McQuillan fell to the ground and rolled on his stomach. McQuillan, who had movement of his legs and fingers, did not stand up and the UConn training staff stabilized him on a head board and called the paramedics.
McQuillan, who was conscious throughout, was taken to Windham Hospital.
“It kind of puts a damper on the day. Fortunately, he is wiggling everything and I am optimistic he will be OK,” head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “He was responding and talking and he is in great care. You just don’t like seeing that.”
McQuillan had his eye on the pass and never braced for Mack’s hit. Mack broke on the ball and it’s a collision that is common in football.
“When you are playing that type of coverage and that player has that type of zone and he is breaking on it, he’s playing the ball more than the guy,” Pasqualoni said. “Often times you don’t see the guy. It’s always been part of it. That’s the kind of stuff you never want to see.”
The sight of an ambulance coming on the practice field is certainly a sobering reality check for many of the UConn players. Practice continued with McQuillan lying on the field and when he lifted into the ambulance his teammates were surrounding him and giving him words of encouragement.
“It’s very emotional moment,” safety Ty-Meer Brown said. “First of all, we wish the best for him. You get that feeling running through your body. It could be anybody, me, or anybody on the field.”
Linebacker Yawin Smallwood said that players play the game knowing that something like that could happen.
It’s definitely tough,” Smallwood said. “He’s a teammate and a great friend. It’s always hard when tough plays like that happen. It’s something we are accustomed to. Injuries are a part of the game.”
McQuillan was the leader in the pack for the No. 1 tight end for the Huskies and had impressed with his receiving ability.
His condition was not immediately available but UConn is expected to provide an update some point on Saturday.
The Huskies are also in the midst of two-a-days and will be having a second practice of the day starting at 3 p.m.