UConn could be in some serious trouble. After a long investigation by the NCAA, Yahoo! is reporting that the NCAA has found “multiple violations” and a report will be issued soon. Click below to read the rest of the Yahoo! article.
Monthly Archives: April 2010
On Saturday, two former UConn Huskies heard their names called during the 2010 NFL Draft. Receiver Marcus Easley, 4th round by the Buffalo Bills, and defensive back Robert McClain, 7th round by the Carolina Panthers, became NFL Draft picks. It was the second year in a row UConn has had multiple players drafted.
While Easley and McClain had their names called on national television, six other Huskies didn’t have that pleasure, but that doesn’t mean their NFL hopes are over. Andre Dixon, Desi Cullen, Lindsey Witten, Mike Hicks, Dan Ryan, and Robbie Vaughn, will all head into a NFL Rookie Camp.
Desi Cullen signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears. He has a great chance at making the roster due to the fact the Bears have an aging punter in Brad Maynard.
Lindsey Witten has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Witten, who many thought would be drafted, will go into camp with a chip on his shoulder and will be ready to prove himself.
Robbie Vaughn signed with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.
Mike Hicks, Dan Ryan, and Andre Dixon will all attend NFL Rookie Mini Camps, but they will attend on a tryout basis. This means they have not signed a contract, but will be given the chance to prove themselves and earn a NFL contract. Hicks will attend the Detroit Lions camp, while Ryan will head down to South Florida and tryout with the Miami Dolphins.
Dixon is an interesting story. A player who has had an up-and-down career, continued that trend this past weekend. Many experts expected Dixon, who was the MVP of the Papa Johns.com Bowl back in January, to be drafted. Once he didn’t hear his name, he was hoping to get a contract as an undrafted free agent…well that didn’t happen either, even though someone had reported that he had signed with the Steelers. He didn’t sign with anyone and will now head to the New York Giants camp on the tryout basis.
UConn seniors Marcus Easley and Robert McClain were both drafted on Saturday during the third day of the 2010 NFL Draft. Easley, a wide receiver from Stratford, Connecticut, was drafted in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills as the 107th overall pick. Robert McClain, a defensive back from Lusby, Maryland, was picked by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round as the 249th overall pick.
Easley has the chance to play early for the Bills, who have little receiver depth. McClain will go into the season looking for time as a punt returner and at nickel back.
Easley was very excited to have been given the opportunity to play at the next level. He told Hartford Courant reporter Dez Conner, “Somebody took me and is giving me an opportunity to play professional football,” Marcus Easley just said. “Whether it was yesterday, today or another day I’m grateful.”
While Easley and McClain got the joy of hearing their name called during the Draft, a few Huskies who had hoped to be picked, were not as lucky. Running back Andre Dixon and defensive end Lindsey Witten were both expected to be selected during the draft, however their names were never called. While it was dissapointing for the two former Huskies, it doesn’t mean their hopes of a NFL career are over. Both will sign free-agent contracts with a team and will be in a NFL Camp sometime soon.
Since Mid-February rumors have been spreading about the Big Ten and it’s desire to expand. The Big Ten currently has 11 teams(I know, it doesn’t make sense), and is looking to expand to at least 12 teams, possibly more.
The Big Ten, which is a history rich league, has a few schools on its radar that they might be looking at for expansion. Let’s take a look at a few of the schools:
- The number one school that is on the conference’s list is of course Notre Dame, who makes the most sense, but Notre Dame refuses to give in and join a conference. The Fighting Irish have been independent and can afford to do so due to their lucrative television contract with NBC. Their national following puts them at a different level then other schools. My guess, along with many experts, is that Notre Dame doesn’t give in, and remains independent.
-The next few schools all offer similar things to the Big Ten. Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn all have a Northeast following, which is something that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wants. All three schools would give the Big Ten a New York and New England following. The main reason Delany and the Big Ten want the New York and the New England markets is because of their own television network(The Big Ten Network), which they are expecting to grow. Rumors say that if Notre Dame says no, the Big Ten’s next choice would be to add all three Big East schools.
- The University of Missouri is another school that is also in the mix to be added. Their Kansas City fan base would be a prize possession for the Big Ten.
Ok, so you might be asking why UConn would leave for the Big Ten. The school has been a part of the Big East for almost 30 years, and have a rich history within the conference. While this is true, no school would be able to turn down the money that the Big Ten would offer. It would be like your boss offering you a 200% raise at work. Would you decline? Probably not.
UConn is a good school for the Big Ten to choose because of its top tier basketball programs, as well as their up-and-coming football program. UConn has a large alumni base, which even extends into the midwest(Big 10 country). Another key that might help bring UConn into the Big Ten, is the President of the university. Mike Hogan, who has been at UConn for three years now, came from the Big Ten and the University of Iowa before heading to Storrs. His connections to other Big Ten administrations could help the cause.
So as a UConn fan, I would root for the Huskies to join the Big Ten. Yes, the Big East has a great tradition, but the Big Ten is going to take at least one Big East school, maybe more, and whoever is left behind is going to see a depleted Big East. While the basketball side of the Big East won’t take a huge hit, the football side will suffer a major loss if one of the eight football playing schools leave.
UConn to the Big Ten might sound crazy, but it might just be the right move for both the Huskies and the Big Ten.
This past Saturday, UConn held it’s annual Spring Game aka The Blue-White Game. The event that concludes spring practice, was a time for the Huskies to show off their potential for next season for the first time in public. Due to the bad weather, only 2500 fans attended the game, but that didn’t stop the Huskies from putting on a show….Offensively at least. The Blue team(first team offense, second team defense) beat the White team(second team offense, first team defense) 30-13.
The UConn offense showed a giant spark, as the passing game that has been close to dormant in recent years, was alive and well on Saturday. Quarterback Zach Frazer completed 8 of 14 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns. Five of his completions and 207 yards went to receiver Mike Smith, who had touchdown grabs of 69, 75 and 57 yards. Other receivers who had big days were Kashif Moore, Redshirt freshman Malik Generett, and Isiah Moore. The passing game will be a key contributor to the team next season. It will be the first time in close to six years that opposing defenses will have to fear the passing game along with the running game. Frazer has progressed nicely since mid-way through last season and into this spring. The offense looks solid, even with the losses of Andre Dixon and Marcus Easley. Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead has the unit looking good, and will look to add in a few players to add new dimensions to the offense. One player that will find his way on the field, in one position or another, is freshman quarterback Leon Kinnard. The 5-11 speedster, is a great athlete who can bring some excitement to the offense. He could be used as a nice tempo changer in the offense.
The defense didn’t have nearly as good a day as the offense, but there were a few positive signs for the future. The front four and the linebackers look solid and look to have a lot of depth. Reserve defensive end A.J. Portee had 11 tackles, including three sacks. Seniors Scott Lutrus and Lawrence Wilson looked sharp as usual. The problem for the defense came from the secondary. The defensive backs were a weak spot last season, and still look to be having problems. The group is talented, just inexperienced.
“We didn’t do too well, could have done better,” said cornerback Dwayne Gratz, who had a good day. “The thing to remember is we’re young back there. There’s still a lot for us to learn. We have to strive to get better. We’re going to get better.”
Coach Randy Edsall seemed pleased with the overall production in the game and spring practice season.
“All in all, we got a lot accomplished,” Edsall said. “We’ve still got a lot of work to do, which I think any coach in America will tell you after spring practice. But I think what’s happened is, you’re able to find out much more about your team and who you feel like can get it done for you and who’s got work to do. I think we got those answers.”
STORRS, Conn (April 15, 2009) – Redshirt senior offensive lineman Zach Hurd (Waterford, Conn.), redshirt senior linebacker Scott Lutrus (Brookfield, Conn.), redshirt junior defensive lineman Kendall Reyes (Nashua, N.H.) and senior fullback Anthony Sherman (North Attleboro, Mass.) will be the captains of the 2010 University of Connecticut football team as announced by head coach Randy Edsall, Thursday.
Lutrus and Sherman are both two-time captains for the Huskies after serving as captain during the 2009 season. They become the two-time captain duo since Darius Butler and D.J. Hernandez in 2008.
Hurd was a First Team All-BIG EAST selection in 2009 after playing and starting in all 13 games on the season at left guard. He has started in 26-straight games entering his senior season, 13 at right guard during his sophomore year and 13 at left guard in his junior season. He was awarded the offensive game ball along with his fellow offensive lineman after the Notre Dame game on Nov. 21 for an outstanding job in leading the way for Andre Dixon and Jordan Todman to rush for a combined 244 yards and two touchdowns, including the gamewinner in double overtime.
Lutrus, a freshman All-American and a Second Team All-BIG EAST performer during his time at UConn will return to captain the Huskies for his second-straight season. Lutrus finished 2009, third on the team with 69 tackles despite missing some of the season with a stinger. He had 5.5 tackles for a loss of 28 yards and finished with 3.5 sacks for 23 yards, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Reyes is a new addition to the Husky captain ranks and is the lone junior captain for UConn. Reyes has started 16 games in his first two years with the team on the defensive line, including 12 in 2009. The New Hampshire native finished 2009 with 37 tackles, six TFL and three sacks for 14 yards. Six of his 37 tackles came in a win against Syracuse.
The fourth captain for the Huskies in 2010 is Sherman who, like Lutrus, will be returning for his second year as a team leader. Sherman, the lone true senior in the captain ranks, earned a starting role in his sophomore season and has played in each and every game for UConn since he stepped foot on campus, starting in 20 of them. A tailback, Sherman has totaled 60 rushing yards and 350 receiving yards in his career. He is also an outstanding player on special teams, notching 49 career tackles, 33 unassisted.
Hurd, Lutrus, Reyes, Sherman and the 2010 Huskies will begin their season on September 4 on center stage when they head to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines.
The UConn Huskies Women’s Basketball team won their second straight, and seventh overall, national championship on Tuesday night(April 6, 2010) when they defeated Stanford in the National Championship Game. ESPNU Campus Connection Reporter Marcus Lynam caught up with students to get their reaction to women’s title.
In case you missed anything over the past month concerning UConn football or basketball, this “News and Notes” post will fill you in with anything and everything UConn.
- UConn started spring practice on March 16 in Storrs. They practice three times a week: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
- Head Coach Randy Edsall is excited about the 2010 season, and is looking for younger players to step during spring drills.
- The Spring Game aka the “Blue and White Game” will be held April 17, at Noon at The Rent. The event will be a little different this year, as Coach Edsall has decided to bring back former players to be the Honorary Captains of the two teams. The former players selected were Dan Orlovsky, Ryan Krug and Alfred Fincher from the 2004 team that won the first ever bowl game in program history, as well as Donald Brown and Tyler Lorenzen from the 2008 team.
- UConn held its annual Pro-day on March 25. UConn seniors that participated were Robert McClain, Andre Dixon, Marcus Easley, Lindsey Witten, Brandon Dillon, Robbie Vaughan, Mike Hicks, Dan Ryan, Desi Cullen, Brad Kanuch. Over 25 NFL scouts were on hand for the event. Many experts expect that up to four Huskies will be drafted in April’s NFL Draft. The players who have a good shot at being drafted include, running back Andre Dixon, receiver Marcus Easley, defensive end Lindsey Witten, and cornerback Robert McClain.
- Head Coach Randy Edsall made a few position changes after the first week and a half of practice. Senior outside linebacker Kijuan Dabney will be moved to safety, and freshman safety Andrew Opoku, who is 6 feet 4, will move to outside linebacker. The ‘ole swith-er-roo.
- The Huskies begin their season on September 4th, when they travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan to face the college football powerhouse Michigan Wolverines.
- After a disappointing finish to a very disappointing season, as the Huskies lost in the second round of the NIT at Virginia Tech, the Huskies have begun to move forward, as they are forgetting about this past season and starting to prepare for next year.
- UConn will head into the offseason with a few question marks: Who will replace the production of Stanley Robinson, Jerome Dyson, and Gavin Edwards? Will Kemba Walker stay for his Junior year? Will UConn land another top-flight recruit? Will Alex Oriahki and Ater Majok improve and become more consistent? Will any players transfer?
- Speaking of transfering…it is almost certain that the Huskies will have at least one, possibly two players transfer from the program. The most likely candidates are Darius Smith and Jamaal Trice.
- The Huskies got a commitment from two players this past weekend. One is still in high school, while the other is already on the team. Kemba Walker will return for his Junior season, and will most likely be one of, if not the best, point guards in the nation next year. The other player to commit to the Huskies is point guard Shabazz Napier of Lawrence Academy. Napier is currently listed as a Junior, but is in the process of reclassifying as a Senior, and will most likely be the fifth recruit for the 2010-2011 season. He is currently ranked the 9th best point guard in the Class of 2011 by Rivals.com.
- The Huskies got a verbal commitment from an in-state product. E.O. Smith Forward Tyler Olander, a three-star prospect, made his verbal commitment to his hometown Huskies. He picked UConn over offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Virginia, and Wake Forest.
- Speaking of recruiting….Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant put together an update of how this years recruiting is going. Possibly really good news for the Huskies.
- Coach Jim Calhoun has pledged he is close to signing a contract extension that will keep him at the school for 5 more years.