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News and Notes on UConn Football and Basketball From the Past Month

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.


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Dixon, Easley and Witten Set to Participate in 2010 NFL Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine begins this weekend and will run till March 2. The combine, which is basically a “career fair” for prospective NFL players, features the top college football players in the nation, who perform a variety of workouts infront of NFL scouts, coaches, and general managers.

The UConn Huskies have three members of their 2009-2010 football team in Indianapolis this week for the event. Running back Andre Dixon, receiver Marcus Easley, and defensive end Lindsey Witten. All three have been working out in preparation for the event. The combine can really improve a player’s draft stock, which would ultimately increase the amount of money the player makes in his first contract.

Andre Dixon has been working out at the Athletic Edge Training Center, in Bradenton, Fla. Dixon, who is coming off a season where we rushed for more than 1000 yards, is excited about the opportunity that awaits him in Indianapolis, and he knows what it could mean for his future. He spoke with Hartford Courant writer Desmond Conner, and had this to say:

“Whatever my outcome is going to be is going to be my outcome. Know what I’m saying? I’m not holding back anything. I’m giving everything I have. Even if I don’t like the way I did a rep I do it over just so I can be satisfied. I just don’t want it to be a situation down the road I look back and ask myself did I give it my all so I’ve been busting my hump.”

Marcus Easley, who came out of nowhere to have an unbelievable senior season, is also excited about his opportunity. Easley knows he has more to prove then the other two Huskies due to the fact he wasn’t even a scholarship player heading into last season, but worked hard enough on the field to give himself a shot at being a NFL player.

“I’m ready to get out there and kill it to be honest with you,” Easley said. “These past couple months, working out twice a day. It’s been hard and I’ve been working hard but I’m ready to get down there and show what I can do.”

One area scouts are interested in seeing how well Easley does, is with his speed. Speed at the combine is measured in a 40 yard dash. When asked by the Courant’s Conner, what his times have been like during his training, Easley responded,”4.3 second forty.”(Which if you didn’t know, is unbelievably fast)

“If I can run (a 4.3 forty-yard dash) at the Combine, in front of the right folks? Then it becomes official.”

Lindsey Witten has been working out in his hometown of Cleveland at the Euclid Sport Plant. The defensive end, is coming off a senior season where he finished in the top-10 in the nation in sacks. Witten knows he has work to do if he wants to be an NFL player, and it continues at the Combine.

“It’s time to go to the combine and work hard and my main goal is to give great effort in every drill,” Witten said.

It’s a great opportunity for these three young men, and they hope to continue the tradition of good performances at the Combine by UConn players, which was started last year by the likes of Donald Brown, Darius Butler, Cody Brown, and William Beatty.

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Easley, Dixon, and Witten Invited to NFL Draft Combine

UConn Seniors Marcus Easley, Andre Dixon, and Lindsey Witten have been invited to participate in this year’s NFL Draft Combine. The combine runs from February 24 to March 2 in Indianapolis. The list of players invited has yet to be finalized, meaning other UConn Seniors might get a chance.

The combine gives players a chance to showcase their skills against elite talent from all around the country. Events at the combine include the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, position workouts, bench press, and interview. At last year’s combine, former UConn Huskies Donald Brown, Darius Butler, William Beatty, and Cody Brown all made a name for themselves at the event, which helped their draft stock.

Easley, Dixon, and Witten will be working out until the combine preparing for the different events.

One of the biggest events is the 40-yard dash:

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