Thursday, December 18, 2014

UConn's conference opponents announced

The American Athletic Conference announced the breakdown of home and away games for the 2015 season.

UConn will host East Carolina, Houston, Navy and South Florida and will have road games against Central Florida, Cincinnati, Temple and Tulane while not playing Memphis, SMU and Tulsa.

Here's a breakdown of conference and non-conference games on the schedule in the next few seasons

East Carolina, Houston, Navy, USF
Away: UCF, Cincinnati, Temple, Tulane
Does Not Play: Memphis, SMU, Tulsa

UCF, Cincinnati, Temple, Tulane
Away: East Carolina, Houston, Navy, USF
Does Not Play: Memphis, SMU, Tulsa

East Carolina, Memphis, USF, Tulsa
Away: UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, Temple
Does Not Play: Houston, Navy, Tulane

UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, Temple
Away: East Carolina, Memphis, USF, Tulsa
Does Not Play: Houston, Navy, Tulane

The following is UConn’s future non-conference schedule of games under contract:
2015: September 3, Villanova; September 12, Army; September 19, at Missouri; October 2, at BYU
2016: September 3, Maine; September 10, at UMass (Gillette Stadium), September 17, Virginia
2017: September 2, UMass, September 9, Holy Cross; September 16, at Virginia; September 23, Missouri
2018: September 8, at Boise State
2019: September 7, Illinois; September 21, at Indiana
2020: September 12, at Illinois; September 26, Indiana
UConn and Tennessee have a two-game home-and-home series under contract with dates to be determined.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Former UConn star on PFF All-Pro team

Former UConn standout Anthony Sherman was named as one of the two fullbacks as the Pro Football Focus site posted its Pro Bowl selections.

The site said that Sherman "has gone from afterthought in Arizona to the league's best fullback in KC."

Sherman has played all 14 games, starting five times. Sherman had two carries for eight yards and 10 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. However, his greatest value in his two seasons at Kansas City has been as a lead blocker helping the Chiefs be one of three teams to average at least 4.7 yards per carry.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UConn LB Sio Moore on IR

The impressive sophomore season of former UConn linebacker Sio Moore ended when the Oakland Raiders placed him on injured reserve.

Moore, who missed last week's game against Kansas City with a hip injury, has 90 tackles with three tackles and one forced fumble in 11 games. He had four games with at least 10 tackles this season while only accomplishing the feat once in 15 games during his rookie season.

He is the second former Husky to be placed on the IR by the Raiders as safety Tyvon Branch only played three games this season before being shut down.

Just last week former UConn CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, like Moore a third-round pick in last year's draft, was placed on injured reserve by the Tennessee Titans.

Monday, December 15, 2014

UConn loses a recruit

It was a pretty good weekend with three players committing to UConn but it is not all good news as talented defensive back Justice Pettus-Dixon posted on his Twitter account a couple hours ago that he has decommitted.

Pettus-Dixon will be playing in the Crab Bowl on Sunday so it will given him a chance to showcase his talents.

Im announce i am officially decommit from the university of Connecticut i want to thank everyone and the coaching staff for the opportunity

It's so hard to project how good a player will be at the next level but since his coach at St. Frances failed to respond to my requests for stats both in the middle of the season and more recently after the conclusion of the high school season, I needed to look at the videos on the St. Frances' page on the site. I loved the physicality he played with and how aggressively he closed on opposing receivers and running backs. It will be interesting to see where he end up and how good of a player he becomes.

UPDATED (12/16): Pettus-Dixon posted on his Twitter account that he has committed to Towson

Sunday, December 14, 2014

UConn in NFL: Week 15 report

Danny Lansanah's impressive season continues
with a career-high 1 1/2 sacks for Tampa Bay
Trevardo Williams, recently activated from the practice squad, made his regular-season NFL debut as he had a pair of tackles in the Washington Redskins' loss to the New York Giants to highlight this week's alumni report. There was plenty of other noteworthy moments as Danny Lansanah continued his breakthrough season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a career-high 1 1/2 sacks and Darius Butler helped the Indianapolis Colts win the AFC South for the second year in a row.

Will Beatty, OT New York Giants: Started at left tackle in 24-13 win over Washington
Donald Brown, RB San Diego: Had five carries for 18 yards and four catches for 38 yards in 22-10 loss to Denver
Darius Butler, CB Indianapolis: Had two tackles in 27-20 win over Atlanta
Marcus Easley, WR Buffalo: Had one tackle in 21-13 win over Green Bay
Dwayne Gratz, CB Jacksonville: Had three tackles in 20-12 loss to Baltimore
Ryan Griffin, TE Houston: Had two catches for 11 yards in 27-20 loss to Indianapolis
Danny Lansanah, LB Tampa Bay: Had eight tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in 19-17 loss to Carolina
Robert McClain, CB Atlanta: Had three tackles in 27-20 loss to Pittsburgh
Sio Moore, LB Oakland: Was inactive (hip) in 31-13 loss to Kansas City
Dan Orlovsky, QB, Detroit: Did not play in 16-14 win over Minnesota
Kendall Reyes, DT San Diego: Had one tackle in 22-10 loss to Denver
Anthony Sherman, FB Kansas City: Had a 1-yard catch and two tackles in 31-13 win over Oakland
Shamar Stephen, DT Minnesota: Did not have a tackle in 16-14 loss to Detroit
Jordan Todman, RB Jacksonville: Had 19-yard catch, seven yards on three carries and 38 yards on two kickoff returns in 20-12 loss to Baltimore
Trevardo Williams, LB Washington: Had two tackles in 24-13 loss to New York Giants

Latest UConn commit "an awesome football player" and "special" kid

Before taking over the program at Stranahan High School in Ft. Lauderdale Tally Adams spent three seasons on the staff at Bethune-Cookman so he has a better sense than most coaches at the high school level when it comes to major college prospects.

Adams did not hesitate when I asked him about the potential of Stranahan defensive end Kirk Livingstone, who committed to UConn earlier today, at the next level.

"An All-American," Adams said. "See how fast I answered that question. He could be an All-American, there is no doubt in my mind. As a freshman I have no question, I know he will go first-team all-conference. He is an awesome football player, the kid is special. UConn is getting a real steal, he can play at any level in college."

Livingstone, who had 14 sacks in eight games as a senior, was set to continue his football career at UAB. However, when UAB closed down its football program the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Livingstone was left to go through the college selection process all over again.

"It was tough when he heard the news because he had his heart set on going to UAB," Adams said. "A lot of recruiters stayed away from him because he was solid (in his commitment to UAB). The program decided to go in a different direction and he had to go in a different direction as well.

"I think it (UConn) is the perfect spot for him. Kirk is very smart, he is not just an intelligent football player, he is an intelligent kid. He is A student in the classroom and outside of the classroom, he is just an all-around great person."

Adams said the Livingstone, who also was the starting left offensive tackle as a senior at Stranahan, could have had a sack numbers in the 20s had he only played defense.

"He is unstoppable," Adams said. "If we just said 'get after the quarterback' it is going to be a long night for anybody. Being the athlete Kirk is, we didn't just have him getting after the quarterback, we had him teeing on the running back, put him in coverage sometimes. He even took an interception back to the house."

Livingstone was among the uncommitted high school seniors at the Husky Football Awards Show on Friday and three of them committed today. The additions of offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio and defensive end Dallas Parker brings the list of committed players to 23 for the Huskies.

Closer look at UConn's 22 commitments

Hergy Mayala is among 22 early UConn football commits
Here's a look at how the senior seasons went for the 22 players (so far) who have committed to UConn

WR Frank Battle, Belen Jesuit (Fla.): 22 catches for 327 and three touchdowns in run-dominated offense for team reaching the Florida 8A regional quarterfinals
WR Tyraiq Beals, East Orange (N.J.): Had games with 16, 13 and 10 receptions, had four games with multiple touchdown catches including six in game against West Essex
DL Trey Blackwell, Cedar Creek (N.J.): Leader of defense which posted four straight shutouts in middle of season, Blackwell had 11 tackles for loss in first four games
TE Ian Campbell, Pequannock (N.J.): 21 catches for 280 yards including touchdowns in back to back games for 9-2 team which reached the NJSIAA North 1, Group 2 semifinals
OL Brian Cespedes, New London: Helped Whalers have five games with at least 338 yards of total offense en route to state playoff berth
QB Tyler Davis, Mepham (N.Y.): Was 73 of 129 passing for 1,092 yards with 13 TDs and six interceptions, ran 213 times for 1,553 yards and 22 touchdowns. Will enroll at UConn for spring semester
TE/LB Connor Freeborn, Salesianum (Del): Earned second-team All-Delaware Interscholastic Football Coaches Association honors at linebacker
DB Aaron Garland, Fenwick (Ill.): Had four interceptions, two he brought back for touchdowns, two fumble recoveries and 38 tackles for team which reached Illinois 7A quarterfinals
TE Chris Lee, Severna Park (Md.): 27 catches for 353 yards and six touchdowns, three coming in a 28-27 loss to Annapolis. Earned first team Anne Arundel County honors
WR/DB Hergy Mayala, Trinity-Pawling (N.Y.): Had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns, also saw time as cornerback and punter
WR Aaron McLean, St. Mark's (Mass.): Had TD catches of 14 and 65 yards in win over Thayer Academy. Team MVP and was also named to All-NEPSAC Class C team for second year in a row
DL/OL Kevin Murphy, West Chester (Pa.) East: Two-way starting lineman earned second-tea, All Ches-Mont honors as an offensive lineman although he projects to be a defensive lineman with the Huskies
DE Philippe Okounam, St. Paul's (N.H.): Team captain and Montreal native saved his best for last with seven tackles in 33-7 win over Rivers in season finale
DE Dallas Parker, Ponte Vedra (Fla.): Had four games with at least 10 tackles as a senior including 17 with a sack and four quarterback pressures against Merritt Island
OL Matthew Peart, Governor's Academy (Mass.): Offensive tackle helped Governor's Academy to the Wayne Sanborn Bowl Game as offense scored at least 25 points in seven of first eight games
DB Justice Pettus-Dixon, St. Frances Academy (Md.): Physical corner who excelled both in press coverage and while playing zone. Had interception in loss to Gilman and will play in next week's Crab Bowl
DL/TE William Richardson, Ballou (D.C): Had a sack in win over Wilson and interception in loss to Woodson after recording 8 1/2 sacks as a junior
WR/DB John Robinson IV, Dwight Morrow (N.J.): 24 catches for 372 yards and 5 TDs, also caused two fumbles and recovered another as a defensive back
K Michael Tarbutt, Canisius (N.Y.): Was 11 of 17 on field goals with kicks of 52 and 60 yards for 12-0 team. Also, 57 of his 79 kickoffs went for touchbacks and had punts of 47 and 50 yards
WR/DB Marshe Terry, Northern Burlington (N.J.): 4 of his 11 catches went for TDs. Had interception and fumble recovery in 12-6 loss to Pemberton in Commander's Cup game.
OL Nolan Ulizio, Lakota West (Ohio): Offensive tackle helped Lakota West reach Ohio Division I quarterfinals. Offense threw for 200 yards six times and ran for at least 180 yards in five games
WR/DE Nazir Williams, Bridgeton (N.J.): 35 catches for 566 yards and 3 TDs; 45 tackles, 9 sacks, 5 pass breakups with back to back games with two sacks

Ohio lineman, Florida DE latest UConn commits

Nolan Ulizio was among the uncommitted recruits in attendance at Friday's Husky Football Awards Show.

Well, he is undecided about his college destination no longer as the 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive lineman out of Lakota West High in West Chester, Ohio announced via his Twitter account that he has committed to UConn.

Proud to announce that I have officially committed to the University of Connecticut

Ulizio helped Lakota West pile up at least 350 yards of total offense in five of the first six games of the season en route to a berth in the Ohio Division I quarterfinals.

There was a time during this recruiting cycle when UConn didn't have an offensive lineman on its list of commitment but three of the last four (New London's Bryan Cespedes, Matthew Peart of Governor's Academy and Ulizio) are offensive linemen.

He was not the only prospect at the dinner who decided that UConn was the place for him as Dallas Parker, a defensive end out of Ponta Vedra, Florida also committed today. His commitment was posted on Twitter by arguably the Huskies' best recruiter - quarterback signee Tyler Davis who was also at the awards show.

Parker ended his high school career by making 17 tackles with a sack and four quarterback hurries in a 21-10 loss to Merritt Island. He had 71 tackles in the seven games he played in as a senior.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Adams, Foxx, Lee among winners at UConn Football Awards show

UConn brought the 2014 season to a close by holding the Husky Football Awards Show at the Rome Commons Ballroom on campus.

Senior receiver Deshon Foxx was named the Offensive Player of the Year, junior safety Andrew Adams was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year while junior defensive back Wilbert "Junior" Lee was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.

Also being honored were sophomore offensive tackle Andreas Knappe (Joseph M. Giannelli Newcomer of the Year), sophomore safety Obi Melifonwu (John L. Toner Scholar-Athlete Award), junior defensive lineman Julian Campenni (Kendall Madison Award for the most outstanding power player), senior receiver Geremy Davis (Jasper T. Howard Outstanding Skill Player Award), junior long snapper Dominick Manco (Football Alumni Bleed Blue Award), junior linebacker Graham Stewart (Kozlowski Award) and sophomore defensive lineman Sean Marinan (Look Team Player of the Year).

As has been the case for everything else first-year coach Bob Diaco has done this season, the awards followed a different script. Normally season-ending awards are dominated by honors given to the team captains and seniors. However, Davis was the only one of the four captains to receive an award and of the 10 awards given out, just two went to seniors. I also found it curious that Knappe, who has been with the program for three year was named the team's newcomer of the year but congrats to him as he made tremendous strides over the course of the season after moving from defense to offense. Hard to argue too much with the three major awards given out. Adams was UConn's best player, Foxx provided some of the most explosive plays on offense while Lee was an absolute terror on the special teams coverage units, which ranked among the nation's best.

Here's the list of finalists for the other awards with the winner listed first.

Joseph M. Giannelli Newcomer of the Year Award: OT Andreas Knappe.  P Justin Wain, CB Jamar Summers, RB Ron Johnson.
John L. Toner Scholar-Athlete Award: S Obi Melifonwu, CB Byron Jones, TE Tommy Myers, RB Josh Marriner.
Kendall Madison Award: DT Julian Campenni, OT Andreas Knappe, OG Tyler Samra, DT Mikal Myers..
Jasper T. Howard Outstanding Skill Player Award: WR Geremy Davis, Foxx, Jones, WR Noel Thomas.
Football Alumni Bleed Blue Award: Dominick Manco Marriner, DB Nick Vitale, DT Mikal Myers.
Kozlowski Award: LB Graham Stewart, FB Jazzmar Clax, TE Sean McQuillan, LB Marquise Vann.
Look Team Player of the Year: DL Sean Marinan, DB Chris DeBerry, WR Tony Tully, QB Bryant Shirreffs.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

UConn's Mateas moving up CFL scouting ratings

Alex Mateas, who started the last 25 games at center for UConn, has moved up four spots to the No. 2 in the latest Canadian Football League Scouting Bureau's ranking of the top 20 prospects for the 2015 CFL Draft.

Mateas, a native of Ottawa, trails only UNLV offensive lineman Brett Boyko in the rankings. This will be the last rankings before the CFL combine from Mar. 27-29 in Toronto. The final pre-draft rankings will be released in April by the scouting bureau made up of scouts, personnel directors and general managers from the CFL teams.

Yale running back Tyler Varga, who recently accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, dropped four spots to No. 6 in the rankings.

No date has been announced for the CFL Draft at this point.