Friday, May 29, 2015

Former UConn DE Jesse Joseph headed back home

Jeese Joseph is set to give the CFL his best shot.

The former UConn defensive end and Laval, Quebec native was taken by the Montreal Alouettes in the third round of the 2013 CFL Draft as he prepared for his fifth and final season at UConn. A year ago he was invited into the Chicago Bears rookie camp but there hasn't been much news about him - until this week.

The Alouettes announced that they signed Joseph, who had 13 sacks while at UConn. What's interesting is that one of his fellow defensive linemen in Montreal will be former UConn teammate Teddy Jennings. Jennings tore it up as a rookie in the Arena Football League recording 11 sacks in 15 games. Veteran long snapper Martin Bedard gives the Alouettes three UConn grads on its current roster. By my count there are six former UConn standouts in camp with CFL teams as receiver Kashif Moore and running back Lyle McCombs are attempting to stick with the Toronto Argonauts and Alex Mateas was taken by Ottawa with the top pick in this year's CFL Draft.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

AAC announces details on title game

The American Athletic Conference announced that the inaugural football championship game will be played on Dec. 5 at noon at the home site of one of the two teams.

The 2015 season there will be two six-team divisions with the winners meeting in the title game.

The East Division includes UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, USF and Temple. The West Division lineup is Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, Tulane and Tulsa. The two divisional champions will meet in The American Championship at the home site of one of the participants.

AAC updates concussion protocol

At its annual meeting the American Athletic Conference unanimously approved a new concussion management policy.

Much of it is common sense stuff including prohibiting a player diagnosed with a concussion from being able to return to the game that day.

Here are the highlights

Each institution shall have a concussion management plan in place for all sports and an updated plan shall be filed annually with the Conference office by no later than August 1. At minimum, the institution’s concussion management plan must include:
  1. The medical staff has the unchallengeable authority to remove a student-athlete from and to return the student-athlete to activities/return to learn. No coach may serve as the primary supervisor for any medical provider, or have hiring, retention or dismissal authority over that provider.
 2. The concussion management plan should specifically outline the roles of the athletics healthcare staff (e.g., physician, athletic trainer, physical therapist) and the specific protocol for evaluation and management of concussions.
 3. If a student-athlete exhibits signs/symptoms of a concussion, that student-athlete will be immediately removed from play and evaluated by the medical staff.
 4. If the student-athlete is diagnosed with a concussion by a certified medical professional, that student-athlete will not be allowed to return to play that day. Monitoring will begin and the concussion management plan for that institution will be adhered to.

There will also be conference-wide education on safe tackling in conjunction with a partnership with USA Football and the Heads-up tackling program.

Right on cue, the Worcester Magazine posted an interview with former UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood about his experience after suffering a concussion while in high school.

“When I was in high school, concussions were taken as a joke, kind of,” Smallwood said. “Nowadays, when someone has a concussion, trainers and staff take it a lot more seriously. Once you have a concussion, you’re automatically out now.

“You need to be smart, because if you’re out there with a concussion or something, you’re not playing to the best of your ability. So you need to tell a coach if you’re hurt, because they’re going to judge you by every play that you’re out there.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Couple of times added for upcoming season

It is time to add the times of the Villanova and East Carolina games to the previously reported time of the game at BYU for UConn.

The Huskies will host Villanova in the 2015 season opener on Sept. 3 beginning at 7:30 p.m. The game will air on SNY.

Also, when UConn hosts East Carolina on Oct. 30, the game will start a few minutes after 7 p.m. and air on ESPNU. The Oct. 2 game at BYU will begin at 10:15 p.m. and be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

UConn commit runs to glory

Wins were a little hard to come by on the football field in Tyraiq Beals' final high school season but all of that changed when the UConn incoming freshman turned his attention to the track.

Back in February Beals helped East Orange Campus win its first indoor track and field state title when East Orange won the NJSIAA Group 4 championship. Over the weekend Beals and his teammates were at it again.

Beals, one of the most productive high school receivers in New Jersey as a senior, finished fifth in the 400 hurdles in a time of 56.90 (1.4 seconds faster than his seeded time) and sixth in the 110 high hurdles in a time of 15.10 to provide some valuable points in a meet where every point proved to be valuable.

East Orange came into the final event of the North Jersey Section 2, Group 4 championships trailing Piscataway by 1.66 points and leading Columbia by 2.33 points. East Orange Campus' second-place finish proved to be just enough to win East Orange's first outdoor state title since 1985. Columbia won the race followed by East Orange and Piscataway. When the final numbers were tabulated, East Orange Campus finished with 66.33 points while Columbia and Piscataway finished tied with 66 points.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

UConn/Syracuse series officially announced

UConn has finally made it official that it has agreed to a home and home series with former Big East rival Syracuse.

The first game will be at Rentschler Field on Sept. 24, 2016 with the return game at the Carrier Dome on Sept. 29, 2018.

UConn won five of the nine meetings between the teams from 2004-12. The last meeting, however, was a 40-10 win by Syracuse  on Oct. 19, 2012 which wasn't even that close.

The signing of the series means that all the spots in the 2016 non-conference schedule has been accounted for as UConn hosts Maine on Sept. 3, Virginia on Sept. 17, play UMass at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 10 in addition to the Syracuse game.

Also, the 2018 season opener will be against former Yankee Conference rival Rhode Island. UConn and URI have met 94 times but have not played each other since 2009.

Here's the non-conference breakdown

2016: September 3, Maine; September 10, at UMass (Gillette Stadium, Foxborough Mass.), September 17, Virginia; September 24, Syracuse.
2017: September 2, UMass, September 9, Holy Cross; September 16, at Virginia; September 23, Missouri.
2018: August 30, Rhode Island; September 8, at Boise State; September 29 at Syracuse.
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.

Here is the conference schedule breakdown
Home: UCF, Cincinnati, Temple, Tulane
Away: East Carolina, Houston, Navy, USF
Does Not Play: Memphis, SMU, Tulsa
2017Home: East Carolina, Memphis, USF, Tulsa
Away: UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, Temple
Does Not Play: Houston, Navy, Tulane
Home: UCF, Cincinnati, SMU, Temple
Away: East Carolina, Memphis, USF, Tulsa
Does Not Play: Houston, Navy, Tulane

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Former UConn OT Beatty could miss NFL season

Seeing multiple reports that former UConn offensive lineman Will Beatty not only suffered a torn pec but also is undergoing surgery putting his NFL season very much in jeopardy.

Tom Rock @TomRock_Newsday
Am told Will Beatty just went in for surgery on torn pec at HSS. Recovery said to be 5 months. That's back on the field around November.

Beatty has played in every regular-season game over the last three years starting 47 of 48 games. He has played 82 regular-season games including 63 starts for the New York Giants since being taken in the second round of the 2009 NFL draft.

If there is a silver lining for the Giants, they did draft offensive tackle Ereck Flowers out of Miami with the ninth overall pick in this year's draft.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

UConn's Crozier named to Rimington Trophy spring watch list

Ryan Crozier hasn't taken a snap at center yet (except during spring practice) but he showed enough promise while starting the final three games of his freshman season at left guard to receive national recognition by being named as one of the 52 centers named to the Rimington Trophy spring watch list.

Crozier is the only true sophomore on the list and one of five sophomores named to the watch list.