Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Former UConn DB John Green signed by Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are hoping to strike gold with another former UConn defensive back.

Byron Jones, drafted by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2015 NFL draft, recorded 88 tackles in his second NFL season. Now he will be joined in training camp by former teammate John Green.

Green was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in April but placed him on injured reserve before cutting in late July.

Green was brought in on a tryout and was signed by the Cowboys, a team lacking depth in the secondary. The Cowboys haven't posted the move on its official site but those who cover the team reported that he was one of two defensive backs signed by the Cowboys and Green also posted the news on his Twitter account.

Officially a Cowboy! God works in mysterious ways, trust in the plan #DallasCowboys

Green came to UConn as a receiver and had five catches for 40 yards as a freshman in 2013. He moved over the defense before the start of his sophomore season. He finished with 50 tackles and 13 passes defended. He had a career high seven tackles with a PBU in a win over Cincinnati on Oct. 8, 2016. That game was Green's start of his senior season as Jamar Summers was moved to safety for about half the season. Green might have helped himself the most during UConn's pro day as he was reported to have run a 4.34 40-yard dash. He also had a 36 1/2 inch vertical and a broad jump of 10-3. His 40 time would have been second among defensive backs had it come at the NFL scouting combine and would have been in the top 15 among DBs at the combine in vertical and broad jumps.

The Cowboys host Indianapolis on Saturday so Green will need to get up to speed pretty quickly in his bid to make the team. There's a chance three former UConn defensive backs could see time in the Aug. 26 preseason game when Dallas hosts Oakland since the Raiders' second-round pick is Obi Melifonwu.

It's the first good news on the NFL transaction front in a few days as Richard Levy and Deshon Foxx were recently cut by the 49ers and Jets respectively.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

David Pindell is UConn's starting quarterback

While this won't go down as a surprising revelation, UConn coach Randy Edsall announced that junior-college transfer David Pindell has been named UConn's starting quarterback. Pindell certainly looked like the guy at the first practice I attended so expected this but wasn't thinking Edsall would make it official this quickly.

Also, he said redshirt freshman Cam DeGeorge has earned a starting spot as at offensive guard. With DeGeorge with the first team, redshirt freshman Nino Leone and true freshman Ryan Van Demark with the second team at left guard and left tackle, three of the top 10 offensive linemen are freshmen.

I appreciate the understate manner with which Edsall went out making this announcement. It was in stark contrast to the bizarre way that Bob Diaco brought in four quarterbacks even one (Bryant Shirreffs) who had to sit out following his transfer) to announce that Casey Cochran earned the starting job. I remember expressing my thoughts on how silly that over the top presentation was which certainly did not endear me to Diaco. My only wish was that Pindell was made available to the media but hopefully that will happen a week from today.

Here's what Edsall had to say

"David Pindell is going to our quarterback, he is the starter. Cam DeGeorge is going to be starting at right guard. Those might be the two things that you see on offense. Defensively not a whole lot different than what you would expect."

 Matt Peart and Tommy Hopkins are the starting tackles, Trey Rutherford is the other guard and Ryan Crozier the center on the starting offensive line making up the first team offensive line.The second team consists of tackles Brendan Vechery and Van Demark, guards Steve Hashemi and Leone and center Dan Oak.

Some other news, defensive lineman Philippe Okounam is out with a knee injury. I don't have a time frame of when he will be back. Also true freshman Marvin Washington due to what was referred to "obligations" that he needs to tend to.

Vontae Diggs said his knee surgery went well and he is still hoping to return in time for the season opener against Holy Cross although he admitted that shooting for the AAC opener vs. South Florida might be more reasonable.

"Everything is fine, I am starting physical therapy so I am moving pretty fast right now," Diggs said.T"hey are going to refrain from giving me target dates because whatever they say, I am going to give them a week earlier. I want to back for the opener but the biggest thing I told the training staff is USF, I won't miss that game for anything.I am going to do everything in my power to make sure I am back for that game. Obviously I want back for Holy Cross but that might be pushing my luck."

Some players seeing first team reps that I feel are worthy of mention include defensive lineman Kevin Murphy and defensive back Tyler Coyle. Also,tight end Tommy Myers was the third kicker up after Will Rishell and Michael Tarbutt and he promptly booted a 40-yard FG followed by Tarbutt hitting from 50. Also of note was that the top two holders were Brett Graham and Brandon Bisack and not Tyler Davis, who was named to the national watch lists for holders. Nick Zecchino is the top long snapper followed by Brain Keating.

Edsall announced that offensive linemen Crozier and Peart, linebackers Diggs and Junior Joseph, cornerback Tre Bell, receiver Hergy Mayala, defensive end Luke Carrezola, tight ends Alec Bloom and Myers as well as running back Jason Thompson were named to the team's leadership council. All of the players have started multiple games at UConn except Bell, a transfer from Vanderbilt and Thompson.

Thompson came to UConn as a walk-on out of Shelton High School and it was an incredible honor for him.

"It means the most to me especially growing up as a Connecticut kid, coming in here as a walk-on means so much to me," Thompson said. "I am grateful that I am able to be here, proud that my teammates selected me and will try to do the job to be best of my ability.

"I try to come in and be the same person every day, give it my all. I am trying to be more and more vocal every day. Some days are harder than others but in these last two years I have been  blessed to play this game, I love it. It makes it easy when you have the teammates that I have."

Thompson was already on scholarship when Edsall arrived so that is how he looks at Thompson. Few players have practiced as consistently hard as Thompson since Edsall took over the program.

"There is a guy that just goes out and does his job," Edsall said. "He works and does his job as good as anybody, he has earned it. His teammates see that so it is a credit to him and sends a message to people that it doesn't matter how you came into this program, if you do things the way they are supposed to be done, there can be rewards for you. Don't worry about your status, just work hard each and every day and if you do that good things will happen. Since I have been here, he has been impressive to me in terms of his attitude, his work ethic and just how he has gone about his business."

I'll end with this nugget from Myers when I asked him if he was losing the battle of the beards to Crozier.

"He has four months on me," Myers said with a laugh. "He also doesn't have a girlfriend I don't think so I've had to shave a couple (of times). I am going to try to compete with him in that aspect."

Monday, August 07, 2017

Top tackler injured, QB changing positions and other notes from UConn's practice

Suddenly there's not such a logjam at quarterback.

When preseason camp started, there were seven quarterbacks on the roster not including Will Rishell who is focusing on kicking. But during the 11 on 11 portion of today's practice that I witnessed (and I missed the first hour of practice finishing up my story UConn women's basketball story), David Pindell, Bryant Shirreffs and Marvin Washington were the only quarterbacks to get reps. Pindell was the first one out and looked very comfortable running the offense. I wouldn't want to make any grand proclamations after seeing one hour of one practice but Pindell certainly looked like the guy. He was confidently firing the ball around the field and when he decides where he is going with the ball, it doesn't take long for the ball to get out of his hands.

One person who won't be pushing for playing time at quarterback is Donovan Williams, who started the last three games of the 2016 season as a true freshman.

Williams and UConn coach Randy Edsall had a conversation early in camp about Williams being used on special teams if he isn't either the first or second-string quarterback. Williams took it a step further by meeting with Edsall on Monday and asked to move to receiver.

"I wasn't pushing, this morning he came in, he still likes to be a quarterback but he wants to get on the field so he asked about moving to wide receiver and being involved with the special teams so that is when he made the move."

Edsall felt like it would have been too much, too soon to use Williams at receiver in the 7 on 7 and 11 on 11 portion of Monday's practice but he will begin working in with the receivers on Tuesday.
Williams, who was not among the players made available to the media after Monday's practice, does have some experience catching passes. When he was a sophomore at Hylton High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, he had 11 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown while playing for former NFL defensive back Tony Lilly.

"I think he is smart, he is athletic, he is big," Edsall said. "Watching today on some of the special teams stuff, I saw him run in there and be physical. He's a great kid and he wants to play. He sees this as his best opportunity to get on the field, contribute and play which is a great credit to him."

True freshman Jordan McAfee is currently in concussion protocol while Brandon Bisack went from seeing first-team reps at time in spring drills to not even being among the top three quarterbacks a week into camp.

The other big news is that Vontae Diggs, whose 84 tackles a season ago is tops among the returning players, could be out for the next few weeks due to what he termed a Grade 2 MCL tear. Surgery is set for Thursday and he is hopeful to be back for the season opener against Holy Cross.

Center Ryan Crozier was dealing with a stomach ailment but Edsall is hoping he'll be back at practice tomorrow.

Dan Oak was the starting center with Crozier out with Kyle Schafenacker seeing second-team reps. The rest of the first team offensive line featured some familiar names (Matthew Peart, Tommy Hopkins, Steve Hashemi, Trey Rutherford) but plenty of newcomers were getting work with the first or second teams including redshirt freshmen Cam DeGeorge, Nino Leone and Harrison Newman as well as true freshman Ryan Van Demark.

Players were being moved in and out with the first and second teams so quickly that I won't read too much into the player rotations from today's practice although I did see true freshmen Brayden Brown and Ian Swenson getting first team reps in the secondary with redshirt freshman Ryan Gilmartin also getting out there quite a bit.

Luke Magliozzi, a freshman punter from Australia, is not here yet as he continues to fill out some paper work and is currently in Canada. There's a chance he could arrive later this week.

Tre Bell and Marshe Terry had interceptions today while receiver Quayvon Skanes (more on him in the next day or two) had a strong practice.

Edsall feels like this could have been the best practice to date in preseason camp.

Just a reminder that there is an open practice scheduled for Sunday at 3:15 p.m, at Rentschler Field although there is a 60 percent chance of rain that day so stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

3 UConn returning starters among those recognized for earning degree

Starting defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi, tight end Tommy Myers and quarterback Bryant Shirreffs, reserve offensive lineman Kyle Schafenacker and Will Rishell, who is competing to become UConn's starting kicker, are among 952 players honored by the National Football Foundation for having already earned their degrees before their final college football season.

Fatukasi, who has started 23 career games and enters his senior season with 125 tackles and 10 sacks, was named to the preseason watch lists for the Outland Trophy, Nagurski Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy.

Myers has 27 career receptions and has been used mostly as a blocker especially during the 2016 season.

Shirreffs ranks in the top 10 in UConn history in career passing attempts, completions and yards as well as being 83 yards shy of becoming the fifth Husky with at least 5,000 yards of total offense.

Schafenacker appeared in nine games during the 2016 season while Rishell is a former walk-on who is competing with Michael Tarbutt to be the No. 1 kicker following the graduation of Bobby Puyol.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

It's (mostly) all hands on deck as Edsall returns to UConn

When Randy Edsall was hired for his second stint as UConn's football coach the thing I was most curious about is what the roster is going to look like when the Huskies take the field later this month.

When he arrived at Maryland after his impressive run at UConn, the attrition rate in Edsall's first couple of seasons was downright staggering. If my math is correct, 28 players on the 2010 Maryland roster with remaining eligibility were not on the team in 2011, Edsall's first season at Maryland, including 11 players who took snaps in '10. Taking it one step further, there were 65 freshmen or sophomores on the Maryland roster in 2010 but only 39 stuck around through 2012.

Looking at the roster in the games notes for the 2016 finale, I count 13 players with remaining eligibility who are no longer here including just four (Teddy Allmendinger, Ron Johnson, Chris Lee, Jalen Stevens) who saw playing time in Bob Diaco's final season. Stevens went through Senior Day festivities so that decision was made before Edsall arrived. Legal problems played a role in the departures of Felton Blackwell and Nazir Williams while seven of those aforementioned 13 players were walk-ons when they arrived at UConn so when taking all factors into consideration, there wasn't an outrageous amount of attrition.

That could bode well for the upcoming season since there are seniors in key positions on both offense and defense. Edsall has been challenging his veterans to take on leadership roles.

"I am trying to provoke some thought and also trying to get them to understand what they really need to do," Edsall said. "I am not so much worried about the talent level, I am more worried about them taking ownership. The other thing I told them is this, I know we can be a good team because I know as coaches we are going to hold you accountable but if we are going to be a great team, they are going to have to hold themselves accountable. I am not worried about the talent, what I am worried about is getting guys to play as a team. If we can play as 11 every time we are out there and guys are going to hold everybody accountable, all the other things will take care of themselves.

"There is enough talent here to win but are we going to do these other things were we aren't going to be individuals, we are going to be unselfish, we are going to hold each other accountable. If we do that, we will win. If we don't do that and I don't care how much talent we have on the team, you are not gong to win anyhow. Yes, there is enough talent to win here but are we going to do these other things to allow us to put ourselves to be the best that we can be not just be good but to be the best we can be, to be great. That is the challenge that we have ahead of us as a group. If we as coaches have to do it all, we will be OK at a certain point but we will never get to the top of the mountain."

Speaking of departures, Bristol's Ben Pryor, a redshirt freshman defensive back who was announced as one of the late additions to the program by Edsall on media day, is no longer on the roster. I've been able to confirm that he is no longer a part of the program.

Fans who don't want to wait until the Aug. 31 season opener against Holy Cross to see the Huskies in action will have that opportunity as the Aug. 13 practice at Rentschler Field will be open to the public with a BBQ for season-ticket holders. Practice is set to start at 3:15 p.m. 

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A healthy Tommy Hopkins eager to return to field for UConn

Alec Bloom eager to celebrate more touchdowns as a senior at UConn

In Tommy Hopkins' first season as a starter he was arguably the most consistently effective offensive lineman during UConn's march to a bowl game.

Naturally, expectations were high coming in the 2016 season but Hopkins never really had a chance to build on his solid 2015 campaign. However, Hopkins was injured while helping clear the path for former teammate Ron Johnson for a 21-yard touchdown run in the 2016 season opener. Hopkins missed the next four games. After averaging less than 105 rushing yards per game during his absence, The Huskies ran for 188 yards and had 412 yards of total offense in his first game back as the Huskies picked up their lone conference win in 2016 by beating Cincinnati 20-9. In the next game UConn had a season high 306 passing yards but Hopkins suffered a season-ending injury in the loss to South Florida.

Hopkins was held out of spring drills as well but now he is healthy and eager to get the work as preseason camp got underway today.

"It was really tough," Hopkins said. "It was disappointing going back out there and having it happen again, it was like there was no way this could happen to me. The athletic trainers did a great job on the rehab but it was disappointing. I still tried to help out as much as I could watching film. If I see something, I see a good play I will let them know."

With a new coaching staff in place, Hopkins knows nothing is set in stone. These next couple of weeks will be a key time for him to prove he belongs in the starting lineup.

"I am focused on camp right now, going out there," said Hopkins, who ironically was cleared to practice shortly after spring practice came to an end.

"I think we have a pretty exciting group, I think we will be pretty good and I am excited to see and excited to work in camp, see it all come together."

Senior linebacker Junior Joseph started rattling off names of under the radar defensive players ready to make an impact and it didn't take long for him to mention true freshman defensive Omar Fortt.

Fortt, a former star at St. Luke's, enrolled at UConn for the spring semester allowing him to partake in spring drills. He took advantage of that time and saw time with the first team defense.

"I was coming out, being physically, take no prisoners and with everybody nurturing me, it gave me confidence with everybody around me telling me how well I was playing," Fortt said. "Summer ball, I am going to try to ball out as much as I can. I have a great guy in front of me in Tre Bell and I'm following him."

Senior cornerback Jamar Summers was also a mid-year enrollee who got on the field right away. He said he won't be surprised if Fortt does the same thing this season.

"That is my guy, Omar he came in mid year like I did and he definitely accepted the challenge," Summers said. "It is a transition from high school to college, he handled it well and he has been excelling. I am looking forward to see him during training camp compete and I'm willing coach him in whatever he needs help with. He is like me, competitive, goofy at times but he is willing to put the work in.

"The hard part about it is the academic side, from scheduling from the classes to doing the work, time management is a big thing in college but athletically, it is probably the best position you can put yourself in coming in mid year and getting a head start on everything as a freshman and seeing what needs to be done and how to handle things of that nature. It worked to his benefit, he is a step ahead of the freshman class that (just) came in."

Fortt had three tackles including a tackle for loss in the spring game and now he is looking to use his experience during spring practice to carve out a role on the 2017 UConn team.

 Alec Bloom was far away from San Francisco when he saw a report in early May that he was among undrafted players trying out for the San Francisco 49ers.

"I was about to take a final and I said this is definitely not true since I was sitting in class," Bloom said with a laugh. "I got a call and said I will take care of it when I get out because I am not out there."

It would not be a surprise to see Bloom in training camp in 2018 in fact it would be more surprising if that is not the case.

UConn's new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee came in from Auburn and in the last two seasons tight ends caught a grand total of two passes compared to 76 catches out of tight ends or players from other positions lining up at tight end. Bloom said it will be up to him, fellow rising seniors Tommy Myers and the other tight ends to earn their role in the new look UConn offense.

"We get out of it as much as we put into it," Bloom said. "If we show them in practice we are an asset to the offense, we are going to get more chances. Football is like life, if you put out more, you are going to get more chances and we are ready to show what we've got."

My main story off media day was focused on the fact that quarterback David Pindell and linebacker Santana Sterling's final game as junior college players happened to be against each other.

As is rather typical, I wrote way too long on the story so I wasn't able to fit all of UConn coach Randy Edsall's thoughts on the two of them into the piece.

Here are some quotes I thought people would enjoy reading.

"He (Pindell) has this quality about him where he is very cool under pressure," Edsall said. "Watching him on film and observing some things, I don't know if I've ever see a guy get the ball out of his hands so quickly. The other thing, I am jealous of him because I think he is 3.5 percent body fat but he is a good kid who has good talent. I go out watch and observe a lot of times and by doing that, I think you find out a lot about a lot of things. It seems to me like people have already started to gravitate towards him, Santana is a guy who I thought had a knack for making plays and being around the ball quite a bit.

"They are good quality kids. They don't say a lot, they just work and those is my kind of guys."

Edsall said the first five practices will be about getting all the players a chance to showcase what they can do. The first scrimmage of preseason camp will be on Thursday and after that he is hoping to have an idea of who should be playing with the first and second teams. Don't look for a depth chart to be posted probably until the Sunday before the Aug. 31 season opener although Edsall is hopeful that his coaches have a pretty good idea of the first and second units well before that.

Finally, I caught up with running backs Arkeel Newsome and Jason Thompson so look for a story on them in tomorrow's paper.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

This time Jasen Rose plans at staying at UConn for a while

Tommy Myers couldn't help but chuckle as the reporters converged on the table he was residing at during UConn football media day festivities.

Myers, one of the most engaging personalities on the UConn team, wasn't on the receiving end of very many questions. However, the player sitting to his right most certainly was and Myers' playful reaction was his way to telling his younger teammate to buckle up for a heavy dose of question answering.

Jasen Rose was a highly-touted recruit and two time Register All-State selection during his remarkable run at Southington High.

Rose was a headliner in last year's batch of incoming freshmen but his time at UConn was relatively short. He left early in preseason camp and put out a statement through UConn expressing his intention of stepping away from football for the foreseeable future.

Well, a year later Rose is back at UConn and recently was placed back on scholarship. Unlike the previous regime, there were no restrictions on players we could talk to. Not only was Rose made available to the media, UConn officials had the foresight to place him at one of the tables instead of being with a players sitting in a row of chairs who may or may not be approached by a member of the media.

"I think it was more of a personal thing, mentally I wasn't there so me not being there mentally, I felt like I wasn't getting anything positive out of it so I needed some time off," Rose said in response to inquiries of why he left UConn in the first place. Whatever happened then, happened then. Now I am back and I am happy."

Rose, who said he took a couple of classes at a local community college, realized very quickly who much he missed football and the structure that comes with being a member of a team.
"I didn't have a schedule, I didn't have anything to do and it hits you really fast," said Rose, who will play tight end at UConn. "It is like, 'is it something you really want to do?' As soon as you start missing it, you are like I want to get right back to it."

Rose wasn't sure what the reaction of his teammates would be considering his quick departure from the team a year ago.

"They welcomed me back with open arms which I really appreciated, I kind of walked out on them," Rose said. "Nobody has really said anything about it. They are happy to have me back and I am happy to be back."
Rose would love to get onto the field in the upcoming season but with seniors Myers and Alec Bloom, UConn is in pretty good shape for starters at the tight end position.

"It is really nice to have seniors like Tommy and Alec because they are there to help you," Rose said. "I sat down with them all summer and watched film with them."

Bloom was named to the watch list for the John Mackey Award presented annually to the nation's top tight end. He is thrilled to have Rose back in the fold.

"We are excited to see him back," Bloom said. "He is a good kid, a good player and we are looking forward to seeing what he's got."

Rose reached out to Edsall expressing the interest to return to the program. Edsall didn't ask many questions about what led to Rose's departure.

"That wasn't important to me," Edsall said. "The young man reached out to me saying he would like to be here, that was what was important to me. I wanted to know from him why he wanted to be here and how he would see himself being successful by being back here in this program so that was important to me. What had happened before, I laid out here are the expectations that we have in our program and if this is something that he wanted to do, I would be more than happy to welcome him back and be a part of our program and he would come back as a non-scholarship participant."

Rose's time as a walk-on didn't last long as Edsall gave Rose a scholarship between the spring game and American Athletic Conference media day in Newport, R.I.

"I see Jay coming out from underneath by the weight room and the Shenkman facility and starting to walk the step," Edsall said. "He walks across road and he had the financial aid agreement. He talks that financial aid agreement and give it a kiss. He is pumping his fists. Seeing him acting like that, it told me that what I did was the right thing and that young man appreciated it. Right then and there I knew I had made the right decision and I knew we weren't going to have any issues moving forward.

"He came back, he got involved in those things and in terms of what I felt was best for our program
seeing what he was doing, I felt like he had earned that opportunity."

Rose is still emotional when he reflects back on that day.

"I knew when I came back that I was going to earn everything I was going to get," Rose said. "I can't say I expected it to come as soon as it did but when it came, it was an unreal feeling, surreal."

UConn's Levenberry looking to return to field this season

When news broke that linebacker E.J. Levenberry suffered a torn ACL on April 1, the feeling was that he would miss the entire 2017 season.

However, at Friday's UConn football media day, Levenberry said he expects to play this season.

"My knee has been progressing, I am running now so I feel great," Levenberry said.

"I am definitely playing this year in my mind. It's up to the trainers when I can come back."

Levenberry has been working diligently to return to the field.

"Pool work, field work, training at home when we have breaks so it is a combination of things," Levenberry said. "My knee, I feel no pain in it right now. I started running again, I was sprinting today so it is all good."

So when does he hope to return to game action?

"Whenever the trainers say I can come back but I want to come back, help the team and contribute this year," said Levenberry, who had 37 tackles, 5 tackles for loss and 3 1/2 sacks last season. "I understand you can't rush those types of things. Physically, I feel like I can go out and play but it is also about being smart."

Levenberry still looks stunned at how he suffered the first major injury of his football career.

"We were right here, we were doing punt drills and my knee just popped," Levenberry said. "I tried to wrap somebody up and it just popped, it was non contact."

Levenberry made his debut at UConn during the 2016 season after sitting out the 2015 campaign following his transfer from Florida State. With the way Matt Walsh, Junior Joseph and Vontae Diggs, he didn't start any games for the Huskies.

"I learned patience, I had to patiently wait my turn," Levenberry said. "When I was on the field I feel like I made a lot of plays and it was unfortunate what happened here. I have gone through a lot of adversity throughout my college career so it is nothing I can't bounce back from."

Some new names on UConn's updated roster

UConn posted its roster for the start of preseason camp not too long ago.

Names of  the players previously reported to be joining UConn in the fall are on there - Kyle Buss,  Kevin Mensah, Zavier Scott and Santana Sterling are on there. But there are four new names to report as well freshman receiver Jerrell Chaney, freshman punter Luke Magliozzi, freshman defensive back Ben Pryor and junior defensive lineman Carlton Steer.

Some newcomers including quarterback David Pindell and tight end Jasen Rose were on the previously-posted roster so that is why they were no listed above. One of the best news items to report is that everybody on the previous roster is present and accounted for on the upcoming roster.

Here's some info on the aforementioned players

Kyle Buss had 50 catches for Robert Morris during 2015 season. He only played two games last year and had two catches.

Don't have much information Jerrell Chaney. No hometown is listed on the roster but believe he comes from Albany (NY.) High School.

Luke Magliozzi comes to UConn from Australia. Don't have much info on him but here's a link to a youtube video of him punting

Kevin Mensah is a running back caught up in red tape as he transferred high schools as a senior forcing him to miss two games before being cleared to play

Ben Pryor originally enrolled at Sacred Heart University

Zavier Scott is a receiver who like Mensah reclassified into the Class of 2017 and is immediately eligible

Carlton Steer is a former tight end at Central Connecticut State who had two tackles during the 2014 season and one reception in 2015.

Santana Sterling, a linebacker, originally enrolled at Arizona State before landing at Mesa Community College.