Monday, August 13, 2007

Kick Squad, err, I mean Media Day

Lots to discuss after a fun and eventful Media Day at the Shenkman Center. Let's get to it.
  • Jarrell Miller isn't a freshman recruit. He's a transfer. He took a summer course at North Carolina and finished it (though he says he never received his final grade), which started his NCAA eligibility clock ticking. This year will count as the first of his "five years to complete four" phase. He'll still have four years of eligibility when he finally sees the field in 2008, Edsall announced later Monday, after media had left campus. "“It’s really disappointing,” Miller said. “I’ve been here since January, working hard and ready to play. Now I can’t play. I’m trying to look at it as a positive. It’s another year to get stronger and faster and learn the schemes. I’ll just be working even harder.”

  • Edsall lauded the talented freshman class as the best that's ever been at UConn. Many are making serious cases to play this year as backups. With two senior linebackers, expect at least two from the group of C.J. Marck, Corey Stringer and Greg Lloyd to play (if not all three). Same with kicker Dave Teggart. Edsall gushed about offensive linemen Gary Bardzak, Mike Ryan and Muhammad Petrus. "We haven't had three offensive linemen come into the program like those three," Edsall said.

  • Scott Lutrus responded to being chewed out during the morning practice Saturday by turning in two of the best he's had, Edsall said, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

  • Ryan Henegan limped around Media Day in a thick knee brace. Edsall said he was injured during Sunday's scrimmage, and is listed as day-to-day. "We hope it's nothing serious," Edsall said.

  • Mike Conroy talked about his baseball career (he's played with and against plenty of major leaguers, including at-bats against Rick Ankiel and Roger Clemens) and his adjustment to college football. Interestingly, it was a coach at Boston College who called Edsall to see if he'd be interested in Conroy. Seems the Eagles didn't have room for him this year, but were kind enough to offer him up to UConn. Conroy's story is very interesting. More on him in tomorrow's Register.

  • Desi Cullen is an exploratory major, but he should commit to a career in public relations right away. In an effort to draw interest to "The Kick Squad" on Media Day, Cullen dyed his hair bright yellow (he called the color "Irresistible Blonde") and spiked it out ala Billy Idol. UConn offensive coordinator Rob Ambrose asked Cullen the question on everyone's mind. "Why?" Ambrose said. "You look like the 'Heat Miser'." The Heat Miser, from the old Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Christmas specials played every year, was probably the best analogy. I thought Cullen was more British punk, like Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. But I could see him singing the Heat Miser song, for sure. At any rate, Cullen's PR campaign worked. Kick Squad was among the most photographed on Monday.

  • Found out today Randy Edsall is a big Orioles fan. "I grew up only about 35 minutes away," Edsall said. He's enjoyed rubbing it in to the abundance of Red Sox fans on the team, like Rob Lunn, as Eric Gagne's gag jobs have helped Boston's lead fall to four over the surging Yankees.

  • Receivers coach Matt Cersosimo's wife is expecting their first child. Due date? "Today," Cersosimo said. If you see Cersosimo sprinting to his car sometime soon, you'll know why. Be sure to get out of his way.

  • Oliver Bernson got his size from his mother's side of the family. Dad Corbin Bernson, the actor famous for TV ("LA Law") and movies ("Major League") is only 5-11. Oliver is 6-4 and 247 pounds, and at only 18 could still be growing. His mom is British actress Amanda Pays, whose first big break was starring as Rob Lowe's love interest in the 1984 movie "Oxford Blues", which is definitely worth Netflixing. I asked Oliver, who played football, basketball and ran track in high school in Studio City, Calif., which of his dad's movies he enjoys most. He said "Major League" (of course) and "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", both of which are also Netflix worthy.

  • Note to Desi Cullen: I've been thinking about it, and Kick Squad sounds a little underpantsy...makes me think of cheerleaders or the Rockettes. I think "Kick Force" or "Power Trio" works better. Just a suggestion.

  • UConn has been in negotiations for a while with Notre Dame, and a contract for football is all but imminent. They won't play at the Runway, however. (Or Yale Bowl for that matter). It will be in South Bend and either Gillette Stadium in Foxborough or Giants Stadium. If all goes according to plan, the first game will be in 2009. Take it to the bank.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thouroghly enjoy all your articles. Love the humor

August 13, 2007 8:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chip, awesome job.

I was thinking Heat Miser also and posted a few pics on the free boneyard football board

August 13, 2007 9:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pretty cool. I know it's crazy early, but... would this ND (Giant Stadium or Gillette Stadium) be on the season ticket package for season ticket holders in 2009? Or would it be completely seperate, and the Husky faithful would just get a deal as to when the tickets went on sale?

August 13, 2007 10:29 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

The post (Is this the Kick Squad?) and pic of the Rockettes had me laughing so hard I woke my wife up from a dead sleep. Absolutely brilliant.

August 13, 2007 11:02 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Way too early to know about the season ticket package. There's no signed contracts yet. If and when that happens, I would have to assume it would be part of the package. How could it not be? But that's complete speculation.

August 13, 2007 11:15 PM 

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