Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recapping the Tuesday media luncheon

The quick hitter version of Tuesday's media luncheon (terriyaki beef over rice...I was indifferent).
  • Chuck Banning of the Day had it first, and Randy Edsall confirmed...Lou Allen won't return for his senior season. It has nothing to do with his suspension for a team rules violation. Allen is graduating this spring with a sociology degree and is ready to move on to the next step in his life. He's also had a problem with stingers, which, by all accounts, aren't much fun to deal with. Edsall spoke very highly and complimentary of Allen and how far he's matured at UConn on Tuesday, using the conversation he had with him last month in which Allen informed him of his decision to leave the team. It's a conversation Allen, a man of few words, never would have had as recently as last year, said Edsall, who was appreciative Allen, among other things, left plenty of time for the coaches to fill his spot for the current recruiting season. "I know Lou Allen is prepared to go into the real world and handle whatever he has to handle." Allen, however, is still under team suspension and will not participate in Saturday's Senior Day ceremony.

  • Tight end Steve Brouse is still day-to-day. So is Ryan Henegan. That's it. Move on to the next bullet point. Now. I mean it.

  • There were 27 recruits in the Class of 2008. 13 were redshirted along the way. 10 will play their final games at Rentschler Field on Saturday. Four are no longer with the program. "They've seen a lot of different scenarios and aspects of the growth and development of this program," Edsall said. "They were right in the thick of it and persevered. They know what good times are like and they know what the not-so-good times are like." All 10 will graduate, either in December or in the spring.

  • Donnell Ford, the most community oriented of the seniors, is in the process of becoming a professional fire fighter. He's taking CPR and first aid courses, and is a non-active member of the East Haddam volunteer fire department (he'll become active once football season ends.) Ford is a member of several volunteer groups that help inner city children like Positive Steps and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. "It's a great way to give back to the community," Ford said.

  • Donald Thomas will graduate on Dec. 16, and is still intent on law school. But those plans might be put off for a bit to entertain NFL opportunities. Thomas is drawing some peripheral interest from scouts.

  • Lots of talk about pickup basketball amongst the football players. Most players agreed Danny Lansanah was the team's best roundballer (D.J. Hernandez went with Darius Butler). Lansanah had some Division II and III college basketball interest, and scored 38 points with 15 rebounds before fouling out the night Edsall came down to Harrisburg (Pa.) to visit. Edsall convinced Lansanah that there wasn't as much upside for a 6-foot-1 power forward as there was for him at linebacker. He was right.

  • An extended scouting report on the offseason basketball games: Donald Thomas is known as Baby Shaq. Darius Butler is a skywalker who would win the team dunk contest. D.J. Hernandez is an old-school, fundamentals first, slap the floor with your palms before getting into your defensive stance Hoosiers-type. "He plays like there's a coach yelling at him from the sidelines," Thomas said.

  • Hernandez said the team was stunned by its performance in the loss to Cincinnati. "We're so used to winning this year," Hernandez said. "We expect to win every game. When we lose, it's something new. It's not supposed to happen. I don't think the teams in the past wanted to lose either, but there's something special with this team."

  • Speaking of last season, it took me three days before realizing the familiar face I saw outside the UConn locker room at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati was Rhema Fuller. In fact, I didn't know it was Rhema until I asked Donald Thomas today who "the kid" standing with Thomas' parents was. Rhema, who is working at the University of Michigan, has dropped about 60 pounds since last year and looks like a completely different person. I thought he was a high school student.

  • Dan Davis was asked what he'll miss most about Rentschler Field. "Third down," Davis said. "Guns N' Roses. Crazy Train. Forty-thousand fans screaming when you know you have to stop someone. That's my favorite moment." It makes me feel guilty for cringing every time Welcome to the Jungle blares from the PA on third down. But if the defense gets fired up by it, then it's OK by me.

  • Edsall says he's not concerned with the large yardage totals the defense has allowed the last two weeks as long as they keep the points off the scoreboard. I have to think he's a little concerned.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


I know Lou Allen is suspended. But you would think he would be allowed to stand with the other Seniors before the final home game.

This not only punishes Lou, it punishes his mother and dad. I wish RE would revisit that decision.

Lou has had four great years with this program. Yep, he screwed up. But the punishment does not fit the crime. Sitting him for the games is following the rules. Not letting him or his family participate in a once in a career event is overkill.

C'mon, Randy, let Lou give flowers to his mom.


November 13, 2007 3:52 PM 

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