Wednesday, February 25, 2009

T-minus three weeks til spring ball

Had the chance to chat with a few players at the Shenkman Center this afternoon. More in the paper tomorrow -- the New Haven Register will be around for a while -- but here's a little on UConn's running game.

  • Andre Dixon knows he nearly blew his college football career after his DUI arrest in December. He says he's planning to be a leader for his fifth and final season. "Everyone has bumps in the road," Dixon said. "I just fell a lot farther than most people. I had every opportunity to do more, to push myself and to push others last year, and I felt I left some things on the table and let others pass me. This year there's no more holding back. I know this is my last time around, and I'll do whatever it takes to make the most of it. I'm dedicated to being a UConn football player; to being a student-athlete."

  • Jordan Todman says he's added 10 pounds to muscle to his frame, and weighs in at 195. He still wants to get to about 200 for the season. With Donald Brown and his 25-30 carries-per game on its way to the NFL, there's more work available for the running backs. The added pounds, he feels, will help him better survive the pounding. "Last year, I could feel (the need for more strength) when I was pass blocking and on some runs up the middle," Todman said. "I felt if I had a little more weight maybe I could have broken some more tackles." He says he knows when enough is enough, and won't compromise his speed and quickness for bulk.

  • Most who followed the NFL Scouting Combine have seen the glowing reports already, so this isn't exactly news, but both a scout and an agent who were in Indianapolis over the weekend told me Donald Brown and Will Beatty have both entered first-round projection territory, and that Darius Butler may not be far behind. Two years ago, the same scout told me Beatty was going to have the NFL big wigs swooning. At the time, I screamed, "Get some facts, and come see me. GET SOME FACTS, AND COME SEE ME!" Not really. But I wondered if that was some scouting hyperbole. I still think scouts put too much emphasis on things that don't really matter (i.e. 40-times run in gym shorts and track shoes, bench reps of 225, vertical leap, etc.)...but I think this one is on to something.

  • If someone told me in 1984 that in 25 years, the defining actor of my generation would be the guy who played Jeff Spicoli, I would have started taking acting classes myself.

I'm going to cut things a little short. I need to do some digging on how to solve the state's budget crisis, because apparently that's what we UConn beat writers need to be doing more of. More in the coming days and weeks (though I can't guarantee it will all be football news).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other half of the Dixon equation is whether or not Edsall is ready to give Dixon another chance at being the go-to guy like two years ago. If not, Dixon won't see the field again this year.

February 27, 2009 7:50 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Good point. We weren't given the opportunity to speak with Edsall Wednesday, but all indications are Dixon will be given a chance to be that guy again come spring practice.

February 27, 2009 8:14 AM 

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