Friday, January 22, 2010

Edsall updates the program

Randy Edsall held a teleconference today to provide some mid-January news. Here it is.
  • Roster deletions: Anthony Davis (university suspension), Brian Parker (dismissed academically), Scott Schultz (transfer New Haven), Casey Turner (Western Carolina), Aaron Bagsby (graduating over summer, moving on). Also walk-ons Clark Maturo, Glen Kolebrenner, Zac Zielinski and James Healy.

  • Roster additions: Marcus Campbell is back, and has his scholarship back. He also has two years of eligibility left since he never redshirted. True freshmen recruits Leon Kinnard, Mike Osiecki, Greg McKee, Gilbert St. Louis, Andrew Opoku, Jonathan Louis have all enrolled early and are on campus and taking classes.

  • Edsall on Campbell, "I see a much more mature Marcus. He learned a lesson. It's very similar to what happened to Dahna Deleston when had to sit out and came back more focused and in tune to everything."

  • Mathieu Olivier decided to come back for his fifth year, and the coaches are tyring to help get him into graduate school.

  • Terry Richardson's name came up as a finalist for the offensive coordinator at Syracuse on Surprise, surprise. The site had inaccurate information. "Don't believe everything you read," Edsall said. "That (rumor) came up about two weeks ago about Terry. He called me laughing about it. There's no truth to that whatsoever. That's one of the problems with the Internet. People can put things together with no substance. There's no accountability for anything anyone puts out there anymore."

  • Asked if his assistant coaches need more money, Edsall said, "I've already had discussion with Jeff (Hathaway). I'll leave it at that."

  • Jesse Joseph, Mike Ryan and Blidi Wreh-Wilson are fine after shoulder surgeries, but won't participate in spring practice. Greg Lloyd is out for the spring, too. Kijuan Dabney, Cody Endres, Robbie Frey and Jimmy Bennett will be limited in the spring.

  • Position changes: Lloyd is moving to defensive end. Scott Lutrus will play middle linebacker. Jonathan Jean-Louis will move to running back. Dabney is at Husky. Edsall said Jean-Louis played RB in high school, and liked what he saw from him at the position. Jean-Louis did some work at RB during walk-throughs and practices at the end of the year. With Dabney back and Jean-Louis looking like a reserve again, Edsall liked the idea of "JJ" as a RB. "He's fired up about it," Edsall said of Jean-Louis.

  • Edsall hopes to have replacements for Dave McMichael and Scott Lakatos by the Feb. 3 signing day. He is in the process of interviewing. Edsall said McMichael leaving was "more about his family" and Lakatos "felt it was a better opportunity for him and is family."

  • Spring practice opens on March 16. The spring game is April 17.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Lakatos off to Georgia

Defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos is the second assistant to leave in the past week. Tight ends coach Dave McMichael left last week for the same job at West Virginia, where he spent 18 seasons. Lakatos helped develop serious talent at UConn (Tyvon Branch, Darius Butler, Dahna Deleston, Robert McClain and Jasper Howard), but he'll be missed as much for his ability as a recruiter.

No whispers yet as to replacements.

Here's the press release from the University of Georgia...

UConn DB Coach Scott Lakatos
Named Secondary Coach At UGA

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

ATHENS--------University of Connecticut secondary coach Scott Lakatos has been named to coach the defensive backs at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Monday by Bulldog head coach Mark Richt.

“We’re very pleased that Scott has accepted the offer to join our defensive staff,” said Richt. “He has an outstanding resume of success over the course of his career and will bring a great deal of experience and expertise to our coaching staff.”

The Huskies defeated South Carolina, 20-7, in the 2010 bowl in Birmingham which represented the fifth bowl game in Lakatos’ career.

“I would like to thank the University of Connecticut for giving me the opportunity to work with a great group of coaches and players in our football program,” said Lakatos. “My family and I will be forever grateful for the great memories and wonderful friendships we now have.
“I am now very excited to begin our next journey with the University of Georgia. We are excited to become a part of a great university community as well as a nationally respected program and an SEC power.”

In 2008, the UConn secondary helped the Huskies achieve a national ranking of No. 9 in pass efficiency defense. Cornerback Darius Butler was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots while safety Dahna Deleston signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears.

Led by Oakland Raiders draftee Tyvon Branch, UConn was 10th nationally in passing efficiency defense in 2007 and 17th in passing defense en route to the BIG EAST Championship.

In 2005, UConn again led the BIG EAST in total defense. The major reason was its passing defense, where the Huskies ranked fourth nationally in least yards allowed per game and seventh in passing efficiency defense. UConn was 25th nationally in passing defense in 2006.

In 2004, the Huskies ranked first in the BIG EAST, and in the top 20 nationally, in passing defense, yielding just 190.0 yards per game. The low sum helped UConn also lead the BIG EAST in total defense in 2004. Leading the unit was first-team All-BIG EAST selection, and Kansas City Chiefs signee, Justin Perkins, who made five interceptions on the year and tied for 14th in the nation in passes defended.

Lakatos came to Storrs in 2004 after spending the previous three seasons as the secondary coach at Rutgers. He was a part of a Scarlet Knights program which improved from 2-9 in 2001 to 5-7 in 2003. In 2003, Rutgers ranked second in the BIG EAST in passing defense, yielding 216.42 yards per game, a total surpassed in the conference only by national-leader Miami. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights' passing efficiency defense improved each of the three years under his tutelage before jumping up sharply in 2004 following Lakatos' departure for UConn.

The 2003 season saw corner back Nate Jones earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for the second year in a row and was drafted in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys. Also that year, a second cornerback, Brandon Haw signed with the Seahawks. Lakatos also coached free safety Shawn Seabrooks who earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST second team in 2002.

Lakatos graduated from Western Connecticut in 1988 after earning four varsity letters on the gridiron, three of them under the tutelage of former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni. The 1985 Colonial squad went 10-2 and advanced to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. Immediately after earning his degree in Justice & Law Administration from WCSU, Lakatos began his coaching career at the Danbury school, working with the Colonials' defensive backs during the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

Just before the start of the 1990 season, Lakatos left his alma mater for Boston University where he coached the Terriers' outside linebackers from 1990-91. Lakatos left Boston to reunite with Pasqualoni as Syracuse's defensive graduate assistant during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, working mainly with the team's safeties. In Lakatos' first season with the Orangemen, the team went 10-2 and defeated Colorado, 26-22, in the 1993 Fiesta Bowl to finish the season ranked sixth in the nation. The 1994 season saw Lakatos serve as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of New Haven.

Lakatos spent the 1995-2000 seasons at Maine, serving first as secondary coach for the 1995 season before adding the title of special teams coordinator for the 1996-99 campaigns. In 2000, Lakatos was named the Black Bears' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

A native of Long Valley, N.J., Lakatos graduated from West Morris Central High School in 1983 where he played both linebacker and fullback, earning All-County honors on defense. He and his wife, Amanda, have a daughter, Sarah Bailey (9), and a son, Cole (7).