Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Final (open) spring practice in the books

Last open practice for the media just ended. I can assure you I'm not going to miss the drive from New Haven to Storrs for the next few months. Here's some notes and quotes from the afternoon.

  • The format for the spring game is set. There will be regular 15 minute quarters in the first half, and then two 20 minute quarters with running time in the second half. Regular scoring. Now if only the rain forecast for Saturday pushes out to sea.

  • A couple more injuries today could put some more starters on the shelf for the spring game. Jesse Joseph went off with an ankle injury. Dwayne Gratz appeared to tweak his hamstring. Teddy Jennings left practice and had his shoulder wrapped in ice. None of the injuries appeared too serious, but could be enough for them not to play. We won't know their status until Saturday.

  • Among those definitely out for Saturday are Jerome Williams, on crutches and with a heavy brace on his knee after being injured last week. Paul Pasqualoni said Williams should be back during preseason camp. Tailback Martin Hyppolite is also out for the spring game, though the extent of his injury is still unclear.

  • Gilbert Stlouis caught much of Don Brown's wrath today. If there was any frustration, he got it out with a monster stick on Malik Generett after a throw over the middle.

  • The entire offensive staff at Duke was at practice today to observe. Just seemed odd, but apparently it's common practice as long as the teams don't play any common conference opponents that season.

  • Expect to see a lot of D.J. Shoemate, Lyle McCombs and walk-on Jordan "Heathcliff" Huxtable at tailback on Saturday. UConn has no other options with Hyppolite and Jonathan Jean-Louis on the shelf with injuries. "We're impressed with the way those guys have hung in there," UConn offensive coordinator George DeLeone said. "It's hard in Division I football to run a practice with sometimes only two tailbacks when you're going 70-80 plays a practice. It's been grueling on them, but I like what I've seen from them. The best deal is made in the hottest fire, and you see who can handle the pressure, who's going to get up and go every rep, not beg out of a drill, and we really feel strongly that we've got a great evaluation on these guys." Shoemate is the only scholarship player to get through the whole spring, and he's looked strong.

  • Once again, a load of high school coaches made it up to practice. The UConn staff has employed their own open office hours for any high school coach who wants to stop by and talk football and trade ideas. "The door is open from 7-9 every morning and 7-9 every night," DeLeone said. "The response has been overwhelming." Referring to himself and Pasqualoni, he said, "We're men of the people, and our people are high school coaches. We love high school coaches, what they do and what they stand for."


Anonymous Poonky said...

Thanks Chip. Good report, but you misquoted DeLeone. What he said was "the best STEEL is made in the hottest fire." (not the best DEAL).
I' getting excited about these new coordinators. At first blush they seem like major upgrades. Do you agree?

April 16, 2011 7:11 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

You know, I listened to that comment by DeLeone on my tape recorder a couple of times, and was wondering why it didn't make any sense. Now I know why. Steel. Sheesh. Thanks, Poonky.

Getting coaches with the experience and knowledge of a DeLeone or Brown are a great catch for any college team. They know their stuff.

April 16, 2011 10:07 AM 

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