Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Isiah Moore, McCombs return

Lots of traffic outside Gampel Pavilion today. Is something going here today? A few notes and observations from today's football practice, which I'm sure is high on the list of priorities for UConn fans today. Let's get after it.

  • Isiah Moore and Lyle McCombs returned to practice today from indefinite suspensions. Both have been on the shelf since January. And when Paul Pasqualoni tells players a suspension is indefinite, he means it. Neither player had any idea when they'd be allowed back. "I started thinking it might be the whole spring," Moore said. McCombs wasn't sure if he'd be welcome back at all following his January arrest for possession of marijuana. "The longer and longer it went, I was thinking this is it for me." Both got phone calls last night that they could return. McCombs was finally given a playbook. Moore had one. But neither could enter the building for anything other than academic support.

  • Said Pasqualoni of the incident, "I think they clearly understand what the policies and standard of the program is going to be. We're not going to lower those standards. No one has a license to lower those standards in the program."

  • A.J. Portee was among those who wasn't practicing today. Jerome Williams left early after a leg injury, same with Steve Greene. Martin Hyppolite was shaken up early in practice, seemed to have the wind knocked out of him, then returned. But in the final period of the day, he appeared to catch his foot in the turf and was hurt. He had to be helped off the field.

  • It's official. D.J. Shoemate has breakaway speed. He broke loose on a run, and left Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Jerome Junior in his wake on one run.

  • Andrew Opoku is a beast. Since arriving at UConn last year, he's been bounced around from safety to tight end to linebacker. But it looks like he's found a home. Opoku has size, speed and a mean streak. During a fumble return during practice today, he de-cleated Leon Kinnard. Count Don Brown among those very excited to see Opoku develop over the next few months.

  • Gary Wilburn intercepted a deflection, and returned it for a touchdown. Lots of big hits from the defense.

  • The sign just off Exit 68 off I-84 was already updated to declare UConn as the 2011 men's basketball national champions. Wish they'd be that efficient in the southern part of the state. Around New Haven, Yale's athletic billboard hasn't been switched out since 2006. And Southern's are just out of whack, declaring the football and track and field teams as 2009 NCAA Division II champions even though they only won Northeast-10 Conference titles.


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