Saturday, April 07, 2012

Two more weeks of spring ball

EDIT: There are two weeks of spring ball left, not one as I originally reported. As usual, I have no idea what day it is, much less what week it is.

Another practice is in the books. Some news and notes from today.
  • Linebacker Andrew Opoku, who was originally suspended for Tuesday's practice, is now suspended indefinitely, Pasqualoni said Saturday. Judging by Opoku's Twitter feed, his days at UConn are over. On April 3, he tweeted "waiting on my release forms". He mentioned he was hunting for scholarships on Friday. And on Saturday, he wrote "OK, we have another school! Unv Delaware" Doesn't sound promising he'll be back in Storrs.

  • There are serious concerns over D.J. Shoemate's latest shoulder injury. After his MRI on Tuesday, Shoemate was back at practice but as an observer. But Pasqualoni doesn't know yet if it's something he can recover from. "If his shoulder isn't right, and if there's going to be chronic problems, it certainly is (career-threatening)," Pasqualoni said. "We've got to see what this shoulder is and we're hopeful he's going to be OK but if he's not he has a decision to make." Pasqualoni said he expects to know Shoemate's status sometime after the end of final exams in May. "There's no urgency today, and there won't be for two weeks," Pasqualoni said. "As we start to set the calendar for the summer, the day the summer program starts would be the day I'd like to know the direction we want to go."

  • The injuries continue. Adam Masters and Ryan Wirth, both of whom left Tuesday's practice, were out today. Masters was in a protective boot and on crutches. Wirth was walking in sneakers, and seemed better off than Masters. Scott McCummings was out of his protective boot but still walking gingerly and not practicing. Receivers Geremy Davis, Kamal Abrams and Shakim Phillips all remained out. Dwayne Gratz hopped off at one point, but returned to practice. So did OL Steve Greene.

  • The offense seemed to struggle during the goal-line situations in the live scrimmage. But freshman tailback Joe Williams had a heck of a day, breaking off a couple of long gainers including a TD that showed the kid will be dangerous in open space. Pasqualoni said Martin Hyppolite and Max DeLorenzo have also been good this spring. But Lyle McCombs, it appears, is ahead of the field. "We know what Lyle (McCombs) is," Pasqualoni said. "We're not concerned with who the No. 2, 3 or 4 guy is. We just want to know who we can put in."

  • UConn radio man Joe D'Ambrosio and I decided Joe Williams is too electric to be an ordinary Joe. He needs a nickname. We tossed around a couple...Smokin' Joe Williams, Diamond Joe Williams. We're leaning toward Mighty Joe Williams. Be excited to watch him at the spring game.

  • Linebacker Ryan Donohue, a transfer from Maryland, has a Randy "Macho Man" Savage vibe going when he takes off his helmet. They look a lot alike. If Donohue conducted manic interviews in the classic "Macho Man" style (Oh, yeeeahhhh) -- well, my journalistic career will be complete. Then I can go back to being a carnival barker.

  • Quarterbacks...all five still have a lot to work on at this point. Saw some good things from the four practicing today, but some struggles as well.

  • Pasqualoni said his main focus is on the defensive tackles and plugging the holes left by Kendall Reyes and Twyon Martin. Shamar Stephen and Ryan Wirth look like the starters, but there is some depth with Julian Campenni and Kenton Adeyemi amongst others on the second team.

  • Replacing Moe Petrus is the biggest task on the offensive line. Penn State transfer Alex Mateas has the inside track on the job, but is struggling with the shotgun snaps. Not a major concern, since he's a guard by trade and there is plenty of time.


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