Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Frank making an impact at DE

Perhaps no position change caught me more by surprise than when starting fullback Reuben Frank was shifted over the play defensive end.

With No. 2 fullback Mike Osiecki retiring due to multiple concussions and Martin Hyppolite,  who is the tailback the most likely to be able to see snaps at fullback, involved in a serious automobile accident, there seemed to be a lack of depth at the fullback position. On the other end of things, it seemed as if defensive end was one of the deeper spots on the roster.

However, the UConn coaches proceeded with the move and it seems to be paying off.

True freshman Matt Walsh and redshirt freshman Jazzmar Clax have looked pretty solid at fullback during the preseason camp and Frank has wasted little time carving out a spot in the defensive end position.

When I spoke with star linebacker Yawin Smallwood at media day and he was asked which defensive players have stepped up the most to date, Frank was the first player he mentioned. The coaches obviously agreed since he was listed as a second-team DE on the depth chart for the Towson game.

Frank has shown an ability to provide pressure off the edge during camp which probably shouldn't be a huge shocker considering that he had a pair of four-sack games as a high school senior.

"I try to learn as much as possible and pay attention at meetings," Frank said. "I played defensive end in high school and it has been really good Coach (Hank) Hughes is a very good coach, I have very good leaders in front of me like Tim Willman, Shamar Stephen and Jesse Joseph to help me stay focused.

"I think it was a decision the coaches made to move me to defensive end. It is a good spot for me, a good fit and I feel pretty comfortable over there. I just have to keep working and do what coach is telling me."

As a fullback Frank often was asked to help out blocking opposing defensive ends so being on the other side of things has helped him.

"I feel like from playing defensive end in high school some of those techniques carried over and I have to keep working to get better," Frank said.

"I feel that is one good thing and another good thing is I can look at some of the formations, I’ll know what the play might be because I used to play fullback."

I just took a quick peek at the UConn roster and saw the addition of a couple of walkons.

The first one is Robert Decker, a long snapper from Greenwich who has been assigned by No. 64 and Alex Haendler, a linebacker out of King who is wearing No. 48. The only player no longer on the roster is freshman linebacker Peter Hubbard.



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