Friday, March 14, 2014

Early look at UConn's offensive line

I was able to make it up to UConn in time for the third practice of the spring and one position I was rather interested in was the offensive line.

UConn graduated four starters (tackles Jimmy Bennett and Kevin Friend as well as guards Steve Greene and Tyler Bullock) and lost season-opening right tackle Xavier Hemingway when he withdrew from school shortly after being arrested on larceny charges. For what it is worth, UConn's first-string offensive line was from left to right, tackle Richard Levy, guard Kyle Schafenacker, center Alex Mateas, guard Bryan Paull and tackle Dalton Gifford with the second unit consisting of tackle Andreas Knappe, guard Zach Rugg, center Kyle Bockeloh, guard Tyler Samra and tackle Tommy Hopkins.

UConn coach Bob Diaco said that it is too early to read anything into the rotation.

"Richard is going to be a tackle and Schafenacker is going to be an interior player, where exactly I am not sure. Richard is going to be a tackle, left or right and Schafenacker is going to be a guard but what position and depth (chart) I am not sure," Diaco said.

Gus Cruz, who started five games in each of the last two seasons, worked out on the side as he continues to come back from the cardiac issues which resulted in him missing the final seven games of the 2013 season. Until Cruz returns, that leaves Mateas as the only player who started the 2013 season as a starting offensive lineman.

Mateas chose his words carefully when it came time to talking about which of the younger offensive linemen have impressed him.

"It doesn’t really change too much whether it is Jimmy (Bennett) and Steve (Greene) or some of the younger guys everybody tries to have the same mentality and work hard for the guy beside you. Even last year when we were traveling, different guys got switched in so a lot of guys got to see a couple of plays at the end of games. Everybody has been working hard in the weight room and everyone has a chance."

There was some thought that redshirt freshman Kivon Taylor could make a push for playing time at quarterback but it is not going to happen at the current time as Diaco said he was suspended indefinitely
"for violation of athletic department, university and team policy. It is indefinite. There are factors which will get evaluated by the athletic department and sports performance team that will (allow) them (to) reengage Mr. Taylor."

At this point last year it looked as if there would be six quarterbacks on scholarship at this point. However, Richard Lagow transferred out during fall camp, Scott McCummings did not return to the team after graduating and now Taylor's status is up in the air.

Diaco did say that the three scholarship QBs (Casey Cochran, Tim Boyle and Chandler Whitmer) were splitting reps equally. I also saw Whitmer and Cochran taking turns holding for kicker Bobby Puyol.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home