Saturday, August 23, 2014

Abrams flying under the radar at UConn

It took three days to finish transcribing interviews from about 20 players, head coach Bob Diaco and a handful of assistant coaches at UConn football media day and I thought one of the more intriguing items which I have not seen reported elsewhere is how impressive junior receiver Kamal Abrams was during camp.

There's been plenty of discussion about seniors Geremy Davis and Deshon Foxx as well as the group of impressive young receivers brought into the program last year led by Thomas Lucas, Brian Lemelle and Noel Thomas. However, both receivers coach Wayne Lineburg and senior quarterback Chandler Whitmer both raved about what they saw from Abrams even though I didn't specifically ask about Abrams in my interview with either one of them.

"Kamal Abrams who has really stepped his game up this summer" is what Whitmer had to say about Abrams. There will be plenty of people pulling for him considering what happened a season ago. Abrams was also opening eyes during the 2013 preseason camp and seemed ready to make an impact. However, he tweaked something in his knee during pre-game warmups in the season opener against Towson. He didn't get into a game until the Huskies played South Florida in the fifth game of the year.

Another player who I have been hearing more and more about is true freshman Luke Carrezola.

Linebackers coach Vincent Brown said that Carrezola and Vontae Diggs, who are among 10 or so true freshmen who could get into Friday's season opener against BYU "have shown that they have a tremendously bright future ahead of them."

Jefferson Ashiru, whose 58 tackles and eight tackle for losses are the most for any returning UConn linebacker, said "I really like Luke Carrezola, he's very energetic, he wants to get better and is working to get better,"

Speaking of true freshmen, it is very impressive that guards Ryan Crozier and Trey Rutherford were working with the second team offensive line midway through camp and ended camp on the two-deep chart.

"They are two guys who have come out, they have very good ability and they have very good tools," UConn offensive line coach Mike Foley said. "It is a matter of them picking up the offense and knowing what to do, they are both smart guys so they have done very well in camp so I am excited about them. They are going to be very good players when it is all said and done but they have to keep working, get them going and gain that experience."

UConn announced it will have a pep rally on Fairfield Way (across from the Husky statue) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. where Diaco will address the crowd.

Also, for those wanting to get brought up to speed on BYU, the Deseret News has posted some video interviews from BYU players and coaches shot after today's practice.

Also, I was finally able to finish up with all the interviews I needed for a story on the three former walk-ons who were given scholarships towards the end of spring practice. Diaco believes it was one of more important team-bonding moments since he arrived and look for the story on the Register's site later today and in tomorrow's paper.

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