Monday, September 08, 2014

UConn suddenly extremely thin at quarterback

Heading into last season it appeared as if UConn had more quarterbacks than it knew what to do with. Not only was returning starter Chandler Whitmer coming back but so was Scott McCummings, utilized mostly as the quarterback in the wildcat format. Casey Cochran was ready to go after redshirting while the Huskies signed Tim Boyle, Richard Lagow and Kivon Taylor. For good measure, former Cheshire High QB Michael Ecke joined the program as a walk-on.

With the news that Cochran, who quarterbacked UConn to three straight wins to end the 2013 season and started in the season opener, was retiring due to suffering multiple concussions since arriving at UConn the Huskies will proceed for the rest of the season with only two scholarship quarterbacks available (Whitmer and Boyle) as McCummings was among the multitude of players with remaining eligibility who didn't return to the team while Lagow and Taylor transferred out. With Ecke also not coming back and North Carolina State transfer Bryant Shirreffs needing to sit out this season per NCAA regulations, that leaves Will Rishell, a walk-on out of RHAM as the only other available quarterback on the roster. While Rishell was on the sidelines, I didn't even see him taking snaps in the warmups before the Stony Brook game.

Plenty of attention will be focused on Whitmer and Boyle, who now figures more prominently into the quarterback situation after the preferred plan was the redshirt the strong-armed former Xavier High QB is now little more than wishful thinking.

We will obviously hear from Bob Diaco and some players tomorrow on the subject but considering how easy it is for a quarterback to take a big hit (Whitmer just missed potential injury on a collision with his former junior college teammate Max Martinez after a 17-yard run in Saturday's win), you would have to think that plans are already being formulated for the No. 3 quarterback slot whether it is Rishell or a player from another position. It should be noted that according to the site Rishell was 2 of 14 passing for 34 yards with no touchdowns and one interception as a senior at RHAM. Fearing that Cochran could be out for multiple weeks I went through the player bios and the most likely player who could see time at quarterback would be junior receiver Kamal Abrams who was a starting quarterback at Dover (Delaware) High.

In a perfect world Whitmer will be able to start and finish the rest of UConn's games but anybody who has followed football knows that injuries tend to occur at the position where a team can least afford any attrition. Whitmer ran 13 times against Stony Brook and the more times he exposes himself to hit the most likely that he could be dinged up.


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