Tuesday, September 09, 2014

UConn teammates react to Cochran's retirement

Casey Cochran, who made the difficult decision to give up his playing career after suffering one too many concussions, wasn't among the UConn players brought into Tuesday's press conference but his teammates had plenty to say about the loss of the team's starting quarterback.

"He's been a guy who has given it 100 percent," UConn senior cornerback Byron Jones said. "We are 100 percent behind his decision. You use it as motivation because anything can be your last play."

Cochran already had the respect of his teammates but seeing the professional manner in which Cochran addressed the team on Monday to make his decision official only made him go up in their estimation.

"It is tough to see a guy up there who has been around football for so long and probably didn't think for one second, this is going to be my last game to go down like that," Jones said. "It is just one of those unfortunate moments, people get inured and don't come back. We will 100 percent support his decision, no doubt about it.

"He is a very high-quality person, a leader and a person who does everything at 100 percent. He is definitely going to be missed with the football team but he is still going to be a part of us in a coaching capacity."

Fellow team captain Marquise Vann echoed Jones' sentiments.

"You just see a very strong person," Vann said. "He was strong with it, very confident. He wasn't crying, he was very excited tat he was going in a new direction with his life. We are all backing him and he is still going to be around. It wasn't a hard time, it was an exciting time for Casey because we saw how great of a man he was, how great of a leader he was so."

Chandler Whitmer is now UConn's No. 1 quarterback, a position he held for the entire 2012 season and first four games last season. He's also had multiple concussions including ones in the final two games of the 2012 season so he knew there was a chance that Cochran may have some tough decisions to make.

"It was a possibility," Whitmer said. "He's had concussions before and that is not something you fool around with. It is tough because you work your whole life, you put everything you have into it to get to this point and play the game and it kind of gets taken from you like that, it is pretty eye opening. It makes you realize that you never know when it could be your last time so enjoy every day, every moment that you get, go out and give it your best effort."

3, one in high school, back in Louisville and Cincinnati games. I remember one of them was after a throw at Louisville, U got hit and bang bang and the other was on a trick play out at Cincinnati, I was lined up at receiver, a double pass.

Trust the staff for their opinions. You can't play scared or think of things like that, you have to play until it is done.

We feel for him but we are excited for his future and he is still around helping us out, being the same guy. He is going to help me out, me and Tim and we are excited about it.

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