Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Position coaches rave about UConn's Matt Walsh

Looking at the spring roster, there aren't too many surprises in terms of the positions listed. The lone exception was the move of Matt Walsh from fullback to linebacker.

Walsh was an All-State linebacker during his days at Hand High School and has been a force on special teams. Today happened to be the day when we got to speak to the UConn assistant coaches and while the story I will be filing will be on new offensive coordinator Frank Verducci, I caught up with linebackers coach Vincent Brown and David Corley, who coached the running backs a season ago to get their take on how Walsh will fit into his new role.

"The beauty of playing the game especially the way we want to play it is we want a passionate, energetic guy, guys who are eager to do the job,"said Brown, a former NFL linebacker. "Matt got this gleam in his eye, this excitement of 'man, I actually get a chance to come back to the side of the ball that I really enjoy.' I am excited to watch him grow and see what he can bring to the defense.
Our defense, our inside linebackers have to be great communicators and really control the defense. That is one thing I think Matt would really excel in. He is a very bright kid, very articulate and he will learn the system."

As for his former position coach, Corley loved how easy it was to coach Walsh.

"I always enjoy guys who are coachable and guys who are willing to do things the way you ask them to do it," Corley said. "That is the kind of guy that Matt has been, has done all the special teams and he is a hard-working kid. You enjoy people who are willing to take coaching and do what you ask them to do."

With Walsh now a linebacker, Jazzmar Clax is the only fullback on the roster. I asked Verducci, who also will coach the running backs, if he was looking at Max DeLorenzo or Josh Marriner to see some time at fullback. It didn't sound like that was the plan for Marriner but that DeLorenzo could be used in two-back sets and see time as a fullback or fullback/tailback hybrid.


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