Monday, March 23, 2015

Bob Diaco on two latest additions to UConn team

The paperwork has been filed and UConn football coach Bob Diaco was able to talk on the record about Florida State transfer EJ Levenberry and quarterback Garrett Anderson, who is transferring in from Laney College, a two-year school in Oakland.

"He is a national recruit at his position," said Diaco, who recruited Levenberry when he was at Notre Dame. "He was probably ranked in the top 3-5 in the country (at inside linebacker). We wanted him bad, I think it came down at the end of the day to Oklahoma and Florida State. He is big, he is the quintessential inside linebacker in our defense.

"He has good to great speed. He is fast for a big guy. He has an intangible nose for the ball, he is a great young man. He loves to train, he loves to win, he is all about winning so he is going to add to the culture. He has a championship ring."

Because Levenberry enrolled at a junior college after leaving Florida State, there is a chance he could play immediately at UConn rather than sit out the normal one year as a Division I transfer.

"That is a process for his family and the institution he is at," Diaco said. "What waivers, obviously we will do everything we can do to help facilitate the process for sure. If that happens, to me that is icing on the cake, it is gravy, it is not an entree. We are just glad to have him on the team and be able to participate."

Levenberry played two seasons at Florida State and was a member of a national-championship team. If he has to sit out the upcoming season, he can redshirt and have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Levenberry and Anderson will both arrive in June, enroll in summer session and will be able to take part in preseason drills.

"Same stuff, big, physical, when he was participating, he was really down on interceptions," Diaco said of Anderson. "He is smart with the football, throws a very good ball. He is very mature, kind of taking the next step. My understanding is in the next few months he will be married, family is important. He is a grown man ready to take the next step in his life, finish up his degree work and play some football. There aren't a whole lot of other things that distract him in his life which is nice and he has the tools."

Diaco said "quarterbacks" when discussing the desire to add to the current crop of QBs. There are three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster heading into spring drills. North Carolina State transfer Bryant Shirreffs, who sat out last season after transferring, saw the first-team reps when UConn had 11 on 11 drills at today's spring practice. Tim Boyle is the only quarterback on the roster who has taken a snap with the Huskies and true freshman Tyler Davis graduated early from Mepham High School, is currently enrolled at school and eligible to take part in spring practice. We'll see if another player is added to the quarterback competition or if the extra person is walk-on Brandon Bisack out of Fairfield Warde or another scholarship quarterback joins the team. Obviously Diaco is limited by what he can say about players who have yet to sign with the Huskies.

"That group is going to be able to grow and the group is going to get bigger over the summer," Diaco said. "There will be a couple of guys added to that group of three and Will (Rishell) but the competition happening between those three has been good."

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