AAC notes: Coney receives scholarship; Weist a welcome addition
Diaco has proven to not only is he willing to offer scholarships to top Connecticut players but he will also reward walk-ons with scholarships.
Sean Marinan, Jason Thompson and Nick Vitale are among the state products who came to UConn as non-scholarship players only to receive a scholarship from Diaco and his staff. Now you can add Bryan Coney, a receiver from Naugatuck to the list of former walk-ons.
UConn senior receiver Noel Thomas, speaking at American Athletic Conference football media day in Newport, R.I., mentioned that Coney recently received a scholarship.
"He's a guy who has been working his tail off, he is going to be good," Thomas said. "He is just a guy who comes to work every day, he always gives 110 percent and that is why he has did well."
The news about Coney came out when I asked Thomas for his reaction on the departure of receiver Frank Battle, one of four scholarship players to recently leave the program.
"Each guy has their own plan, Frank being a receiver and in my group I definitely will miss them and he made a decision for him," Thomas said. "I hope he is successful wherever he goes."
WEIST MAKING AN IMPACTThere will be an interesting sidebar when UConn plays at South Florida on Oct. 15 since new USF receivers coach T.J. Weist is the former interim coach for the Huskies.
"He is making an impact right now," USF receiver Rodney Adams said. "He expects excellence. He is fond of he small details and that is something we are not used to. He is getting us ready for that."
Saying that Weist, originally brought to UConn as the offensive coordinator, is energetic would be a bit of an understatement. Adams laughs when he recalls his first meeting with his new position coach.
"The first time I met him I was thinking 'God he brings a lot of juice,'" Adams said. "He is a really cool guy, I love Coach Weist. There was a lot more juice, a lot more energy."
USF coach Willie Taggart worked with Weist at Western Kentucky so when the receivers' coach spot became available, he immediately thought that Weist would be a good fit.
"Every year when I find myself having to hire coaches, I always try to add guys who are going to try to take care of our players," Taggart said. "Our guys love him. He is very detail orientated and he makes the guys do exactly what they are supposed to do, I think that is one of the reasons why he is successful with what he does."
USF was picked to win the AAC's East Division while UConn was selected fourth. The UConn/USF game will be a part of a demanding three-game stretch when the Huskies play Houston, Cincinnati and USF.