UConn's updated roster is up
The good news is that all of incoming recruits are present and accounted for but three players who could have played significant roles are no longer on the team.
Javon Hadley, who would have been the projected leader to be the nickel corner, tight end/h-back Billy Williams, receiver Frank Battle and defensive lineman David Ryslik are not on the roster and I was able to confirm that they are not with the program.
Hadley drew praise from UConn coach Bob Diaco after the spring game for his growth on and off the field, Williams had a really strong spring camp after being named the team's Scout Player of the Year. Battle fell behind his fellow freshman receivers during fall camp and was redshirted. He seemed to be losing reps to walk-on Bryan Coney during bowl week practices but rebounded well and has a strong spring camp. At the first practice during fall camp that we were allowed at (believe it was practice No. 6) Ryslik was working with the second-team defense as a true freshman which was rather noteworthy. UConn has some depth at all four of those positions but I think they all would have made it onto the field this season if they remained with the team.
There are 27 true freshmen on the roster, 16 scholarship players and 11 walk-ons. Tyler Coyle, who had some paperwork issues delaying his official arrival at UConn, is among the 16 signees with the team.
The walk-ons include plenty of in-state prospects - fullback Teddy Allmendinger (Avon), running back Rick Bartone (Derby), receiver Isiah Colebrook (Bloomfield), defensive lineman Andrew Migliacco (Granby), offensive lineman Harrison Newman (Hall), defensive back Dan Romanello (Canterbury), long snapper Jeffrey Sidebotham (Brookfield), linebacker Johnny Somers (Trinity Catholic) and cornerback Kyle Williams (Hamden Hall). Other Connecticut natives added to the roster include redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ben Bonvicini from Torrington, sophomore quarterback Brad Westmark from Brookfield, junior cornerback Terrell Huff from Windsor.
With the American Athletic Conference football media tomorrow morning, look for some more on the departures of Hadley, Ryslik and Williams. Of course, the focus at media day will not be on the upcoming season but the rumors of AAC teams being plucked away by the Big 12. There was an interesting story in the Sports Business Journal stating that Fox Sports and ESPN believe that the Big 12's plans to expand could make it less valuable in their eyes believing adding teams could water down the product.