Plenty of returnees for new UConn defensive coordinator to work with
|Luke Carrezola, seen during 2015 win over Villanova, is among top|
returning players for new coordinator Billy Crocker to work with
New UConn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee has his work cut out for him trying to turn around one of the nation's most underachieving offensive teams. The process is probably going to take a while. Something tells me, however, that new defensive coordinator Billy Crocker has the pieces in place to put together an elite defense in the upcoming season.
I've been doing some research in the last few days and here are some numbers of interest.
The NFL Draft Scout site has a database of the top prospects in the Class of 2018 and while I'm not a huge fan of mock drafts and pro prospect projections this far out, the list of players does provide an indication of which teams have the most talented senior classes.
I went through all 12 American Athletic Conference teams and UConn has five players in the top 30 at their position. South Florida is next with four players and no other conference team has more than one.
Here's the breakdown:
EAST CAROLINA: 0
MEMPHIS- 1 (Genard Avery ILB-23)
USF 4 (Deatrick Nichols CB-7, Deadrin Senat DT-9, Auggie Sanchez ILB-11, Tajee Fullwood FS-23)
SMU 1 (Justin Lawler DE-24)
TEMPLE 1 (Sean Chandler CB-8)
TULSA 1 (Jordan Mitchell FS-26)
Taking it one step further, I went through the list of returning players (a process made more challenging since four teams have yet to post their 2017 rosters online yet). UConn ranks second in the number of interceptions among returning players and third in sacks. Individually the Huskies also rank rather well. Again, this is very unofficial since I won't have an accurate accounting of all the returning players until all the rosters are updated. Also, I don't include stats from transfers at their previous schools. Here's where UConn's returnees rank
TACKLES2. Junior Joseph, UConn 215
TACKLES FOR LOSS4. Luke Carrezola, UConn 21.5
12. Cole Ormsby, UConn 16
19. Foley Fatukasi, UConn 13.5
SACKS5. Foley Fatukasi, UConn 10
7. Luke Carrezola, UConn 9
7. Cole Ormsby, UConn 9
INTERCEPTIONS1. Jamar Summers, UConn 11
When Crocker brought his Villanova team into Rentschler Field for the 2015 season opener, four of the players he will be coaching (Fatukasi, Carrezola, Joseph and Summers) started on defense for the Huskies and four others got into the game so he has some sense of what he has to work with.
There will be more on this subject in tomorrow's paper