Friday, July 28, 2017

This time Jasen Rose plans at staying at UConn for a while

Tommy Myers couldn't help but chuckle as the reporters converged on the table he was residing at during UConn football media day festivities.

Myers, one of the most engaging personalities on the UConn team, wasn't on the receiving end of very many questions. However, the player sitting to his right most certainly was and Myers' playful reaction was his way to telling his younger teammate to buckle up for a heavy dose of question answering.

Jasen Rose was a highly-touted recruit and two time Register All-State selection during his remarkable run at Southington High.

Rose was a headliner in last year's batch of incoming freshmen but his time at UConn was relatively short. He left early in preseason camp and put out a statement through UConn expressing his intention of stepping away from football for the foreseeable future.

Well, a year later Rose is back at UConn and recently was placed back on scholarship. Unlike the previous regime, there were no restrictions on players we could talk to. Not only was Rose made available to the media, UConn officials had the foresight to place him at one of the tables instead of being with a players sitting in a row of chairs who may or may not be approached by a member of the media.

"I think it was more of a personal thing, mentally I wasn't there so me not being there mentally, I felt like I wasn't getting anything positive out of it so I needed some time off," Rose said in response to inquiries of why he left UConn in the first place. Whatever happened then, happened then. Now I am back and I am happy."

Rose, who said he took a couple of classes at a local community college, realized very quickly who much he missed football and the structure that comes with being a member of a team.
"I didn't have a schedule, I didn't have anything to do and it hits you really fast," said Rose, who will play tight end at UConn. "It is like, 'is it something you really want to do?' As soon as you start missing it, you are like I want to get right back to it."

Rose wasn't sure what the reaction of his teammates would be considering his quick departure from the team a year ago.

"They welcomed me back with open arms which I really appreciated, I kind of walked out on them," Rose said. "Nobody has really said anything about it. They are happy to have me back and I am happy to be back."
Rose would love to get onto the field in the upcoming season but with seniors Myers and Alec Bloom, UConn is in pretty good shape for starters at the tight end position.

"It is really nice to have seniors like Tommy and Alec because they are there to help you," Rose said. "I sat down with them all summer and watched film with them."

Bloom was named to the watch list for the John Mackey Award presented annually to the nation's top tight end. He is thrilled to have Rose back in the fold.

"We are excited to see him back," Bloom said. "He is a good kid, a good player and we are looking forward to seeing what he's got."

Rose reached out to Edsall expressing the interest to return to the program. Edsall didn't ask many questions about what led to Rose's departure.

"That wasn't important to me," Edsall said. "The young man reached out to me saying he would like to be here, that was what was important to me. I wanted to know from him why he wanted to be here and how he would see himself being successful by being back here in this program so that was important to me. What had happened before, I laid out here are the expectations that we have in our program and if this is something that he wanted to do, I would be more than happy to welcome him back and be a part of our program and he would come back as a non-scholarship participant."

Rose's time as a walk-on didn't last long as Edsall gave Rose a scholarship between the spring game and American Athletic Conference media day in Newport, R.I.

"I see Jay coming out from underneath by the weight room and the Shenkman facility and starting to walk the step," Edsall said. "He walks across road and he had the financial aid agreement. He talks that financial aid agreement and give it a kiss. He is pumping his fists. Seeing him acting like that, it told me that what I did was the right thing and that young man appreciated it. Right then and there I knew I had made the right decision and I knew we weren't going to have any issues moving forward.

"He came back, he got involved in those things and in terms of what I felt was best for our program
seeing what he was doing, I felt like he had earned that opportunity."

Rose is still emotional when he reflects back on that day.

"I knew when I came back that I was going to earn everything I was going to get," Rose said. "I can't say I expected it to come as soon as it did but when it came, it was an unreal feeling, surreal."


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