Sunday, August 13, 2017

David Pindell is UConn's starting quarterback

While this won't go down as a surprising revelation, UConn coach Randy Edsall announced that junior-college transfer David Pindell has been named UConn's starting quarterback. Pindell certainly looked like the guy at the first practice I attended so expected this but wasn't thinking Edsall would make it official this quickly.

Also, he said redshirt freshman Cam DeGeorge has earned a starting spot as at offensive guard. With DeGeorge with the first team, redshirt freshman Nino Leone and true freshman Ryan Van Demark with the second team at left guard and left tackle, three of the top 10 offensive linemen are freshmen.

I appreciate the understate manner with which Edsall went out making this announcement. It was in stark contrast to the bizarre way that Bob Diaco brought in four quarterbacks even one (Bryant Shirreffs) who had to sit out following his transfer) to announce that Casey Cochran earned the starting job. I remember expressing my thoughts on how silly that over the top presentation was which certainly did not endear me to Diaco. My only wish was that Pindell was made available to the media but hopefully that will happen a week from today.

Here's what Edsall had to say

"David Pindell is going to our quarterback, he is the starter. Cam DeGeorge is going to be starting at right guard. Those might be the two things that you see on offense. Defensively not a whole lot different than what you would expect."

 Matt Peart and Tommy Hopkins are the starting tackles, Trey Rutherford is the other guard and Ryan Crozier the center on the starting offensive line making up the first team offensive line.The second team consists of tackles Brendan Vechery and Van Demark, guards Steve Hashemi and Leone and center Dan Oak.

Some other news, defensive lineman Philippe Okounam is out with a knee injury. I don't have a time frame of when he will be back. Also true freshman Marvin Washington due to what was referred to "obligations" that he needs to tend to.

Vontae Diggs said his knee surgery went well and he is still hoping to return in time for the season opener against Holy Cross although he admitted that shooting for the AAC opener vs. South Florida might be more reasonable.

"Everything is fine, I am starting physical therapy so I am moving pretty fast right now," Diggs said.T"hey are going to refrain from giving me target dates because whatever they say, I am going to give them a week earlier. I want to back for the opener but the biggest thing I told the training staff is USF, I won't miss that game for anything.I am going to do everything in my power to make sure I am back for that game. Obviously I want back for Holy Cross but that might be pushing my luck."

Some players seeing first team reps that I feel are worthy of mention include defensive lineman Kevin Murphy and defensive back Tyler Coyle. Also,tight end Tommy Myers was the third kicker up after Will Rishell and Michael Tarbutt and he promptly booted a 40-yard FG followed by Tarbutt hitting from 50. Also of note was that the top two holders were Brett Graham and Brandon Bisack and not Tyler Davis, who was named to the national watch lists for holders. Nick Zecchino is the top long snapper followed by Brain Keating.

Edsall announced that offensive linemen Crozier and Peart, linebackers Diggs and Junior Joseph, cornerback Tre Bell, receiver Hergy Mayala, defensive end Luke Carrezola, tight ends Alec Bloom and Myers as well as running back Jason Thompson were named to the team's leadership council. All of the players have started multiple games at UConn except Bell, a transfer from Vanderbilt and Thompson.

Thompson came to UConn as a walk-on out of Shelton High School and it was an incredible honor for him.

"It means the most to me especially growing up as a Connecticut kid, coming in here as a walk-on means so much to me," Thompson said. "I am grateful that I am able to be here, proud that my teammates selected me and will try to do the job to be best of my ability.

"I try to come in and be the same person every day, give it my all. I am trying to be more and more vocal every day. Some days are harder than others but in these last two years I have been  blessed to play this game, I love it. It makes it easy when you have the teammates that I have."

Thompson was already on scholarship when Edsall arrived so that is how he looks at Thompson. Few players have practiced as consistently hard as Thompson since Edsall took over the program.

"There is a guy that just goes out and does his job," Edsall said. "He works and does his job as good as anybody, he has earned it. His teammates see that so it is a credit to him and sends a message to people that it doesn't matter how you came into this program, if you do things the way they are supposed to be done, there can be rewards for you. Don't worry about your status, just work hard each and every day and if you do that good things will happen. Since I have been here, he has been impressive to me in terms of his attitude, his work ethic and just how he has gone about his business."

I'll end with this nugget from Myers when I asked him if he was losing the battle of the beards to Crozier.

"He has four months on me," Myers said with a laugh. "He also doesn't have a girlfriend I don't think so I've had to shave a couple (of times). I am going to try to compete with him in that aspect."


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