Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Some noteworthy changes on UConn's depth chart

Other than Bryant Shirreffs being named the starting quarterback, news that linebackers Vontae Diggs and Junior Joseph both practiced on Tuesday putting them in position to play on Saturday and Marshe Terry moving ahead of Brice McAllister on the depth chart at safety, there wasn't much coming out of Tuesday's media availability.

Edsall didn't have much to say about the decision to start Shirreffs.

"We make the decision we think is the best for the team, both of them played coming out the game, Bryant is the guy who is the starter for us against South Florida."

Edsall did say that Shirreffs, offensive tackle Matt Peart and running backs Nate Hopkins were players he thought played well.

He was even more tight lipped when I asked whether Diggs and/or Joseph would be expected to play when nationally-ranked South Florida comes to Rentschler Field on Saturday.

"They practiced," Edsall said.

With Diggs on the depth chart as a starter, Chris Britton is now listed in the "or" category with Cam Stapleton at the other linebacking spot meaning either Stapleton or Britton could start alongside of Joseph and Diggs.

Terry nearly had an interception and forced a fumble (although it is still being credited to Tre Bell) in the game and was noticeable for most of the right reasons in the Holy Cross game.

I also found it curious that receiver Quayvon Skanes was listed as the starting slot receiver and kickoff return (along with Jordan Swann) but wasn't out there for any special teams duty and didn't play on offense until the second quarter.

"The depth chart is one of those things, we have different personnel groupings and I am not going to list every personnel grouping in terms of our depth chart so that is why you saw what you saw with (Tyler Davis starting over Skanes). He is the starter in our mind."

Edsall said having listed on the kickoff return team is a mistake on the depth chart.

Lately some of Edsall's most entertaining quotes have come when addressing the punting situation and today was no question as Brett Graham didn't find out he was the No. 1 guy until about 30 minutes before opening kickoff.

"I wasn't sure what we are going to do so we are in pre-game warmups, Brett goes and punts the ball, Luke comes up, standing right there, the snap goes back and drops the snap and the decision is made right there," Edsall said. "I saw two days before on the practice field, we had the same thing but when it happened on the pregame, I was probably thinking of going that way but that sealed it, I had about 6.7 coaches just look at me and we knew what we are going to do. The kid will be fine down the road, you talk about a guy that is diligent, works, wants to do well, he'll be fine down the road."

Graham was one of four players brought in to meet with the media (Shirreffs, Jamar Summers and Ryan Crozier were the others) so look for more on him later in the week.


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