Byron Jones shoulder injury ends his outstanding college career.
TORRINGTON: You have to admit, first year UConn Huskie football head coach has run into his fair (or unfair) share of tough breaks.
First, after the season opener against BYU, the quarterback that showed the most moxy and promise for the future of the program, Casey Cochran, sustains a career ending concussion (at least his third while in college) that hurts an already suspect offense that struggles mightily over the next few weeks.
Cochran was a Connecticut kid that many of us followed during his high school career at Masuk and seemed on track to give the program a lift by being both a talented signal caller and a local kid the fan base could get behind.
Now Diaco and company lose talented defensive back Byron Jones, another young man most of us saw during his days at St Paul Catholic in Bristol.
In high school, like most players, Jones was a two-way player and as a wide receiver, the New Britain native was a handful to contain, just ask anybody who played in the Naugatuck Valley League at the time.
I’ll always remember a terrific, over the shoulder acrobatic catch he made against Torrington in an overtime game that led to the winning touchdown.
Tall and athletic, those skills have made him one of the most consistent players on a very young Huskie team that counted on his leadership as they worked new players into a defensive scheme that has made this defense a top 30 in the nation group.
His loss to a shoulder injury is huge. Jones was always a guy who helped make those around him better.
The leadership that Diaco spoke of after the Huskies played then # 18 East Carolina tough right down to the end of a 31-21 loss took a hit when Jones was seen on the sidelines after sustaining the injuries.
UConn returns to East Hartford for the first time in more than a month on Saturday, November 1 when they host UCF at noon at The Rent.
This is not your Blake Bortles Knights team but after losing their first two of the season, UCF has recovered to win four in a row entering play tonight against Temple.
The youth movement on the Huskies has certainly seen their fair share of game time, something that may be tough right now but it is Diaco’s hope it will pay off down the line.