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Highlights from Football Media Day in Storrs.

POSTED August 27, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: A great deal was made of just how good the incoming recruiting class that the University of Connecticut football team might be down the road.

After all, not many expect the youngsters to have an impact on a Division I program out of the gate but while that may be the rule, the 2015 Huskies class may be the exception.

On Wednesday at Media Day, UConn head coach mentioned more than a couple of first year players who just might find themselves in the thick of it all when play kicks off for real on Thursday, September 3 at 7:30 in East Hartford.

The five mentioned are all part of the Huskies move to improve their offense which was a weak point in 2014 and needs to fire on more of their cylinders for this team to have a shot at a better year.

Hergy Mayala (6’2”, 200 WR, Trinity Pawling), Aaron McLean (6’5”, 203, St Mark’s), Frank Battle (6’5”, 193, Belen Jesuit Prep), Chris Lee (6’7”, 252, Severa Park) and Zordan Holman (6’5”, 224, Cheverus) all caught the eyes of the Huskies coaching staff at one point or another this summer and their sheer size makes them a quarterbacks dream.

“It’s a pretty significant freshman class,” junior quarterback Tim Boyle said, “They came in ready to work. They worked all summer. Especially at the wide receiver position, there are some studs. I think you are going to see it on the field this year.”

Boyle is battling for the top spot behind center although it seems red shirt sophomore Bryant Sherriffs may have secured the top spot after being the front runner since the spring.

Throwing to big receivers is a QB’s dream and the Huskies have their fair share of them this year, an advantage as the year starts.

“It takes a lot of pressure off of us,” Boyle said, “It’s not just the fact that they have big bodies, it’s the fact that they have good hands.”

Holman and Lee may travel with the team but it appears Mayala, Battle and McLean may appear on the two-deep roster at times this year.

….It can’t be understated how important it is for the Huskies to get off to a good start next Thursday against a Villanova team that is no slouch at the Division 1-A level, not with the dynamic John Robertson who simply did everything for them in 2014.

Robertson accounted for 46 touchdowns a year ago, 35 in the air and 11 on the ground where he rushed for a team high 1078 yards.

It’s not imperative for UConn to get a win but they need to show their fan base that this year is going to be different, especially on the offensive side of the ball.

….The team named their 2015 captains and they represent a diverse and talented group at positions critical to the team’s success this season.

Andrew Adams, a red shirt senior who will be counted on to anchor a better secondary this campaign, has had a real solid spring and summer as has fellow defenders Marquise Vann at linebacker and Julian Campenni.

The offensive line hopes of a better season start with red shirt junior Andreas Knappe who is becoming a symbol of the strength the team is looking to show their opponents in ’15.

At 6’8”, 311, Knappe has solidified the offensive line, a group of players who seem to be playing at a much higher confidence level so far this camp.

…..One position that seems to hold a boatload of promise is the running back spots, led by sophomore Ron Johnson who has emerged as the number one back but has some talented company.

Ansonia native Arkeel Newsome has received high praise from his head coach, so long as he hangs onto the ball.

Max DeLorenzo and Josh Marriner give UConn four potential weapons for whichever quarterback is selected on Sunday.

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