I know that everyone's still getting over the Weekend Of Drummond (and/or Irene), but believe it or not, we are just about 72 hours away from UConn opening the 2011 football season with a clubberin’ of Fordham at the Rent. No, seriously. Paul Pasqualoni released the Week 1 depth chart and everything.
If you're looking for a ton surprises, or an answer to The Great(?) Quarterback Debate Of 2011, sorry in advance. Pasqualoni already announced that whoever won the job as Least Worst Quarterback won’t be announced until gametime Thursday, so there’s just a big OR-gy at that spot on the depth chart.
it’s generally assumed that either Johnny McEntee or Michael Nebrich will be the chosen one; Michael Box is transferring, Scott McCummings seems to be behind McEntee and Nebrich, and Blaise Driscoll is a 19th-century French impressionist.
At this point, I’m on Team Johnny Mac, because it’s a better story (and the best on-field performance by a UConn quarterback I’ve seen in person was McEntee’s, in the 2009 spring game). Nebrich, who's more of a dual-threat QB, might be the better fit in George DeLeone's system.
Offensively, not much else is noteworthy. The Moores, Isiah and Kashif, will start at wideout; the evenly-matched tight-end duel between John Delahunt and Ryan Griffin remains inconclusive; the offensive line is set at every position except for left guard (senior Gary Bardzak or 304-pound sophomore Steve Greene).
One thing to watch may be at tailback, where freshman Lyle McCombs earned an OR designation along with D.J. Shoemate. At 5-8, 172 pounds, McCombs could serve as the lightning to the 219-pound Shoemate’s thunder. In any event, I think McCombs has a chance to be the next very solid Husky RB.
Freshman Yawin Smallwood got the nod at linebacker, along with returning contributors Sio Moore and Jory Johnson. The rest of the defense shapes up pretty much as you saw it at the end of last season, with Trevardo Williams, Twyon Martin and Kendall Reyes on the line and Official UConnBlog Mancrush Blidi Wreh-Wilson leading the secondary, along with corner Dwayne Gratz and safeties Jerome Junior and Harris Agbor.
Honestly, I’m starting to feel slightly more optimistic that UConn might just be able to scratch a decent season out of this group, though of course it will all depend on how much voodoo magic Pasqualoni can work on his offensive skill positions. More on that as we lead up to Thursday night’s opener.