We're less than a month away from UConn Football's season opener against Maine on September 1, and since we here at The UConn Blog are unnaturally excited for football season, we're excited to shout from the rooftops about what should be a pretty good Husky team this year.
The recipient of this week's yelling is Mark Rogers, who runs a college football show and podcast online and puts a lot of work into coverage of every single FBS team. He was kind enough to let me ramble about UConn Football and the status of the quarterback and running back position.
At running back, Arkeel Newsome and Ron Johnson will hold down the fort, with Newsome seemingly leading the way after a breakout season. Not to be forgotten, Johnson has performed well and can also complete a different set of tasks than Newsome, particularly short-yardage and goalline situations. He also broke a 65-yard touchdown in the spring game, so perhaps he has added a breakaway element to his game as well. There could also be some appearances from one of the incoming freshmen, Texas' Nate Hopkins and Florida product Ja'Kevious Vickers.
Under center, Bryant Shirreffs appears to be the starter, but it seems he doesn't have the job locked down. Senior Garrett Anderson, a junior college transfer in 2015, is pushing him for the starting gig, according to Diaco. Redshirt freshman Tyler Davis and incoming freshman Donovan Williams will compete for the third-string job.
Diaco on Anderson could be just pre-season jibber-jabber, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
"Garrett has the strongest arm in the group...he can really spin it, so that's a piece that tilts him above Bryant. Most of his change right now has been intangible...he's just operating at a different level, there's no kid stuff in his life. Those traits make him a great teammate. His next step is to focus on quarterbacking our offense at UConn and not trying to jam the ball in there...
"The person that takes that next step the fastest will get an opportunity to play more than the other."