UConn football has released an updated roster. It now includes the newcomers to the program such as the incoming freshmen and transfers. There are also a few notable changes as well.
Jay Rose Returning to UConn
The biggest addition to the team is that of Jay Rose. The Southington native was the crown jewel of UConn’s 2016 recruiting class but left the program in August. However this past April, Rose showed up to a spring practice and Ed Daigneault later reported he planned to join the team as a walk-on.
Rose is one of the biggest commitments in program history, choosing UConn over Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, among others. With Rose joining a deep tight end group, the position that was painfully underutilized in past seasons may become a strength for the offense. He’s on the roster as a tight end.
With the wide receiving corps mostly inexperienced after losing Noel Thomas to graduation, the tight ends may need to become a bigger part of the passing attack. Alec Bloom, Tyler Davis, and Tommy Myers all flashed potential at different points in their careers and now someone needs to get them the ball.
RB David Williams Will Not Be Attending UConn
The tight ends may be needed as extra blockers as well after it was announced that running back David Williams, a graduate transfer from South Carolina, will not be joining the team. Williams committed to the Huskies in January and the team mentioned him during National Signing Day. He was a former 4-star recruit out from Philadelphia.
It’s unclear why he will not be coming to UConn but either way, this news leaves the running back corps rather thin. UPDATE: Williams has announced will instead attend Arkansas on Twitter.
Without Williams, Arkeel Newsome will retain his spot as the top back but the only other player with experience is walk-on Jason Thompson, who only took three carries last season. Redshirt freshmen Ja’Kevious Vickers and Nate Hopkins both came in as highly-touted recruits and could be in line for a lot of carries this season.
Another transfer UConn was expecting, Miami DT Courtel Jenkins, also decided to pursue opportunities elsewhere and is now with Houston.
Nazir Williams Dismissed From Team
The school also announced that Nazir Williams has been dismissed from the team due to “violation of Division of Athletics policy.” In October, Williams and fellow teammate Felton Blackwell were arrested after police found a loaded BB gun as well as marijuana and alcohol during a traffic stop. Blackwell was eventually off the team during the year. Williams did not see action in his two seasons with the Huskies.
Other departures include former preferred walk-ons Luke Sowa, Tom Tabur, and Teddy Allmendinger. William Richardson, a talented hybrid end from Washington DC, was a 2015 signee who is also no longer on the roster.
Newcomers’ Numbers Announced
The new roster also included the numbers that the incoming freshmen, as well as transfers, will wear this season. They are as follows:
LB Darrian Beavers - 43
DB Brayden Brown - 36
WR Garrison Burnett - 3
TE Ryan Fitton - 89
DB Omar Fortt - 27
LB TJ Gardner - 42
WR Cameron Hairston - 87
OL Robert Holmes - 54
OL Stanley Hubbard - 51
LS Brian Keating - 53
DB Robert P. King III - 20
QB Jordan McAfee - 17
DB Abiola (Bebe) Olaniyan - 18
QB David Pindell - 5
TE Jay Rose - 91
DB Jordan Swann - 30
DB Ian Swenson - 44
DL Caleb Thomas - 52
OL James Tunstall - 71
OL Ryan Van Demark - 74
QB Marvin Washington - 7