Quarterback has long been a thorn for UConn football, ever since Dan Orlovsky left in 2004. The future appears bright, however, as the Huskies have five players in the mix for the starting job.
“It’s a wide open competition,” said head coach Randy Edsall. “The guys know that and whoever’s the best guy is the guy that will go out there on the 31st.”
Returning players Bryant Shirreffs and Donovan Williams both started games last year, but given the coaching turnover, they don’t have much of an edge on the newcomers.
“The terminology is the big thing,” Edsall said. “It’s just getting the terminology in and being here for the summer, digesting all those terms and film is something that I think people can overcome and get themselves ready to go for 29 practice opportunities.”
Shirreffs and Williams aren’t the only ones with college experience. Junior college transfer David Pindell comes to UConn from Lackawanna CC where he threw for 2,424 yards and 31 touchdowns in 11 games last season.
“That level is a step above high school so he’s gone against some really good competition,” Edsall said about Pindell. “He has a little bit more experience than the typical high school player coming in at the same time so he’s a kid that’s well prepared.”
While he hasn’t been in Storrs long, Pindell has already made a positive impression on his new head coach.
“The presence he has for himself has been really impressive,” Edsall said. “Watching him and how he goes about his business, he’s a hard worker and he puts the time and effort in to be the best he can.”
Even with the praise for Pindell, Edsall reiterated that the competition is still wide open and everyone will get a chance.
“We want to see the new guys... (and) the guys that have been in the program,” he said. “But with Donovan being hurt, and freshmen Jordan [McAfee] and Marvin [Washington], we haven’t seen them so they may get a few more reps in early on practice to see who they are and what they’re all about.”
Whoever wins the competition will have to beat a solid group of contenders to do so. And with the new offensive scheme in place, there is potential for the program to see a huge leap in production from the quarterback position, which would be a welcome development.