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Open Practice Update: QB recruit Donovan Williams moving to WR

The biggest news of the day is a position change from a player who started games last year. Also, a few injuries leave the Huskies shorthanded at key positions.

Ian Bethune

Randy Edsall and the UConn Huskies held their first open practice today, revealing a few notable items:

Donovan Williams, the Huskies’ quarterback recruit for the class of 2016, has moved to wide receiver. Williams started three games last year after Bryant Shirreffs was benched by then-head coach Bob Diaco as part of a slew of changes made hoping to rectify an anemic offense. They didn’t work, and Bob is gone.

Wiliams was more of a developmental prospect under center coming out of high school, as UConn was his only FBS offer to play the position while others had expressed interest in him as a wide receiver or defensive back. Given where UConn Football was at the quarterback position in those times, he offered acceptable promise as a long-term answer.

With the coaching change, however, UConn’s recruiting prospects improved greatly, as Rhett Lashlee’s offense is infinitely more enticing to high school recruits than the ground-and-pound approach employed by the previous regime. The new staff added an experienced junior college transfer in David Pindell and a promising 2017 freshman in former UCF commit Marvin Washington. They also held on to 2017 signee Jordan McAfee, a talented regional prospect who has drawn rave reviews from ESPN Boston.

At 6-foot-4 with great athleticism and intelligence, Williams should have a bright future at a position of need for the Huskies.

Speaking of quarterback, there is a competition brewing across the depth chart and it looks like David Pindell is the early leader for the starting job. He was the first passer to go out with the first team in 11-on-11 work. Jordan McAfee did not participate in practice due to a concussion.

In other injury news, the linebacking crew took another big hit as Vontae Diggs suffered a grade 2 tear of his MCL. Edsall expects Diggs to return to action by the end of the month. With EJ Levenberry also out, a defense which will already be challenged in the secondary may also be thin up front, at least to start the season.