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WATCH: UConn Football’s James Atkins, A Dedicated Student-Athlete

Despite missing multiple practices a week, Atkins still makes an impact on the field.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

A college workload alone is enough to keep a college student busy. Combine that with the commitment of being a Division I athlete and it is easy to see how difficult it can be to stay on top of schoolwork and graduate in a reasonable time.

Redshirt senior defensive end James Atkins knows how that feels firsthand, as the sociology major needs one class to graduate this year. Unfortunately for Atkins, that class forces him to miss two practices a week. Even with this obstacle, Atkins and head coach Randy Edsall have a plan in place that allows Atkins to catch up on anything he has missed due to class so he is ready to take the field on Saturdays.

While players that miss practice usually don’t play in games, Edsall respects Atkins’ situation and commends his enthusiasm and focus to make the most out of the times he is able to make practice each week.

So far, things have worked out well for the Saugus, Massachusetts native. Atkins has seen action in all three games this season, racking up eight tackles and picking up his first sack of the season in last week’s win over URI.