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UConn Football Notebook: Darrian Beavers and Marshe Terry to transfer

Also, Eli Thomas returns to classes after his stroke and a pair of former Huskies join the coaching ranks.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn football is losing one of their top young defenders to a conference rival as defensive end/linebacker Darrian Beavers will transfer to Cincinnati, according to reports. The true sophomore led the Huskies in sacks this past season with four while also registering 23 tackles.

Beavers, a Cincinnati native, was a 2-star prospected that was recruited by Randy Edsall in the class of 2017 and did not receive an offer from the Bearcats out of high school. Beavers will have two years of eligibility remaining.

The Huskies are also losing tight end Tyler Davis, who will transfer to Georgia Tech, along with kicker Michael Tarbutt and defensive lineman Kevin Murphy.

Eli Thomas Returns

After suffering a stroke in October, UConn football linebacker Eli Thomas is back on-campus and enrolled in classes for the spring semester, the school announced. Thomas is not yet cleared for football activities but getting back to classes is a big step for Thomas, who was struggling with his speech ability after the stroke.

Three other new players from the Huskies’ recruiting class have also enrolled. Graduate transfer running back Art Thompkins from Toledo and freshmen defensive linemen Jeff Woods and Eric Watts are all on-campus and will begin practicing with the team on Feb. 12 when spring ball kicks off.

Two Former Huskies Join Coaching Staffs

A pair of former UConn football players are getting into coaching. Former quarterback Chandler Whitmer will join Ohio State’s staff as a graduate assistant after spending last season as an offensive quality control coach with Yale.

Whitmer played at UConn from 2012-14 and is fifth in program history with 5,082 passing yards. He went to rookie camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, when current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator.

After the Huskies lost running backs coach Terry Richardson to Mississippi State, former cornerback Tre Bell will be joining the coaching staff as well, though his role with the team is unclear at the moment. Bell transferred to UConn from Vanderbilt when Bob Diaco was head coach and played his one season in 2017 under Edsall. Bell played in 12 games that season, grabbing one interception and deflecting three passes.

Marshe Terry Decides to Transfer

Just a day after Beavers announced his decision to transfer to Cincinnati, the Huskies’ defense suffered another blow Thursday when Marshe Terry tweeted that he will be the fifth Husky to transfer this offseason.

Terry was an important presence on the defense last season, serving as the unit’s representative on Edsall’s Leadership Council. As part of Billy Crocker’s 3-3-5 defense, Terry played the “Husky” hybrid position, appearing in 10 games and starting in two while recording 37 tackles and 1.5 sacks.

Edsall Names New Assistant Strength Coach, Former Husky Reyes Lands Coaching Gig

On Thursday, Edsall named Marcus Wasilewski the football program’s new assistant strength and conditioning coach. Prior to joining the Huskies, Wasilewski served as the assistant strength coach at Minnesota for two seasons. Before he began his coaching career, Wasilewski was the quarterback from Maine from 2009-13, earning first team all-Colonial Athletic Association honors.

In other news, former UConn great Kendall Reyes will begin his coaching career next season at FCS powerhouse New Hampshire. Reyes, a Nashua, New Hampshire native, played at UConn as a defensive lineman from 2007-11 before being drafted in the second round by the San Diego Chargers. He spent five seasons in the NFL with the Chargers, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs, registering 146 tackles and 14.5 sacks. He last appeared in an NFL game in 2016 and will serve as the Wildcats’ assistant defensive line coach.