What’s goin on?
This time next week you will have seen the Huskies wind down spring practice with the final scrimmage, the Spring Game (Saturday, 1 pm, Rentschler Field, free admission and parking).
For now, Coach Paul Pasqualoni’s assessment of today’s practice and scrimmage:
“I think every time you come out here there’s some good things and some bad things,’ he said. “I think you get a chance to evaluate some personnel. That’s what spring practice is all about. I thought Max DeLorenzo [redshirt freshman tailback from Berlin High] showed that he’s got a little wiggle, a little power and he can run the ball. He kind of showed what he showed in high school here today. That was great to see. I thought the kids competed hard. I thought we had too many penalties; a couple too many procedures, couple too many offsides. You know we’re playing with a lot of guys and we’re playing with some young guys because we’ve got some wide receivers injured so everybody’s got to learn their assignments and where to line up. We had a little bit too much of young guys not knowing where to go today but some good competition, some good competes today…you always get something good out of today.”…
Like a few more players?
– Receivers Geremy Davis and Shakim Phillips along with defensive tackle Ryan Wirth were dressed in full pads and did some limited work after being among the walking wounded for a while.
– Saw D.J. Shoemate with his left arm up in a sling following shoulder surgery. He said he was doing OK, still felt a little groggy. All the best to D.J. great kid, will be a success no matter what.
– As Pasqualoni mentioned Berlin’s Max DeLorenzo showed his stuff today – again. He’s been showing the last week and change bowling people over and showing his stuff on the outside. If he keeps running the way he’s been running, like Joe Williams, it’s hard to see how he doesn’t get carries this year, may not be a ton but Max DeLorenzo can and will break on you. Sio Moore was calling him Mike Alstott throughout the day. “We can’t stop Mike Alstott out there?’
Said DeLorenzo: “The line was great. When I saw daylight I just took off.”
DeLorenzo really used his scout team time-wisely last season while redshirting and it seems to be paying off now. He’s a good player, good solid tailback. If D.J. Shoemate can’t go the Huskies have their thumper in DeLorenzo if he keeps this up.
– Another nutmegger has been doing well with the ball in his hands and that’s Mike Osiecki. He had another long gainer after a short pass in the flat. Dude took off.
“I’m trying.” Osiecki said. “I did it in high school [playing fullback] so I’m used to it but it is a lot different at this level. I’m still working on the playbook so hopefullyI’ll master it during the spring so when camp comes around I’ll be able to know exactly what I’m doing.”
Osiecki on DeLorenzo: “He’s doing really well; really well. He’s really picked it up.”
– Could you imagine a backfield one day featuring Casey Cochran at quarterback, Osiecki at full and DeLorenzo at tail? Think UConn might sell a few more season tickets? Osiecki and DeLorenzo are suite-mates.
“I’d love it,” Osiecki said. “We’re already good friends so…”
Speaking of quarterback….
It looked like the staff was taking a long look at Michael Nebrich.
“Mike probably got a few more reps today because of some of the wildcats stuff, because he’s a wildcat guy and Scotty [McCummings] has still got that bad toe so he defintiely [did] but other than that it was scripted pretty much,” Pasqualoni said.
– QB highlights?
Chandler Whitmer hit Nick Williams on the fly in stride with a pass over the outstretched arms of Blidi Wreh-Wilson and into Williams’ waiting mitts for a touchdown. Johnny McEntee came back, going into the other end zone seemingly ran the same play with Williams but the ball sailed over Williams’ head out of bounds.
– Defensive coordinator Don Brown gives it to his players. We know this. But refs, too? Oh yes, on a pass play from Cochran to Mike Smith, where the ball went out of bounds and hit the wall, Dwayne Gratz was called for pass interference.
“Are you [let's say kidding here] me?” Brown barked. “He threw it off the wall!”
– When Nebrich scored the offense ran into the end zone and jumped him with excitement. The defense got upset, namely Moore and Gratz who argued how come they couldn’t celebrate like that?
– Big hand LB Yawin Smallwood batted a Cochran offering up high then intercepted the ball.
– Both Byron Jones and Ty-Meer Brown said the one thing they wanted to accomplish this spring was playing faster and communicating more. It’s making a difference.
‘And you can see it,” safeties coach Darrell Perkins said. “When you’re able to play like that, with no restrictions of any kind, you become a much better player.”
Perkins is excited about some of the young safeties that will join the program in the summer but he’s been pleased with the reserves that are in camp, too, such as Wilbert Lee, Andrew Adams, even with limitations after the knee injury, Gil Stlouis before he went down with an injury.
– Pasqualoni said he’s hoping to get off between 70-80 plays in the scrimmage next week
“It will be more of a personnel evaluation day, we won’t try to make it complicated at all, we can see the older guys and younger guys just come out of the huddle, get lined up and play and see how far they’ve come fundamentally. So that’s kind of the theme of what that scrimmage will be next week.”