UConn faced at a lot of adversity last season, including the death of CB Jasper Howard. The Huskies were 8-5 -- with their losses coming by a total of 15 points -- and Randy Edsall hopes to build on the momentum gained from their bowl win as they open spring practice.[details]
Notes: Also played baseball and ran track as a prep. High school running back-linebacker who was named Massachusetts' Gatorade Player of the Year. As a true freshman in 2007, had two receptions for nine yards (4.5-yard average) and zero touchdowns in 13 games (two starts). Started 9-of-13 games in '08 and caught 26-270-0 (10.4). Started 10-of-13 games in '09, catching 9-71-0 (7.9). Played 12 games in '10, earning eight starts, and caught 11-127-1 (11.5). Did not play against Louisville (hamstring). Totaled 17 career rushes for 61 yards (3.6) and zero TDs. Also was a key special-teams player who amassed 63 career tackles and one forced fumble. Team captain. Elected to not run 60-yard shuttle at the Combine.
Positives: Highly competitive and tough with a professional work ethic. Functionally strong and seeks to finish blocks. Good vision and effectiveness as a lead blocker - led the way for productive seasons by Donald Brown and Jordan Todman. Good balance in pass protection. Reliable hands. Has a special-teams mentality. Highly respected by coaches and teammates.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height, is short-armed and tends to grab. Is not explosive and does not show hip snap driving through blocks. Can do a better job controlling defenders. Run skills are limited - was barely used in this area.
Summary: A hardworking, assignment-sound fullback with starter-caliber toughness, physicality and blocking ability. Showed well at the East-West Shrine Game and has the makeup of a core special-teams player.