JOE D’S NOTEBOOK
AUGUST 21, 2014: It’s been an eventful week for the UConn football team. First, Casey Cochran was named the starter at quarterback on Monday. And then today, Coach Bob Diaco named his four co-captains and released his post camp depth chart.
The co-captains include the two players who Diaco brought to AAC Media Day in Newport, Geremy Davis and Byron Jones, and center Alex Mateas and linebacker Marquise Vann, the only underclassman chosen.
One thing that is apparent is the Coach enjoys a flair for the dramatic in these type of situations. There was no table with folding chairs today, like there was for the quarterback announcement. But he called the four players out individually , gave his thoughts on each player and then sent them on their way.
The captains are split between two quiet leaders by example in Davis and Jones ,who Diaco said could run for governor some day , and two louder more emotional leaders in Vann and Mateas. Vann said it was a humbling experience to be elected as a leader.
Later, Diaco discussed his post camp depth chart, which he indicated was not the two deep for the opener next Friday against BYU. The coach indicated the two deep is fluid because players roles change every day. But what stood out is the number of true freshman on the two deep. Diaco indicated as many as 10 freshman could make their college debut next Friday, by far the largest amount in UConn FBS history.They include offensive linesman Troy Rutherford and Ryan Crozier, running backs Arkel Newsome and Ron Johnson, tight end Alec Bloom and cornerback Jamar Summers. I say why not. If the kids have the ability, why ease them in.
Diaco indicated all four running backs would play, a group that includes state Gatorade player of the year Newsome from Ansonia. The thought is six wide receivers would play. Former wide out John Green is now a backup cornerback behind Jones.The head coach says he wants massive offensive tackle Andreas Knappe needs to begin getting “mentally” ready for BYU, though he doesn’t think the Great Dane will be physically ready for the Cougars.
And the other big story, tongue in cheek, was the sensational mullet being worn by Cochran. His teammates all seemed intrigued by the “do” . Casey said his mom “hates” it.
So now it’s game week. The first Coaches Show will be at Wood N Tap in Vernon on Wednesday night from 6 to 7. Hope you can join us in person or on the air.