Aug. 3, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team opened its 2012 preseason camp on Friday with a late afternoon practice. The UConn players reported to camp on Thursday and went through a series of meetings and orientation and also had physicals.
The Huskies will have single practices each day through Tuesday, Aug. 7 and the following day will have their first double session.
The following UConn football practices will be open to the public: Tuesday, August 7 (3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.), Tuesday, August 14 (3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.) and Saturday, August 18 (8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.). All three practices will be held on the practice fields behind the old Memorial Stadium site and are off of Alumni Drive. Parking for these practices will be available for free in "D" lot. In case of inclement weather, please check UConnHuskies.com for updates.
* The 2012 UConn Football Media Guide is now online CLICK HERE
* The 2012 UConn Football Schedule CLICK HERE
* To purchase 2012 UConn Football tickets, CLICK HERE
The following are quotes from Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni and selected players following Friday's practice.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
"I thought that we did some things very well today and we did some things not very well today as is usually pretty typical of the first day. But it was a very good day. The guys had to hustle around. We had class today. We are finishing the semester. We're not only in preseason camp but we're in class. I think when you look at the overall day, with everything we got done... we got a lot done really. But I just said to them, `there are some things we need to do better'. "
On naming Chandler Whitmer the No. 1 Quarterback heading into preseason camp:
"I wanted to give the starter coming into camp more of an opportunity with the reps and to work with the first-team guys in an effort to develop the communication aspect, the chemistry aspect, the feel for each other. With the conditions of the position right now, I thought we'd go this way. It's a judgment call on my part. Sometimes you try to gather all the important information you can and you make a gut call. I think right now it's going to help Chandler in regards to being the starter. I think it's gonna help the selection of the backup as well. We're not going to make it through the season with just one quarterback. We'll need another guy to step in and win a game at some point. I felt all the way around it would help us."
Where are you on the decision to redshirt Casey Cochran or not?
"We aren't going to make that decision really until...we could make it by the UMass game... but typically we might not make it until the sixth game of the year. That's kind of the rule we use with all of the redshirt guys. Some of them, it's clear you'll redshirt them right at the end of camp. Other guys it's not quite clear, so you keep them in development. It's kind of what we did with Jefferson Ashiru and Marquise Vann - they dressed and were in game-plan meetings and getting reps for the first six games. They didn't get in during the first six so we decided not to play them the second half of the year. It varies depending on the guy and your needs. My rule is, if we haven't played them by the sixth game, then we probably aren't playing them."
When are you expecting Scott McCummings back?
"I expect him back pretty soon. I don't know the exact date, but he's attending to some personal things and has my position. I'm good with it."
Are you still expecting to go with some form of wildcat package this year?
"Oh yeah. There's no question. We'll be anxious to get him (Scott McCummings) back and get going. That's a piece of our DNA so to speak. So that will always be up and available."
Chandler Whitmer - RS So., Quarterback
When did you hear that you were the No. 1 QB?
"When he announced it he called me into his office. I've been working to get better all summer. He just let me know."
Is the intensity different today at the first day of camp than it was in the spring?
"I think so. I think that everybody knows what they're doing. This is probably our fourth time doing this install with these coaches. For me, it's my second. I think everybody is just a little more comfortable which helps a lot. We can just fly around."
On the receiving corps:
"Everybody knows about these receivers. I think they are one of our strongest suits on the offense. We've got depth. I think it's exciting to have two deep at every position. There's not much drop off at any position."
What should fans not familiar with your game expect to see from you?
"Hopefully just leadership and getting the ball to the playmakers. I don't want to do too much. I just want to do what I'm asked and let the guys who work with the ball do that and do their thing."
Was it important for you to know going in that you were the starter?
"You just have to work on getting better no matter where you're at on the depth chart. You have to keep working at it and not look back because it can change at any moment in college football. I'm just working on getting better."
Jesse Joseph - Sr., Defensive End
"There's a lot of excitement. It's been a long time since we've been out on the field. So really, when we hit the field we really want to get it going. That's what it is. We want to remember that when we get out here, we're out here with a purpose."
Did you give any advice to the true freshmen about the first day of practice?
"I just told them not to think about how many days we have during camp. Just think about the day we are on. Perfect that day and then move on to the next when you wake up that morning."
On the experience on the defensive line:
"Yea our defensive line is stacked with the three of us (Trevardo Williams, Ted Jennings). We have a good rotation going on between the three of us for the first group so no one is being left out. We are all rotating in so that when it comes game time, each of us will be ready."
Are you anxious to get the season under way with the disappointment from last year not getting to a bowl game?
"I'm so anxious. I can't wait. I've been dreaming about this for a while, especially since last year was such a big disappointment for me. Now I'm just waiting for the season to start. I've got a chip on my shoulder."