Aug. 7, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team held its first practice in full pads on Tuesday afternoon. The UConn players reported to preseason camp last Thursday and participated in their first workouts and practices on Friday. Tuesday's practice was open to fans and the media.
The following UConn football practices will be open to the public: Tuesday, August 14 (3:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.) and Saturday, August 18 (8:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.). Both 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.
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The following are quotes from Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni and selected players following Tuesday's practice.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
On senior wide receiver Michael Smith's return to the team:
“Another senior. A quality player. A guy who has played a lot of football here and been in a lot of big games. It’s hard to describe how important that is. If there’s a high-level of importance, that is it.”
On senior defensive lineman Trevardo Williams:
“Another senior who has played a lot of football here. He’s a four-year senior, not a five-year senior. He’s working hard to improve himself each day. This isn’t a thing where the mindset is ‘what I’ve done in the past is good enough and I’ll just show up and go on that’. There has to be a whole other approach and a renewed commitment to getting better every single day and a passion to learn. I think he’s focused and he’s into it.”
Senior Defensive Tackle Ryan Wirth
What advice have you given to the younger guys?
Be confident. It’s easy to line up and catch blocks and fire off the ball so just focus on that. Most importantly, use everything this camp provides for you to succeed. I think all these guys can play against any line we go against. You might get cold feet the first couple of times you get in there but once they get in there a couple times everything will be great.
How hard is it going to be to replace Kendall Reyes?
"It will be incredibly difficult. Kendall is a phenomenal player and we all learned so much from him. We learned work ethic, attitude and leadership. We are going to do our best to mimic that."
What are your thoughts on some of the younger guys on the defensive line?
"Angelo (Pruitt) is an extremely strong guy. He has good feet and is a great athlete. He has all the potential in the world and the sky is the limit for guys like him and BJ (McBryde). It’s scary to think about how much they can help us this year. Michael Myers has come more ready than anyone I have seen here, including myself. He comes with some technique, a lot of athleticism; he’s quick and has a ton of power."
Senior Offensive Lineman Adam Masters
How did first day in full pads feel?
“It felt great. Either way, even if we’re only in shoulders, the o-line and d-line are going at it.”
What does the offensive line look like as a unit right now?
“We’re healthy and we’ve got chemistry going. We’re all talking and we’re communicating more than we ever have. I’ve never been a part of a line that talks so much, which is awesome. Most importantly, we have young guys stepping up. We have competition for position, which pushes all of us.”
What can you say about the guys you’re facing on the defensive side of the ball?
“We’re always competing out there. We’re at each other’s throats, but at the end of the day, it’s all love.”
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