The UConn football team held a morning practice in Storrs on Thursday as preseason camp continues towards the season-opener vs. Maine three weeks from now at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
"The players are in top, top physical condition," said UConn head coach Bob Diaco. "They've had a great summer program. We practice a little differently where the practice is put together then the coaches decide what they'd like to do before the sports performance team and myself look at the body of work to decide on the tempos of each drill. It's not bulletproof. It can't guard against every soft tissue fatigue, but it's a pretty good way. We try to boil it down to a science with professionals."
Diaco is in his third year in charge of the Husky program and led UConn to an appearance in the St. Petersburg last season. He likes the progress that the Huskies have made and the ways the team acts in everything they do.
"I think it's our personality," said Diaco. "You can feel it. It's a real family and it's a real trusted circle of people. Men and women working to create this collective culture. I was pleased three years ago, there was progress. Everything has had a different level of increase and achievement and this fall camps is no different. We put a coat of paint on last year and then put another on in the spring and the summer. We're putting on another coat right now."
Redshirt quarterback Bryant Shirreffs (Jefferson, Ga.) was the starter in 12 of 13 games last season and passed for over 2,000 yards. Diaco has also acknowledged the senior QB Garrett Anderson (Walnut Creek, Calif.) is also making his push for playing time this season.
"Personally, I can see a progression on how the game has slowed down quite a bit and how I've built a relationship with each of the players," said Shirreffs. "It's fun to work like that It's always a competition. I would never want a set spot. Whatever you do in life, someone is always trying to take your job so it gives you extra incentive to work hard and strive to do your best.
"I have very high expectations. I think collectively as a unit we have been doing well and have high expectations for ourselves. We're having fun working with each other."
The UConn football team will hold an open to the public practice this Saturday, August 13 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentscher Field. Admission is free and stadium parking lots will open at 11:30 a.m. for tailgating with the stadium opening at 12:30 p.m.
All fans are asked to enter the parking lots via the East Gate off of Silver Lane and park in the Blue Lots between Gates C and D. Fans will enter the stadium at Gate D and are asked to leave any bags larger than 12''x6''x12'' in their vehicles and not bring in any outside food or drink. Concession stands will be open.
The practice will begin at approximately 1:00 p.m. and will features several drills and stations by position groups. Seating will be in the lower bowl between Sections 120-133. Practice will end at approximately 3:30 p.m.
A marketing kiosk will be located at Gate D for all ticket information with free UConn posters and schedule cards available. UConn staff will also be on hand for questions about season tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets. For more information and to scout out available seats, visit www.UConn.Football.