Ty-Meer Brown, a three-year starting safety who injured his neck last season, will no longer be able to play football. He remains with the program and is on scholarship and his schooling won't count against the 85 scholarship limit. Another player, senior QB Scott McCummings, is also not with the team this spring. McCummings injured his Achilles Tendon last summer and was out for the year. He is on track to graduate this spring.
As for the rest of the roster, there was some player movement with Ruben Frank and Cole Ormsby moving from DE to LB for the 3-4 scheme. Frank and Ormsby are undersized 4-3 DEs, and pass rushing LBs in 3-4 settings. UConn and head coach Bob Diaco will run the 3-4 defensive scheme, though most college defenses change fronts and schemes as the gameplan dictates. UConn did play some 3-4 under former defensive coordinator Don Brown, who is now at Boston College.
Other news for the Huskies including the return of QB Chandler Whitmer, who will vie with Casey Cochran, Tim Boyle and Kivon Taylor for the starting QB duties.
Whitmer and Boyle went 0-8 with each getting four starts last year. Cochran went 3-1 and set a school record for passing in the final game against Memphis.
That doesn't mean one is ahead of the other. Cochran's competition was much weaker than what Boyle faced and with all positions, last year's performance isn't going to mean much. How much will last year's film influence this year's playing time?
"Zero," Diaco said Thursday at Yankee Stadium about last year's team. "We have enough contact with these guys, we have had eight hours of contact with these guys and bounce it up to 20 here in a few days. They are going to do our systems and play our brand of ball."
Diaco also stressed that every is going have a function on the team.
"We need everybody, everybody plays a role," Diaco said. "No role is more important than than the next...that's how we roll and everyone is going to understand their value."
Diaco will hold a press conference after the first practice Monday and address the spring. He did say that he wants to institute the culture this spring.
"For 15 practices, if we can walk out of spring for 15 practices, the team know 's how we expect that games to be played, how we expect games to be played with proper energy and effort with mental toughness and how to execute," Diaco said.