Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blog Bulletin II

Good morning from LAX. Mrs Blog and I will be leaving this evening on a 15-hour flight to Cairns, Australia.

As I said last Wednesday, the UMass Football Blog will go on an about 28-day hiatus while we're in the South Pacific.

That means I'll miss the Spring Game for the first time since Coach Reid was here. Hopefully, Steve, or TopUMass Fan or Top Row will post a comment on how Ross Comis, A.J. Doyle and the other new QB's looked.

Everyone is still welcome to post comments, I'll moderate them when I get a chance.

I may post an image or two (Mrs Blog and I are supposed to ride a camel in the outback---that ought to be a circus!).

Anyway, the Blog will be back publishing regularly about May 15th or so, depending how jet lagged I am.

Go UMass!

UPDATE:

Good evening from Cairns. Looks like I made a good decision about the blog. Internet connections are very limited here in the South Pacific. Most hotels limit access to 1/2 hour. That's no way to run a blog. Hope everyone had fun at the Spring game. I'll check in when I get a chance.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Dawn camel ride at Ayers Rock. Our camel was named "Trevor". Click on the image and Blogger supplies a larger image.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gettin' up close and personal with a croc at Kakdu National Park.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mrs Blog feeds a Forester Kangaroo outside of Hobart, Tasmania.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday--April 15th, 2015

The UMass website has a post on Friday's Spring Game. There'll be tailgating, a meet and greet session with new A.D. Ryan Bamford, an autograph session and more.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've blogged before about UMass offering to Lincoln HS player Frank Darby. This article talks about Lincoln's pipeline to college football.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

College coaches want to do away with the fifth-year transfer rule that allowed Blake Frohnapfel to come to UMass.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Students made up 40% of Central Michigan's total home crowd in 2014.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eastern Kentucky wants to move to FBS and join the MAC or the Sun Belt conference.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recruiting 2016---Michael Dwonfour

Scout.com image
NJ.com reports UMass has offered to Michael Dwonfour, a 6-1 275 pound strongside defensive end from DePaul Catholic in New Jersey.

NJ.com article here.

Rivals.com page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Partial Quote from a April 7th, 2015 article about Dwonfour article on Scout.com:

Although Dwumfour is an impressive player with a combination of strength and explosion, many colleges seem hesitant to offer because he is 6-foot-1.

He said Rutgers “have not said anything about an offer,” but he knows the Scarlet Knights are interested.

“I guess (Panagos) likes my lower body and how strong I am in terms of my squat and my dead lift,” Dwumfour said. “I think he likes how I’m explosive.”

Besides UMass, Dwonfour has offers from Army, Boston College, Temple, Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic.

Tuesday--April 13th, 2015

From Coach Whip by e-mail:


Your UMass Minutemen football team has been working hard this spring, getting ready for a great season.

We've been on the field morning and night, working toward our goal of winning the MAC Championship and earning a bowl bid in 2015.

You've supported our team as a ticket buyer. We want you to get an early look at how the 2015 team is shaping up. (If you haven't locked in your season tickets for this year yet, now's a great time.)

Come out to our Spring Game Friday night at McGuirk Stadium and get a look at how the team is shaping up. Gates open at 6 p.m. We'll start our inter-squad game at 7 p.m.

Admission is free. And everyone who attends will walk away with a UMass Football T-shirt or tank top that you can wear to show your UMass pride all summer.

See you there.

We Win Together!

Coach Whip

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dan Malone has a post on new UMass RB coach Darrius Smith.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Former UMass OL Rich Queen is in Spring Football at Liberty University.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

ESPN Cleveland looks at the NFL draft potential of Jean Sifrin.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Cruz describes the Dallas Cowboys in one word.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chi-scout looks at the play of Vladimir Ducasse.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recruiting 2016--Lucas Niang

Niang #74/ Terry Dinan image
NJ.com reports UMass has offered to Lucas Niang, a 6-6 298 pound OT from New Canaan, CT.

NJ.com article here.

Rivals three-star player.

Hudl.com has highlight video.

Partial quote from a Scout.com article on his  April 8th, 2015 visit to Syracuse:


"The visit had a strong impact on Niang, who looks at Syracuse in a more favorable light. He is still early in the process and is not near a decision, but the Orange are thought of in high regard.

”My interest is definitely higher than it was before because I didn’t know much about it,” Niang said. “I don’t have any favorites yet. I still have to visit some schools before I make up my mind. Syracuse is in a good place right now.”

Besides UMass, Niang has offers from Penn State, UConn, Rutgers, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.

Monday--April 13th, 2015

Dan Malone reports on the 53rd NFF's awards dinner and Coach Whipple's remarks.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The RRSTAR says the NIU Huskies showed growth in their Spring Game.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Bowling Green's Matt Johnson excelled in the Falcons Spring Game.

Matt Johnson's being named starting QB caused backup QB Clayton Nichols to transfer out.

SB Nation believe's Bowling Green's Gabe Martin could be an NFL draft sleeper.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Victor Cruz and Odel Beckham has planning bigger and better TE celebrations in 2015.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

James Ihedigbo is skipping preseason workouts with the Detroit Lions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recruiting 2016--Frank Darby

Alyssa Ki image
NJ.com reports UMass has offered to Frank Darby, a 6-1 185 pound WR from Lincoln HS in New Jersey.

NJ.com has the story.


Darby went 19-532 28.0 AVE 7 TD's in 2014

Also has offers from Pitt, Old Dominion and Liberty.

Saturday--April 11th, 2015


Lots of stuff going on for the Spring Game. From the Minutemen Club newsletter:


"Spring Game and Football Performance Center Open House on Friday, April 17

UMass Football's Spring Game will kick off at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 17 under the lights at McGuirk Stadium. Open to the public, the Football Performance Center Open House will take place in the Hunt Hospitality Suite (2nd Floor) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Fans are invited to come meet the new UMass Athletic Director Ryan Bamford, and just like on game day, enjoy UMass Football's premium hospitality experience. Food and beverages will be available for purchase and Gridiron Club representatives will be available to answer questions about accessing the hospitality area throughout the 2015 football season."

Also please help Coach Whipple and the team by joining the Gridiron Club.

"The Minutemen Club Launches 15 in '15 Membership Campaign

Last year, we asked UMass Nation to Rise Up. And you did! You helped the Minutemen Club raise a record $1.65 million for UMass Athletics in support of UMass student-athletes. This year, we ask that you consider supporting the biggest movement in the history of the Minutemen Club - 15 in '15. Our goal is ambitious - to add 1,500 new members to the Minutemen Club in 2015 and to be represented by at least 15 UMass Athletics donors in each state by 12/31/15. The bar was set in 2014, with Minutemen Club members in 38 states stepping up to support UMass student-athletes - 14 of which were represented by 15 or more members. Together, we will become 15 in '15! Click here to support UMass student-athletes!"

And Travel packages for the Notre Dame game have been announced:

"UMass vs. Notre Dame Football Travel and Game Packages Announced

 Show your UMass pride and join alumni and friends as the Minutemen take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! Take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get together with other avid UMass fans as our team competes against a program steeped in tradition at one of the most storied college football environments there is. Registration will open on April 20, 2015. Click here for more information "

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Matty Vautour says UMass has plenty of running backs ready to carry the ball

The Minutemen have:

Shadrach Abrokwah 8-5 GP-GS 122-578 4.7 AVE 7 TD 24 LONG
Lorenzo Woodley 10-1 GP-GS 104-415 4.0 AVE 5 TD 43 LONG
J.T. Blyden 5-1 GP-GS 38-116 3.1 AVE 0 TD 18 LONG
Jamal Wilson 3-3 GP-GS 20-88 4.4 AVE 1 TD 11 LONG

UMass will also have:

Marquis Young (on campus for Spring ball)
Sekai Lindsay (true freshman)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Steelers Depot has a long post on Jean Sifrin's connections with the Steelers.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Giants Blog "Big Blue" updates Victor Cruz's injury.


------------------------------------------------------------------------

Friday, April 10, 2015

Recruiting 2016--Jayvaughn Meyers

Image credit unknown
Several recruiting services indicate UMass has offered to Jayvaugh Meyers, a 6-0 175 pound CB from Pasco HS in Florida.

Rivals three-star player.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video highlights.

Brother of Auburn 5-star commit Nate Craig-Meyrs.

Besides UMass, Meyers has offers from Rutgers, South Florida, Central Florida and Tulane.

Friday--April 10th, 2015

UMass has a story about UMass Football's Bone Marrow Registry drive. There's some nice video and a image gallery. Saving lives is noble, saving a child's life like Ryan Carter did a couple of years ago is even more noble.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Are these available anywhere?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coach Whipple will deliver the opening remarks at the 53rd NFF banquet at UMass Sunday.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Nepatriotsdraft.com mentions Jean Sifrin in this post.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

The Minutemen will soon join the ranks of the college football independents. Boise State offers a good video their program.

------------------------------------------------------------------

ESPN.com says Victor Cruz could be a tricky problem for the Giants.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

The NIU Huskies will net $550K from their OOC games this year. The article lists the Huskies take from their visit to Boston College.

Speaking of NIU, they just received their first 2016 verbal.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

OT, but seven Kentucky players opted for the NBA. Calipari's recruiting pitch writes itself.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Thursday--April 9th, 2015

ABC40 has story about the Football Team's bone marrow drive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

The UMass Daily Collegian says J.T. Blyden intends to make an impact this Spring. Blyden's UMass bio.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Andrew Weber USA Today image
The Giants Blog "Big Blue" thinks former UMass player and Ravens free agent Jeromy Miles would be a good fit for the G-men. Miles' Ravens bio.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Hadley native is Notre Dame's leprechaun mascot.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ball State names honorary coaches for its Spring game.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Attendance numbers for the Group of Five conferences.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

A site called "Real GM" has a long post on MAC conference NFL draft chances, but does not include Jean Sifrin.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Orlando Sentinel looks at key OOC games for the MAC in 2015 including UMass-Notre Dame.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CBS Sports says the Power Five conferences want to do away with NCAA rules on conference championships.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Wednesday--Big Blog Bulletin

I just wanted to give everyone a head's up that next Wednesday the UMass football blog is going offline for about four weeks.

Mrs Blog and I are going Down Under. We'll be visiting Australia, New Zeeland and Fiji.

Usually I try to keep the blog going during trips because I don't watch much TV, preferring to surf or read. Since I'd be looking for UMass football news anyway, it's usually not much trouble to post to the blog.

But this time we'll be part of a tour and I don't think I'll be able to spend the time. In addition, because of the date line, I'd be blogging from the future. We don't want to risk a class-five rift in the space-time continuum just when Coach Whipple is ramping up the Football program.

More next Wednesday.

Wednesday--April 8th, 2015

Remember, today is the Football team's bone marrow registry drive.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The UMass website has some sights and sounds from Spring practice (video).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Matty Vautour features returning UMass LB Shane Huber. Huber's UMass bio. Good to hear Huber is ready to go after his knee injury. He's listed as 6-3 250 in the Spring roster. That's FBS size in a MLB.

Last year final depth chart had Jovan Santos-Knox (6-2 240) as one starter. Vondell Langston (6-2 220) and Steve Casali (6-2 232) as the reserves. John Robinson-Woodgett is another option.

It's hard to imagine anyone replacing Jovan Santos-Knox as a starter. He went 12-12 GS GP 53 ST 90 AT 143 TT (led the team) 8.4-17 TFL 2.0 SACKS 3 FF. Steve Casali had 23 TT and Vondell Langston had 20 TT.

Huber's return and the two new DB's should give the Minutemen defense more options and talent in 2015.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bowling Green, our first MAC opponent of 2015 has a new starting QB. Johnson's Bowling Green bio.

The Star Press has more on Falcons' QB battle.

The UMass defense had three INT's against Johnson in our loss to Bowling Green last year.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Buffalo Bulls are looking for stability at their QB position.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Former UMass player Steve Dembowski (1991, 1992 and 1993) has big plans for Milton High.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today's Pigskin has a feature on Victor Cruz's road to recovery. Mentions UMass and has an image of him in his Minutemen uniform.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OT, but could Derrick Gordon end up at Syracuse?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------