Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday--July 30th, 2015

UMass was picked fourth in the MAC preseason poll.

MAC Football Median Day recap.

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Dan Malone has five UMass-related posts:

Behind the scenes at the MAC Media Day.

MAC referee squads will expand to eight and will include women.

Mark Whipple says UMass hopes to return to Detroit for the MAC Championship game.

Blake Frohnapfel and Tajae Sharpe get some props at the MAC Media Day.

Whipple said the Minutemen defense should be better prepared to deal with the offense-happy MAC this year.

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Matty Vautour says UMass is eager to exceed expectations.

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Hustle Belt has a Media Day recap and MAC commissioner Steinbrecher's "State of the MAC" speech.

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The DeKalb Daily Chronical says there is plenty of talent in the MAC. Has some Frohnapfel quotes.

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Speaking of Froh, USA Today has a feature article on him as "The best QB you've never heard of."

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Local coaches weigh in on Tom Brady's punishment. Includes quotes from former Minutemen great Dave Palazzi.

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Central Michigan HC John Bonamego fights cancer and tries to still be involved with Chippewas preseason.

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Blanchflower #87/Keith Srakocic image

Blanchflower gets a positive mention in this article.

Another mention is this article.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recruiting 2015--Ali Ali-Musa


Ali Musa #9/image credit unknown 
Several recruiting sources report UMass has offered to Ali Ali-Musa a 6-2 280 pound DT from Nassau Community College.

Bob McGovern reports on Ali-Musa's visiting UMass.

The following is a partial quote from a July 26th article by Scott Eklund of JCfootball.com:


"My trip was great," Ali-Musa told JCFootball.com after returning home from Amherst. "They had a great atmosphere there and the players and coaches were great too." 

The visit to see UMass was Ali-Musa's first official visit and the Minutemen are one of four schools to offer the talented and versatile defensive line prospects, joining Buffalo, Tennessee-Martin and Bethune Cookman. 

As a freshman last season, Ali-Musa led the Lions with five sacks and 13.5 tackles-for-loss while also posting 42 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery from his strongside defensive end spot. "

Hudl.com has video.

Besides UMass, Ali-Musa holds offers from Buffalo, Tennessee-Martin and Bethune Cookman.


Wednesday--July 29th, 2015

MAC Media Day is today from 1-3 on ESPN 3

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Dan Malone continues his unit 2015 previews and says the defensive secondary must live up to its experience.

The defensive backs, like the wide receiver corps is a senior-heavy group. They've been through the fire of the Molnar years and their experience should pay off in 2015.

The starting corners should be Randall Jette and Trey Dudley Giles. Jette has 34 career starts and Trey Dudley-Giles 27. Joe Colton and Khary Bailey-Smith have 22 and 23 starts respectively.

In the key reserves Jackson Porter has 8 starts. Jesse Monteiro has 12 GP. Kelton Brackett is the UAB transfer. Charan Singh is a RSFR.

UMass fans will be looking at an all-new secondary for 2016, but this year should be best since we went FBS.

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A Cleveland.com sports writer picks UMass as #1 in the MAC East. (!)

Cleveland.com looks at Kareem Hunt, the MAC's best running back. Hunt averaged over a hundred yards in every game he played in 2014.

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The Giants say Victor Cruz looks faster than ever.

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Mississippi State HC Dan Mullen has some radical ideas about the NCAA's new academic standards.

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The CAA coaches poll is out.

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OT, but John Calipari says this year's UK recruiting class could be its best. An that's fairly mind boggling...

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recruiting 2016--Leon Flanagan II

Flanagan #33
I blogged Sunday and today about Leon Flanagan's verbal to UMass at last weekend's Clam Bake.

Tom Dowd of siadvance.com has a story about Flanagan's verbal to UMass. It turns out his coach played for Tom Masella at BU and he sent film to Masella at UMass.

Flanagan will be considered as an OLB for the Minutemen.

Tuesday--July 28th, 2015

Dan Malone reports on the three verbals UMass received at last weekend's Clam Bake. I blogged about the commits on Sunday.

MassLive starts the 2016 Minutemen datbase. As Dan points out, UMass has 27 seniors in 2015. This coming recruiting class should be large and influential over the next four years.

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Dan continues his 2015 preview considering Tajae Sharpe and the wide receiver corps. Sharpe has a chance to re-write the Minutemen receiving records. He's got NFL size and his route-running and catching have all improved.

There'll be a real changing of the guard after this year as Jalen Wiliams, Bernard Davis, Elgin Long and Marken Michael are all seniors.

I think Shakur Nesmith, Darrien Josey and Lamarriel Taylor all have a chance to be the "X" receiver in 2016.

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A Marshall-area newspaper covers Blake Frohnapfel's preseason accolades.

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Terrapin Station.com looks at former UMass DC Keith Dudzinski's start as defensive coordinator for Maryland.

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Ball State announces its preseason two-deep.

Cardinal center Jake Richard will be a rare two-year captain for Ball State.

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Colorado QB Sefo Liufau believes the Buffs can play with the best.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday--July 27th, 2015


Shane Huber tweeted the above image of this year's uniform. the new uniforms looks sharp. As long as they don't put the state logo on the helmets...


The helmet decal is from 1973.

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Dan also has a post about the Sunbelt looking at Coastal Carolina and Eastern Kentucky as expansion candidates.

BTW, old foe Georgia Southern looks to repeat as Sunbelt conference champions.

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Buffalo QB Joe Licata's four passing TD's against UMass last November tied the Bulls' single game record.

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Despite playing two FCS teams, the Roanoke Times ranks Boston College's OOC schedule in the middle of the pack in the ACC.
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Sports Chat place previews the Colorado Buffs.

The Ralphie Report features three new faces in the Buffs offense.

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Florida International HC Ron Turner says the panthers' players are 100% about the team.

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Syracuse.com ranks Temple as #61.

VAVEL.com previews the Owls.

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Steelers Depot reports Rob Blanchflower lined up as a fullback in one play in the Steelers' first practice.

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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday--July 26th, 2015 UMass receives three verbals

According to Mark Chiarelli of Maroon Musket, UMass received three verbals in yesterday's recruiting Clam Bake.

I blogged about Taylor Edwards yesterday. Rated two or three stars by recruiting services, Edwards chose UMass over offers from UConn, Old Dominion and Wake Forest.

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Hudl.com

From Maroon Musket
Leyshawn Askew is a 6-6 285 pound DT from Wayne Hills, NJ.

His 247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

MaxPreps has stats.

Askew is unrated by the various recruiting services, but received interest from a number of FBS programs.

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Hilton Flores image
Leon Flanagan, is a 6-3 195 pound OLB/DE from Staten Island, NY

Hudl.com has video.

This article mentions Flanagan.

Flanagan also played basketball.

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It looks like a good start for UMass 2016 recruiting. One three-star recruit, two under-the-radar guys who have FBS size and a lot of growth potential.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Recruiting 2016--Taylor Edwards

Hudl.com image
Several Recruiting services report UMass has offered to Taylor Edwards, 6-3 222 pound OLB/DE/TE from Wilmington, DE.

Rivals two-star player.

247Sports three star athlete.

This article from July 24th features Edwards.

Hudl,com has video.

Besides UMass, Edwards holds offers from UConn, Old Dominion and Wake Forest in FBS.




Saturday--July 25th, 2015

Looks like the weather will be good for the UMass recruiting Clam Bake this weekend. Hope a number of recruits make a good decision to join an up-and-coming program!

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Dan Malone previews the 2015 Minutemen running backs. The running game is a big part of Whipple's offense. I remember being in attendance at at Wednesday Sports luncheon and someone asked about Whipple preference during close games. He replied "I'm going to keep handing it to Number 5".

UMass finished 11th in the not-defense heavy MAC in rushing. The Minutemen totaled under a 100 yards rushing in six games: 55 against BC, 88 vs Vanderbilt, 3 against Penn State, 49 against Bowling Green, 52 against Toledo and 67 vs Akron. UMass lost all those games.

Last year in Summer camp, Jamal Wilson was being considered the lead back after Harris left. He averaged 4.4 yards against BC, Colorado and Vanderbilt. UMass has had injury problems in the backfield for three straight years. I would not be surprised if Sekai Lindsey or Marquis Young sees action despite being true freshmen if the current backfield continues to struggle.

BTW, Drew Harris ended up enrolling at the DII Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks.

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Our favorite newspaper and Boston.com  takes a shot at Josh Maurer and UMass football here and here.

Yeah, geniuses, it's Josh's fault the Red Sox suck.

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The 2015 Akron Zips look to do it with defense again. Akron could feature two Ohio State, one Colorado State and an Iowa State transfers in their defense. The Zips were #1 in scoring defense and #3 in total defense in the MAC in 2014.

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CBS Sports says the Sunbelt commissioner wants the league to end their "addiction" to Power Five money games.

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Getting smoked by Marshall in the Poinsettia Bowl still stings for NIU.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday--July 24th, 2015

I believe UMass will have one of it's Clam Bake recruiting events this weekend. The Minutemen received four verbals from the Clam Bake in 2014 and six in 2013.

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Blake Frohnapfel
Blake Frohnapfel has been named one of 30 QB's in contention for the Manning Award.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Bleacher Report has the full list. Besides Frohnapfel, UMass fans will see two other nominees: Pj. Walker of Temple and Joe Licata of Buffalo.

Dan Malone has a post on Frohnapfel's nomination.

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The Minutemen website also has a story about Blake Frohnapfel's summer internship.

Dan Malone has a report that says "All eyes are on Blake Frohapfel after a breakout season".

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Frohnapfel gets an "honorable mention" in this Bleacher Report post on the top QB's Notre Dame will face in 2015.

Notre Dame tickets are pricey on the secondary market.

Today's U previews the Irish.

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Phil Steele has UMass as #95 in his 2015 preseason Power Poll. That's a big jump from the bottom five we've ranked since 2012.

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Northern Illinois is focused on the start of practice.

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