Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday--August 19th, 2014

Blake Fronapfel
Lots of news this morning. First off Blake Frohapfel has been named starting QB.

Dan Malone has the story about Blake.

He also reports A.J. Doyle will remain at QB. I stand by my assertion that A.J. will play better this year. He's the only experienced backup we have, so he'll be a significant cog in the UMass offense.

Matty Vautour also has a post on Fronapfel being named starter. Note the chance to study at my old school UMass'  Isenberg School of Management was instrumental in Fronapfel considering joining the Minutemen.

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In other news, four-star RB Drew Harris and UMass have parted ways. Coach Whipple's only comment was "It wasn't a good fit."

From Dan's article the running back chart looks like this:

  1. Jamal Wilson RSJR 5-10 206
  2. J.T. Blyden FR 6-0 196
  3. Shadrach Abrokwah SO 5-9 202
Limited with injuries so far in camp are Lorenzo Woodley SO 6-0 212 and Jordan Broadnax RSJR 5-9 184.

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The MAC Conference and ESPN have signed a new thirteen year deal.

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Hustle Belt previews Ball State's season and predicts an easy win over UMass.

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The Vegas odds makers have BC double-digit underdogs in at least six games this season. BC Interruption looks at the chances of an Eagle upset.

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Fosters.com previews UNH's offensive line and has a number of quotes from former UMass star Alex Miller.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday--August 18th, 2014

I watched the Giants-Colts game on DVD last evening. Michael Cox, who finally had some blocking, ran well and ended up the Giants leading rusher. Cox totaled 7-32-1 TD. Julian Talley continued to catch everything thrown to him. Talley was also playing on special teams. The Colts had a couple of old foes, including Colt Anderson. Remember his leaping interception against the Minutemen at Montana? Seems like a long time ago. The Colts also have Zirlon Tipton, who flat ran over our asses the last two years.

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The Minutemen took an afternoon off and went to Northampton's Look Park.

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Dan Malone looks at Fabian Hoeller and Josh Bruns and their opportunity to start.

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The Boston Herald says Tajae Sharpe leads the Minutemen wide receivers.

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The Patriot Ledger says Boston College's special teams are in a state of transition.

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Both Vanderbilt and Penn State were in the "others receiving votes" section of the first AP 2014 football poll.

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Cleveland.com says the Toledo Rockets should have few equals in the MAC.

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Last Wednesday I attended the UMass Media Day I have some images in a Picasa Web album.

The Performance Center will be a big operational upgrade for the team. Probably most fans never saw the previous video room. It wouldn't have made a decent walk-in closet. Now the video guys have large working space. Video can be routed directly to the coaches' offices. Each position coach has an office big enough to have seats for his players. The training room is light and airy (a big change from the dungeon-like atmosphere of the old field house). The weight room is awesome! Having all the facilities in the same location should make a big boost in efficiency for the team and the coaches.






Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday--August 17th, 2014

Video of UMass coach Charles Walker leading linebacker drills. Walker's UMass bio.

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More video with LB Jovan Santos-Knox leads a tour of the new Performance Center. Jovan's UMass bio.

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Tajae Sharpe
Dan Malone features UMass WR Tajae Sharpe in the second-to-last UMass Top 25 series. When Sharpe and Blanchflower played together last year the Minutemen looked at times like they had an offense. This year, with lots more talent around him, Sharpe may have less catches, but look for him to be more of a playmaker, with more yards after catch. In 2013 UMass had 9 TD catches. Opponents had 22.

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Boston College had many turnovers in their second scrimmage.

The Boston Herald says the Eagles offense was in a giving mood.
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Penn State has a pretty good motivational video here.

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Michael Cox had a two-yard TD run in the Giants comeback win over the Colts.

In his post-game interview, Coach Coughlin praised Julian Talley.

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The Columbus Dispatch says the MAC Conference is willing to adapt to changing college landscape.

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Northern Illinois unveils new all-red and all-black uniforms.

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Recruiting 2016-- Will Fries II

I've blogged about Will Fries, a 6-5 260 pound OL from Cranford, NJ before.

This article from NJ.com updates his recruiting.

Fries currently holds offers from UMass, Rugers and Army.

Saturday--August 16th, 2014

Matty Vautour says Mark Whipple has brought fun back to UMass football. Wins will follow as long as Minutemen fans are realistic about the schedule. UMass opens with four BCS teams and Bowling Green, everybody's pick for MAC champion. There will be bowl-eligible teams from the AAC, Sunbelt and MAC that would go 0-5 against that schedule. The 2015 schedule is much more reasonable and the win totals will look much better.

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Chuck Crow image
Former UMass WR Tom Gilson will play in the Arena Football league's championship game on August 23rd. Gilson's UMass bio. Gilson's Gladiators bio.

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Hustle Belt looks at MAC recruiting power rankings as of August.

Hustle Belt also looks at the best football names in the MAC.

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Speaking of the MAC, Cleveland.com says the Northern Illinois Huskies are a breed apart.

Cleveland.com also says Central Michigan has stuff to win it all.

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Lightly buzzed.com looks at the ugliest uniforms in college football.

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Notre Dame holds out four players while probing academic fraud.

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Boston College is working hard in the second week of practice.

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On August 30th, Penn State kicks off its 2014 season in a unique venue.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Recruiting 2015 --D'Won Parker

Andrew Mills image
NJ.com says UMass is showing interest in D'Won Parker, a 6-0 180 DB from St. Peter's Prep in New Jersey.

NJ.com article here.

Hudl.com has video.

Rivals.com two-star player.

Parker has offers from Pitt and Syracuse. Interest from UMass and other Northeastern schools.

Friday--August 15th, 2014

Dan Malone has a post about DaSean Downey. As Dan says Downey during the Spring Game looked like an impact player. The linebacking corps is one unit the Minutemen appear to have enough depth to run some situational packages. Downey's UMass bio.

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Dan also has a feature and video about the UMass receivers.

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Both A.J. Doyle and Blake Fronapfel will be able to run with the ball this year. I dunno. Having a healthy QB is a big part of being effective. If I was coach, I'd tell both players if the play breaks down, hit the turf and we'll get 'em next time...

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Dan has five questions with freshman DL Jake Largay. Largay's UMass bio.

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ESPN looks at Penn State's schedule and concludes UMass has the least to offer.

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The Concord Monitor looks at Jim Kelley and his New England roots.

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The Warwick Beacon has a feature on Minutemen verbal Lee Moses.

Quote from the article: “We’re really comfortable with Liam Coen,” said Hendricken head coach Keith Croft, who has helped Moses through the entire recruiting process. “Coach Whipple whose reputation is great – I remember when he was at Brown. If I could pick a school, with a coaching staff that you trust, UMass is a great fit for him.”

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The Tampa Tribune says Trey Dudley-Giles is looking for a turnaround.

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The Boston College Blog BC Interruption says it's time for the Eagles to make Boston their own.

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Rick Neuheisel thinks the Colorado Buffs are on the right track.

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Like UMass, Vanderbilt is switching to a 3-4 defense this year.

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Penn State gets a $1 million donation to the football program.

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Behind the Steel Curtain says Rob Blanchflower is making progress with his high ankle sprain.

They also say Blanchflower helped himself in drills against the Buffalo Bills.

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ESPN reports James Ihedigbo is helping the chemistry of the Lions defense.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday-- August 14th, 2014


Yesterday was Media Day at McGuirk. I attended and will have a image album up soon. It was the first time the position group images and head-shot portraits have been done inside. That was a good thing as there was a frog-drowning downpour going on outside. Special thanks to UMass and John Sinnett for allowing a blogger to take part.


UMass has video of Coach Whipple's talk to the media here. To me the most interesting part of his responses were his comments on the facilities and his hopes for the program. He said he came to UMass when we were FCS because we had the resources to win a national championship. Yesterday, he said UMass has the resources to win a league championship and go to a major bowl.

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Matty V says the new Performance Center is a good start, but it needs to be part of a larger commitment. UMass goes from having the worst facilities in FBS to the bottom ten. The Minutemen program could use a covered practice facility and a couple of artificial turf practice fields.

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Dan Malone has a story on Coach Whipple's comments on the BC game.

Whipple said the QB decision will be made this week. Dan reports on the competition between Doyle and Fronapfel.



Dan also updates the status of Daniel Maynes, who everyone expects to be the starting NT if he's healthy. Maynes UMass bio.

Boston College is not just another game to Joey Colton. UMass bio for Colton.
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The Daily Collegian says the QB decision is looming.

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The Boston Herald says UMass is better all around.

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The Greenfield Recorder says it's time for a turnaround.

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Channel 3 Spring field reports on the new Performance Center.

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Matty Vautour will make a guest appearance in BC Interruption's radio show.

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The Sentinel & Enterprise looks at Jarell Addo and Connor Lemieux who were rivals in high school and now are teammates at UMass.

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Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur takes questions from Patriots.com and comments about former UMass player Emil Igwenagu.

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Rob Blanchflower supplied a big hit in Steelers camp.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday--August 13th, 2014

The home uniforms poll showed a clear preference for the white helmets, maroon jerseys and white pants (58%). I think the "default" combination will be maroon helmets and maroon jerseys w/white pants, but we'll see on August 30th.

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Matty Vautour looks at veteran UMass DB Randall Jette. He also mentions potential CB starter Jackson Porter. Jette's UMass bio. Porter's bio.

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Dan Malone has a 30+ minute podcast with Daily Collegian writer Mark Chiarelli about UMass' first week of camp. Listening to them talks I was struck by how much last year was a lost year. The increases in depth and competition should have occurred in 2013.

Dan also has UMass working on situational plays.

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The UMass website has video featuring the Minutemen wide receivers.

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The Boston Herald features Todd Stafford's move to TE.

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The Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature on former UMass star Mike Dawson, who's now coaching with the Eagles. Dawson's Eagles bio. Two other Eagles coaches with UMass ties are Jerry Azzinaro and Bill McGovern.

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The Boston College blog "BC Interruption" looks at the Eagles-Maine game. The Black Bears, last year's CAA champs lost a ton of first-string All-CAA players to graduation. They could drop back into the middle of the CAA this year.

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The Worcester Telegram has a feature on Emil Igwenagu. He still keeps in touch with other UMass players including Rob Blanchflower.

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PreGame.com looks at the 2014 Minutemen as says UMass has the worst defensive front seven in the MAC and the secondary is flat out bad.

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OT, but BC Interruption has a post that says UMass, BU, Holy Cross and Northeastern have one thing in common---they all hate BC basketball.

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In MAC news

Ball State looks to regroup.

Buffalo strives for a MAC championship.

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