Tuesday, January 31, 2006

UMass gets second I-A transfer

The Hartford Courant today published an article that Tim Washington a 5-9 209 pd junior RB will transfer to UMass.

His Syracuse player bio is here . Read it quick, before they "sanitize" it as did UConn on our other I-A transfer Anthony Rouzier.
  • Washington is an outstanding student and will attend grad school at UMass
  • USA Today CT Player-of-the-Year
  • PrepStar All-American

A tip-of-the-helmet to Tom um'73, who brought this to my attention!

Recruiting #18 Justin Mitchell

Two sources have stated that UMass has offered a scholarship to Justin Mitchell 6-4 295 pd OG/DT from Paul IV High School in Haddonfield NJ. His Rivals Bio is here .

Also has offers from Maine and Stony Brook. Sources say he is looking at Syracuse (if they offer) and then Maine. He is not making a recruiting trip to Amherst, but visited Orono on 1/27/06. Looks like we would have a chance only if Maine and Syracuse do not work out.

Justin! Have you heard the old joke about Orno, ME?

"Orno, ME is NOT the end of the world-------- but you can see it from there!"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Two Days to Go!

National Letter of Intent Day is two days off.

Click here to learn more about Letters-of-intent than you will ever want to know (unless you're a high school athlete who's about to make the biggest commitment of your life so far)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Whipple goes to the Super Bowl

Matt Vautour, the UMass beat writer for the Hampshire Gazette does his usual excellent job on this article on former UMass Coach Head Mark Whipple (registration required, but worth it).

Whipple is the quarterbacks coach for the Super Bowl bound Pittsburgh Steelers. Many credit him for the quick development of Pittsburg's outstanding young QB Ben Roethlisberger.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Recruiting #17, UMass in the running for seven Eastern Mass players

This article from the BostonHerald lists six pages of Eastern Mass players who are considering their college plans. Read the article for their stats and more info.

Seven of the players are considering UMass (or I am aware of their interest in UMass from another source).
  • Alex Dulski, Walpole QB 6-3, 205. Several sources stated UMass has recruited him.
  • Andrew Fodera, Peabody LB (other papers have stated he is considering UMass)
  • Tom hart, Woburn RB
  • Kevin Kearns, Bridgewater-Raytham OT
  • Mathieu Oliver,Woburn OL
  • Matt Palazzola, Tyngsboro QB
  • Ed Sciaba, Xaverian RB/WR

Recruiting #16 Dan Wilde

UMass is recruiting Dan Wilde a 5-9 179 pd athlete from Wachusette Regional in Rutland MA. Wilde played RB and WR in high school. Would probably be a WR or DB at UMass.

He runs a 4.63 40. His Rivals bio is here. This article also mentions him.

Also being recruited by Miami-Fl, TCU and UNH.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

UMass gets 4th Verbal

Yesterday UMass picked up its fourth verbal commitment. 6-0 180 WR Ke'Mon Bailey from Huguenot in VA committed to UMass. This blog had covered him earlier .

His VirginiaPreps profile is here . The article on his signing is here .
  • Turned down offers from Michigan and Penn State
  • Also visited Kansas State and JMU
  • Was a Rivals three star recruit.
Welcome to UMass Ke'Mon. You made the right decision!

Recruiting #15 Emmett Phillips

UMass is recruiting Emmett Phillips a 6-5 265 pd OL/DL from Northwest Catholic in CT. His Maxprep's team roster is here . Courant article here.
  • Was Courant All-CT two years in a row
  • Also recruited by Richmond, Albany, Stoney Brook and Hofstra
  • Northwest Catholic went 10-1 in 2005
The story was first found by search engine ninja "Rocks22" over on the UMass Football message board.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

One week to Letter-of-Intent Day

Next Wednesday, February 1, 2006, is Letter-of-intent day. Most schools sign 90% of their incoming class on that date (or are allowed to release the news of the signing).

Activity runs right up until the deadline, especially for I-AA schools. Many of the lower tier I-A schools miss signing higher rated players and end up making a late run at players recruited by I-AA teams. Former UMass coach Jim Reid told me once that UMass looses two or three verbal commitments every year to last minute offers by I-A's.

However, that runs both ways. Some players hold off committing hoping for a I-A offer that never comes.

The following is a list of commitments by Atlantic 10 teams. Remember, as per my previous blog of 01/19/06, the list is an artifact of press coverage. The southern teams have a greater apparent totals because the local press has provides more coverage. In this list, Maine has only two commitments. In 2005, Maine led the A10 with 26 signings, so take the list with several grains of salt...
  • JMU 17 signings
  • Delaware 16 signings
  • Hofstra 10 signings
  • Towson 7 signings
  • UNH 5 signings
  • Richmond 4 signings
  • William & Mary 4 signings
  • UMass 3 signings
  • Villanova 3 signings
  • Maine 2 signings
  • Northeastern 1 signing
  • URI 1 signing
Data is taken from the only I-AA recruiting site "Showing Blitz.com"

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Recruiting #14 Jordan Shoop

UMass is recruiting Jordan Shoop a 6-3 195 pd QB/DB from Knoch High in Saxonburg PA. He runs a 4.62 40. Shoop's Rivals bio is here.

His team's MaxPreps roster is here. Haven't been able to develop a link with his stats for 2005.

Knoch finished 3-7 for the year and it seems likely that UMass is recruiting Shoop as an "athlete" and would convert Shoop to a DB or WR in college.

Also being recruited by Louisville, Colgate, Navy and several other I-AA schools.

Friday, January 20, 2006

UMass signs JUCO Wide Receiver

UMass has signed Michael Omar a 6-1 195 pd WR from Grossmont College in California. Grossmont was the National Champion JUCO football team.

Omar's stats: 44 rec, 785 yds, 17.8 yds/catch, 4 TD, LC 58 yds.

Watch video of Omar splitting the defense for a TD here .

Florida players wait for offers

A friend of the UMass Football Blog has sent the following link to an article by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

During the Whipple era of UMass Football, this was a fertile area for UMass recruits.

The article goes on to say that a number of I-A caliber players from the south Florida have yet to receive any scholarship offers...

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Recruiting #13 Alex Joseph

This article (same as next post below) UMass is recruiting Alex Joseph a 6-2 205 pd DB/Athlete from Stamford CT.
  • First Team All-State
  • Has scholarship offers from UMass, Temple, Buffalo and Maine
His team Bio is here. MaxPreps Bio information here.

Alex, if you're googling your name and arrived here, UMass plays better/more winning football than Temple or Buffalo...

UMass gets another verbal

According to this article in the Stamford Advocate (Stamford,CT), UMass has received a verbal from Valdimire Ducasse a 6-5 330 pd OL from the Stamford Black Knights in Stamford, CT.
  • First Team All FCIAC (All-State) in 2005
  • Two year starter
  • Choose UMass over Maine, Northeastern and Hofstra.
He also has a Bio on the Black Knights webpage here. More info from MaxPreps here.

Welcome aboard to Valdimir. You made the right choice!

A tip-of-the-Helmet to "Rocks22" over on the UMass Sports Board for bringing this to my attention.

Two weeks to go

With two weeks to go until Letter-of-Intent Day (Feb. 1st), the number of published verbals runs as given below. The numbers are from the only I-AA recruiting site: "ShowingBlitz". Note that the numbers are an artifact of press coverage.

High numbers of reported verbals for the southern schools are the result of press coverage by The Richmond Times and Delaware Online both of whom extend extensive college football coverage. Down there when a recruit gives a verbal, it's news. The low totals of the New England schools reflect the lack of press interest...

Remember, the schools themselves can not comment until all the paperwork is received.

  • Delaware 15 verbals
  • JMU 13 verbals
  • Townson 6 verbals
  • Richmond 4 verbals
  • UNH 4 verbals
  • Villanova 3 verbals
  • William & Mary 2 verbals
  • UMass, Maine, Hofstra 1 verbal
  • Rhode Island 0 verbals

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Recruiting #12 Dylan Mess

UMass is recruiting Dylan Mess a 6-1 218 pd OLB from Cambridge Rindge & latin. Mess runs a 4.7 40. Also ran track & Field for Cambridge.

Mess is also being recruited by New Hampshire and Northeastern.

His Rivals bio is here .

Saturday, January 14, 2006

UMass Coaching tree expands

I've blogged before on UMass coaching connections (scroll down).

The UMass coaching tree grew a new branch yesterday when former UMass Defensive Line coach Sean Spencer was hired at Hofstra. The full article is here .

This is a cut-and-paste from the article: " Before his stint at Holy Cross, Spencer served as the defensive line coach at the University of Massachusetts from 2001 through 2003. In his final season in Amherst, the Minutemen finish second in the Atlantic 10 in sacks with 34. Under Spencer's tutelage, three linemen earned all-conference honors including Minutemen defensive standout Vladamar Brower, who earned All-America honors and was a Buck Buchanan Award finalist"

The image to the right is a scan from the 2002 UMass Press Guide.

Friday, January 13, 2006

19 days until Letter-of-Intent Day

Only 19 days until Feb 1st, which is Letter-of-Intent day. The next two weeks should be a period of intense activity at UMass.

Last year UMass took a number of I-A transfers and has already signed one for 2006.

There are two periods of activity for I-A transfers. One is now---- after the fall semester. Another happens after Spring football and players know their status for the following year. Look for UMass to consider some I-A players during that time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Recruiting #11 Ke'Mon Bailey

Considering UMass is Ke'Mon Bailey a 6-0 180 RB from Richmond VA who will play WR in college. Bailey runs a 4.5 40 and benches 325. Rivals bio here .

He will take a recruiting visit to UMass on 1/20/06. Also being recruited by Kansas State, Michigan, Penn State, Purdue, Temple and JMU.

Hope he chooses UMass. Bailey will get a lot more playing time at UMass than he would at Penn State or Michigan.

Monday, January 09, 2006

UMass 2006 football schedule released

UMass has released the 2006 UMass football schedule . This is fairly early release for UMass. Often the Athletic Dept waits until late spring to divulge the schedule.

Each year an A10 team plays all the teams in its division and then adds three teams from the other division.

This year UMass rotates from playing Delaware, Richmond and JMU into a South Division schedule of Villanova, Towson and William & Mary.

Oops! Matt Vautour reports in todays (01/11/05) Hampshire Gazette, that the Athletic Dept reversed the first two games on the 2006 football schedule in yesterday's press release. The corrected schedule is below.

The 2006 Schedule:
  • 09/02/06 Colgate (NCAA playoff team in 2005)
  • 09/09/06 @Navy (national TV on CSTV)
  • 09/16/06 @Villanova
  • 09/23/06 Off
  • 09/30/06 AIC (Div II)
  • 10/07/06 William & Mary
  • 10/14/06 @Towson
  • 10/21/06 URI
  • 10/28/06 @Northeastern
  • 11/04/06 @New Hampshire (NCAA quarter finalist playoff team 2005)
  • 11/11/06 Maine
  • 11/18/06 Hofstra

UMass Coaching Connections

I have blogged about former UMass Coach Jimmie Reid being appointed head coach at VMI. And I did a blog on former UMass player and coach Ben Albert being hired at Delaware.

I never did a blog about former UMass Defensive coordinator Tom Mesalla being hired as head coach at Fordham. Mesalla did an excellent job as head coach at CCSU and he will make an impact at Fordham.

Buried in the UMass web site is this excellent piece on UMass football coaching connections. Old time UMass fans will recognize many of these names. Interesting stuff!

Here is a image of Coach Mesalla's press conference at Fordham.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Update on UMass Hall-of-Fame Member Jerry Whelchel

In a previous blog , I wrote about former UMass QB Jerry Whelchel being inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame. At that time I was aware that he had passed away, but was unable to provide any details.

A family member has left this link to his obituary. Whelchel passed away on 09/24/04 at the age of 62.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Recruiting Heats Up

Letter of Intent Day is less that a month away. This weekend also ends a recruiting "quiet period".

I've blogged about this before (scroll down to the first post), but UMass fans should check the "ShowingBlitz" web site for news of I-AA signings. Showing Blitz is the only I-AA recruiting site.

Last year, Showing Blitz ranked the recruiting classes of 2005 for running backs. UMass had two of it's 2005 recruits ranked in the top 30 in I-AA. They were Tony Nelson and Chris Zardas.

There has been some interesting UMass recruiting news and I will be blogging on it soon.

UMass finishes #16 in final GPI

I-AA.org has published it's final GPI for 2005. UMass finished #16 (third in the A10 and ahead of several playoff teams.

Over the last couple years the GPI has been the most accurate predictor of playoff selection. Worth a look!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First 2006 I-A transfer Anthony Rouzier

UMass has acquired the first member of its 2006 recruiting Class. Anthony Rouzier 6-0 222 LB has transferred from UConn. Rouzier did well at UConn, including an interception for a TD. Hampshire Gazette writer Jim Pignatiello has an article here (registration required, but worth it).

This article also also mentions Rouzier. Note he is described as "the best player in Western Mass"

Rouzier will be reunited with former Amherst teammate James Ihedigbo who is an All-A10 candidate for UMass at Safety.

Recruiting #10 Jared Brabham

UMass is interested in Jared Brabham a 6-2 295 pd DT from Long Branch NJ. He runs a 5.25 40, benches 325 and squats 480.

Also recruiting Brabham are Maryland, Rhode Island, Temple, Villanova, Maine and New Hampshire.

On the I-AA level, defensive tackles are regarded as perhaps the most difficult position to recruit. Most DT's in the 280-and-up size end up going I-A.

Brabham would be a nice addition to the UMass defense.