Monday, April 30, 2007

Baylark, Thompson and London sign Free Agent Contracts

Well, no UMass player was drafted. A complete list of FCS/I-AA players drafted is here . Four A10 players were drafted.

There is an upside and a downside to not being drafted. On the down side teams tend to give a draft pick more time to develop since cutting the player reflects badly on their draft choice. The good side of not being drafted is usually the player has a choice of several free agent contracts and he can choose a team that needs help in his position thereby increasing his chances of sticking.

UMass has an excellent article on the three UMass players here . London is going to the Giants. Baylark to the Cardinals. Thompson to the Rams.

I think Alex Miller, Christian Koegel and James Ihedigbo will also sign free agent contracts in a day or so.

UPDATE I: The CAA has an article up about the four A10/CAA players drafted .

UPDATE II: Matty Vautour has an article (with quotes) about the three UMass players to sign a free agent contract.

UPDATE III: The UMass website article (second link in this blog post) has now been updated showing James Ihedigbo has been invited to the Bengals rookie camp.

UPDATE IV: Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has a long article on the FCS/I-AA players chosen in the draft.

UPDATE V: Under the "Dead Tree Media can't figure out why they are loosing readers" category, NY Times NFL draft analyst has never heard of Ivy League football.

I've moved historical material to a web album

I've moved the historical material that has been published this year to a Picasa Web album.

Future scans will be displayed here and also added to the album to allow easy access.

I've added a permanent link in the "UMass football Links" section to the album.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Official CAA Football Schedule out

The CAA has it's official 2007 schedule out.

We'll be talking a lot about the schedule and it's impact on the CAA and UMass' chances of making the playoffs in future post.

Today, lets consider that UMass has one of the latest off dates (Oct 6th) in the CAA. Having an off week is a good time to heal up and get some rest from the long grind of the season. Having an off week at week six is lot better than a off week in early September.

Ten of the twelve CAA teams play BCS/I-A teams this year. The following is my estimate on the chances for an upset.

Pretty Good:
  • Maine @ UConn . The core of the Black Bear's killer defense is still there. UConn has been fading as a I-A program the last couple of years.
  • UNH @ Marshall. It will be interesting to seen if New Hampshire still has it's offense now that Davis Ball has graduated. They still have Ricky Santos and that may be enough against Marshall, which is another I-A program on the decline.
  • URI @ Army. The Cadets are weaker than when UMass played them in 2005, but URI was not competitive against UConn last year. The Rams have a chance in bad weather.
  • Delaware @ Navy. The Hens have beaten Navy in the past. Last year Delaware was last in A10 giving up 397/yards/game in 2006. Their chances hinge on improving that statistic.
  • UMass@ Boston College. The Minutemen should be again one of the top FCS teams in the country. We go for speed over size and the Eagles should use their huge offensive line to bulldoze their way to a win. Let's hope for a monsoon on that day.
No chance:
  • JMU @ North Carolina. The Dukes graduated their QB and both starting TB's. JMU will still have good talent at the FCS level, but not enough to beat a ACC team.
  • William & Mary @ Virginia Tech. The Tribe has been on a down cycle for the last few years and there is no indication that they will be competitive with the Hokies.
  • Villanova @ Maryland. The Wildcats loose their QB Burroughs this year. Maryland just has too much talent for 'Nova to deal with.
  • Richmond @ Vanderbilt. The Spiders loose nine starters on the defense that ranked second in the A10 in 2006. Richmond's offense was not that good and now with a new defense, they should not be competitive with Vandy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Odds & Ends

UMass has the latest edition of Jason Hatchell's Spring Practice Blog here (this version has links to the players he's talking about).

The rest of the CAA player blogs are here .

The League also has a review of Spring Practices around the CCA here.

Matty Vautour weighs in with a very nice article on the UMass players who are waiting for the NFL draft. Worth reading.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Former UMass assistant appointed Head Coach at Idaho State

Matt Dougherty of College Sports News has a long, well-reasearched article on FCS/I-AA coaching changes for 2007.

Most of the coaching changes are centered in the West or the HBC's. However, there is one UMass connection. Idaho State has hired John Zamberlin, former UMass assistant coach under Jimmy Reid. Zamberlin was linebacker coach for UMass 1987-90.

Patriots fans may remember him as a linebacker for New England in the 1970's.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Matt Vautour writes about UMass running backs

Matty Vautour has an article about the 2007 UMass running backs here.

He states that two UMass starters Matt Austin and Brad Listorti are sitting out spring practice with injuries.

Spring Game 12:00 Noon May 5th

The UMass football website has the Spring Game at 12:00 noon on May 5th, 2007.

I've updated the count-down clock to reflect the Noon starting time.

UMass Friends of Football will be holding a meeting at 9:00 am on the same day. As an aside, I just renewed my membership for the coming year. Received "Thank You" letters from Coach Brown and Bill DeFlavio from the Friends. I hope all UMass football fans belong to the Friends. They are crucial to the success of UMass Football.

This Blog will be at the Spring Game rain or shine. Any other Blog-Friends going?

Boston Herald covers UMass pro prospects

Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald has a nice article on some of UMass' prospects here .

He mentions Brandon London, Steve Baylark, James Ihedigbo and Christian Koegel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Steve Baylark NFL Draft Articles

Football1 has left us some Steve Baylark NFL draft links in the comments section of the previous blog. If there is a way to have a active link in comments, I have yet to figure it out.

So, courtesy of that gentleman, here are four Baylark mentions:

Globe Article mentions Alex Miller and David Thompson

The Boston Globe has an article about the NFL draft here that mentions UMass seniors Alex Miller and David Thompson.

Recruiting 2007---DT Matt Goods

I've blogged before (scroll down after clicking. Blogger will display the result below this post) about UMass DT recruit Matt Goods. At the time the orginal recruiting list was released, Goods was the only recruit with no football bio attached. Several Google searches did not turn up any more information beyond that listed on my previous blog.

The UMass website has now updated his recruiting information:

Before UMass: Played at St. Mary's High School in New Jersey ... Helped St. Mary's to the New Jersey State Group I Parochial Championship ... Was named the MVP of the state title game after he racked up eight tackles and three tackles for loss ... As a senior tallied 56 total tackles and 10 sacks ... Named a First-Team All-League honoree ... Honored as All-Bergen County ... Born June 27, 1988.

This article (scroll after clicking) has some additional information about his signing.

Monday, April 23, 2007

UMass has achieved NCAA division I certification for it's sports programs. Article here . More information on the process is here .

Fourth installment of Jason Hatchell's Spring Blog is up

The CAA website has the fourth installament of Jason Hatchell's Spring Blog.

Also included are blogs by Villanova's Matthew Sherry, Maine's John Wormuth, Richmond's Tim Hightower, Rhode Island's Mark Stolte (brother of UMass' Matt Stolte), and Hofstra's All-America kicker Rob Zarrilli.

William & Mary does not do HTML bios of their players, so no link for the Tribe's Derek Cox.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Maine, the way life should be

I'll be away for a long weekend in Maine.

The UMass Football Blog will continue to cover UMass football on 04/23/07 (Monday)

Running backs in the CAA 2007

In yesterday's blog we looked at the four running backs on the UMass roster.

I think the team of Lawrence and Nelson will be a good one for UMass. We will switch from a power running game to speed.

But how about the other teams in the CAA? Well, the list below is top running backs in 2006 (with the seniors deleted).

RUSHING Team Cl G Att Yds Avg TD Yds/G

Eugene Holloman..... JMU JR 10 192 1085 5.7 8 108.5 (note #1)
Maurice Murray...... NU JR 11 216 1061 4.9 11 96.5
Joe Casey.................. URI SO 11 191 874 4.6 6 79.5
Tim Hightower......... UR JR 11 177 850 4.8 5 77.3 (note #2)
Kareem Huggins....... HOF JR 11 136 572 4.2 4 52.0 (note #3)
Josh Vaughan........... UR SO 11 91 569 6.3 5 51.7
Omar Cuff ..................DE SO 7 124 547 4.4 8 77.3

1. Holloman's bio has not been updated for 2006
2. Hightower has also just been appointed captain for the 2007 Spiders
3. Hofstra's web master does not do much for bios

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

UMass' 2007 Tailbacks

With the graduation of Steve Baylark, the biggest change in the UMass football team will be a new featured running back.

Returning in 2007 are:
That's all the running backs on the roster. Any other running back would be a fullback. Aguh is probably a walkon. He had 2,200 yards and 30 TD's in his last two years at Amherst High.

Sloan Russett would be a 20-year-old freshman after a year of prep school and a redshirt year with UMass in 2006. It will be interesting to see how much playing time he receives in 2007. After sitting out two years, he should be ready to play. He was the all-time leading rusher in New Hampshire history.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Another CAA Football Team?

Georgia State, a member of the all-sports Colonial Athletic Association has hired Dan Reeves as a consultant for a FCS/I-AA football study.

If Georgia State should add football, that would be the 13th member of the league. Thirteen is obviously not an even number. I would think that the CAA would be looking to add another team to even off the schedules. Stony Brook is going independent this year. They would balance the addition of another southern team. However if Old Dominion University, which is adding football in 2009 should join, it would only add to the southern tilt of the league.

This could have long-term effects for UMass Football.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Morning odds and ends

As the rains continue here New Hampshire, spring practice continues around the CAA. We've blogged before about CAA teams here and here (scroll down after clicking. Blogger displays results below this one)

Our CAA North Rival UNH has a report on the Wildcats spring progress.

Northeastern has already had its spring game. A report is here .

And look who is on the cover of the Towson Spring Prospectus (pdf). Towson is changing the status of the CAA South. They are 2-0 against Delaware over the last two seasons. They return a veteran team in 2007 and they are doing all this while still below 63 scholarships. Their prospectus is worth reading.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Douglas and Cobbs in the Pros

We've blogged before about Mike Douglas (scroll down after clicking. Blogger will display the results below this post). His NFL Eupope Cologne Centurions page is here.

R.J.Cobbs (scroll down after clicking, etc) is still listed on the current roster of the NY Giants.

Friday, April 13, 2007

FCS/I-AA internet audio links

UNH superfan Travis Liles has a web page with links to the audio feeds for the entire FCS/I-AA universe.

Useful if you want listen to the other side of a UMass game or you want to check on the status of one of UMass' rivals.

I've added a permenent link in the "Other sites of interest" section of this blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Part III of Jason hatchell's spring blog is up

UMass LB Jason Hatchell has the latest edition of his spring practice blog up on the CAA website.

The New England teams are getting hammered with bad weather. It's snowing again here in New Hampshire again today (after the 8 inches we got last week).

I hope to attend a UMass practice in April and provide some images.

In a reminder, the UMass Friends of Football have updated their site and they are pointing towards their 6th annual UMass Football Golf Classic on 07/23/07.

This blog has been a member of the Friends from day one. If you are interested in UMass Football winning games and performing at the highest level, then you need to be a member. Join here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

UMass History--- 1973 Scans

As related in Monday's post, Ed Hajdusek was kind enough to send us some scans of UMass historical material. The two posts below are scans from 1973. Right Click and Blogger displays a larger view.

In '73 UMass finished 6-5 and 4-2 in the Yankee Conference.

Captains were John Jones and Peil Pennington.

A milestone that year was UMass' 300th win, over Villanova 21-20 on Sept. 15, 1973.

I've blogged before about Dick MacPherson and Bob Pickett, but was not able to get any hits on the assistant coaches. Anyone have any information they wish to share with us?

UMass History ----1973 UMass Coaches

UMass History----1973 Team Photo

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Former UMass players involved in local Indoor Football

Four former UMass players are on the roster of the New England Surge a Contental Indoor Football League team.

Ricky Appiah WR/DB, Leroy Brooks WR/DB, Colin Stoetzel OL/DL and Kerry Taylor TE/DE are all on the Surge's roster.

We just published a roster of the 1971 UMass team. One of the stars of that team, Steve Schubert is managing partner of the Manchester Wolves Indoor Football Team.

Monday, April 09, 2007

UMass History 1971

A former UMass player Ed Hajdusek, who played for UMass 1971-'73, was kind enough to send us scans of some UMass historical material.

The following are scans of the 1971 team photo and the 1971 football roster. Right click and Blogger displays a larger view.

1971 was Dick MacPherson's first year as UMass coach. The 1971 UMass squad went 4-4-1 and 3-1-1 in the Yankee Conference. That was UMass' 7th Yankee Conference championship.

Special thanks to Ed for taking the time to provide us with these scans. I don't have any material earlier than 1976.

UMass History---1971 Team Photo

UMass History---1971 Football Roster

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Two Spring Practice articles up

Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has an article here. Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has an article here.

Thomas states that Nick Diana has been moved from LG to Center. That leaves both guard spots open. I would speculate that Matt Austin will remain as LT and Sean Calicchio will return to the RT position.

Chris Hopkins, who filled in at RT for most of the year would probably fill one of the vacant guard spots. Vladimir Ducasse or Kevin Macon will probably fill the other guard spot.

Note that Matty Vautour states that there are only five starting spots in contention. I think Chris Pollard and Navy transfer Jeromy Miles are locks for the two safety positions (scroll down to yesterday's blog post for bio links on them).

The Gazette article states that Brown has high hope for newcomers Josh Jennings LB, Anthony Rouzier LB , Arron Fears WR and Shawn Allen DT.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Blogger troubles

I've been unable to post or update my previous post.

For the nth time, there is some info on Chad Arango here & here.

Spring Practice begins today!

Well, it's 20 degrees and we have 8 inches of snow cover this morning in New Hampshire, but I've been told the last storm was just a dusting in Western Mass.

For the last three months there has been a great disturbance in the force. Now with coach Brown again plotting blitz packages and UMass players back bigger and stronger, serenity has returned.

Spring Football is here.

As reported by Tom um 72, in the comments section of the previous blog, UMass has it's Spring Football Roster up.


  • Mike Thomas, DB
  • Jon Carnes, OL
  • Heath Heekin OL
  • Carlos Feliciano OL
  • Victor Cruz WR (sigh)
  • Kyle C. Harrington DE
The UMass Football Blog hopes all UMass players stay healthy and have a great spring practice.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Two Coaches join UMass

We've blogged before about the return of Brian Crist to UMass. The UMass Website now has an expanded article about his rejoining UMass.

Also joining UMass is Jason Brooks, the son of UMass legend Clarence Brooks. He comes from Middle Tennessee State and will be an assistant defensive backs coach.

Second edition of Jason Hatchel's Blog

The second edition of Jason Hatchel's spring Blog is up. Read the CAA version as it has player blogs from a number of teams (Hatchel's blog is last).

Interestingly, he states something this blog believes-----that Matt Lawrence and Tony Nelson will have a substantial impact for the Minutemen. Can't wait to see them lugging the rock.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Whoa! The 2006 Highlight DVD is Available !

Buried in the clutter of the UMass Athletic Web site is notice that the 2006 Highlight DVD is now available.

I've seen this presentation twice and it's OUTSTANDING.

The DVD is done by NFL Films and the production values are great..

I sent for mine yesterday.

The UMass Football Blog encourages all UMass fans to buy a copy.
  • All proceeds benefit UMass Football
  • You'll own a piece of UMass' historic 2006 run
  • It's practical. Pop it in to your DVD when you are exercising, crank up the volume and get motivated!
I've added a permanent link in the UMass links section.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Matt Dougherty lists Koegel as NFL Draft choice

Matt Dougherty has an article here about NFL draft possibilities from FCS/I-AA.

He lists Christian Koegel as one of the possibilities.

Good to see Koegel get some ink. Last year, the UMass offense was so good Koegel did not get the stats to make a number of All-American teams. However, Koegel has been a great punter all his career. He's effective. Hope he gets a draft chance.

UMass legend Doug Clark plays for Richmond AAA Club

We've blogged before about former UMass WR Doug Clark.

He was a double sport star at UMass and has been in professional baseball since graduation. He just missed a roster spot with the Atlanta Braves and has been assigned to their triple-A club in Richmond.

Two recent articles talk about him here and here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Football Broadcasts win AP Awards

The UMass Athletic site has an article on the UMass Football broadcast team of Bob Behler and Matt Goldstein winning another Associated press award.

Kudos also to the student team of Marc Bertrand and Mike Walsh of WMUA for their broadcast of the UMass-UNH playoff game.

Something for the 2007 UMass Football Team's bulletin board

Appalachian State players model their National Championship rings.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Colgate's Spring Prospectus out

UMass' second opponent of 2007 has it's Spring Prospectus out.

They also have a feature I wish UMass would copy---- video of their 2007 recruiting class here .

The Raiders went 4-7 in 2006. That broke a string of ten consecutive years of winning records for Colgate.

UMass will be playing Colgate at Hamilton in '07. UMass has never won at Colgate's house.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Andy McClay Remembers the Final Four

The Lehigh Valley Morning Call Online has an article about former UMass Punter Andy McClay's trip to the Final Four with John Calipari's 1998 UMass Basketball Team.

The image to the left is a scan from the 1998 UMass Football press guide.

McClay deserves to be remembered as more than a trivia question. He was a great player for UMass.

A 6-4 195 pd punter from Stroudsburg, PA, McClay still holds a number of UMass punting records.

  • Season highest average per punt 43.3 (1998)
  • Most punts in a game 13 (1996)
  • Most Punts in a season 79 (1997)
  • Career punts 288 (1995-98)
  • Most punting yards career 11,278
  • Most punting yards season 3,028
Hopefully, we won't have another 2-9 season anytime soon, so Andy's season punting records will be safe!