Thursday, May 31, 2007

James Bryant seeks to transfer to UMass

James Bryant is seeking to transfer to UMass from the University of Miami.

Bryant is a 6-3 250 pd LB/FB who has earned three letters for the Hurricanes .

He was a highly rated high school player who was a Prepstar All-American, US Army All-American and many other All-Star teams. Described by at least one recruiting service as, "the nation's most physically imposing linebacker".

This was brought to my attention over on the UMass Football message board by search engine wizard "Rocks22".

UPDATE: There's been a lot of comment on the message board about the Miami-FIU brawl. This film clip shows Bryant's bow to the crowd that led to a unsportsmanlike penalty. It looks to me like he bowed to the crowd and did not taunt the FIU bench or players.

93 days to go and #93

Wearing #93 this year is Bob McLaughlin a 6-2 235 pd DE from Brewster, MA. He will be a redshirt freshman this year.

I've blogged about him before. McLaughlin is the son of Minuteman legend Joe McLaughlin. His father was a star player and UMass Captain. He also played five years in the pros with Green Bay and the NY Football Giants.

Bob is probably pretty tired of hearing that comparison. Now with his redshirt year behind him, he should be ready to accumulate some stats of his own.

The image to the left is a crop from one of the images I took at the Spring Game.

Hope you have a great season and an excellent career with the Minutemen, Bob!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Matt Dougherty rates the 2007 QB crop

Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has an article discussing the top quarterbacks in FCS/I-AA for 2007.

UMass' own Liam Coen is #6. In 2006 Coen started 15 games 160.52 EFF 217-334-10 AT-Com-INT 65% COM AVE 3016 YARDS 26 TD 89 LONGEST 201.1 YARDS/GAME.

The CAA has four of the top 10 quarterbacks discussed:
There are some fine QBs discussed in the article, but I would not trade Liam for any of them.

94 Days and #94

It's 94 days until we open our season. Wearing #94 for UMass is Andrew Kervis. He's a RS Freshman and a 6-5 231 pd DL from New Berlin NY.

I've blogged about him before (Blogger will display results below this post).

The image to the left is a cropped portion of an image taken by me at the Spring Game.

With his redshirt year behind him Kervis will add depth to the DL. Hope he has a great year in '07!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

UMass looses one to UConn

We blogged earlier that UMass was recruiting two-way tackle Erik Kuraczea from Arsonia Ct. My sources say that we had offered to him.

Several Blog-Friends e-mailed me to say that he had signed with UConn .

Holy Cross may be the Patriot League team to beat

UMass opens its 2007 season with Holy Cross on Sept 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm. As old timers know, the Crusaders were on of the division's top teams back in the late eighties and early nineties.

The whole Holy Cross athletic program was downgraded by Fr. Brooks and Crusader football fell on hard times.

In the last four UMass-Holy Cross games (92-96), UMass outscored the Crusaders 148-17. After 1996 a series between the two schools that began in 1897 ended. UMass had played Holy Cross 46 times.

Now, with the series being renewed (at least for a time), someone thinks that Holy Cross may win the Patriot League.

The September 1st game may be very interesting. It will show what Holy Cross has and it will show how the Minutemen are set up for 2007. Can't wait!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

It's a quiet day here in a small town in New Hampshire. Summer is coming. Remember those whose service made our country possible.

Remember those who are still serving.

Have a nice holiday everyone.

Recruiting 2007---Shane Viveiros Athlete

UMass has added another recruit to its 2007 list.

Coming to Amherst this fall is Shane Viveiros, a 6-1 200 pd Athlete has signed with the Minutemen . He's a three-sport player from Bishop Connelly in Fall River. Viveiros played QB in high school. The Minutemen are looking at him as QB/LB/DB.

His MaxPreps page is here .

Viveiros is #4 in the image to the left. It's from The Herald News image site.

Viveiros drew interest from numerous BSC/I-A teams including UConn, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Southern Miss and Wake Forest.

Welcome to UMass Shane! Hope you have a great career with the Minutemen.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ihedigbo gains respect in Jets camp

James Ihedigbo has a three page story on the Jets Website! Looks like he is impressing people.

His Jets bio page is here .

Way to go James!

98 Days till the season starts and #98

Well, UMass does not have a #98 on its Spring Roster. Kyle C. Harrington wore that number in the fall.

However, someone wore #98 at the Spring Game. Since there was no roster for the spring game, I have no idea who...

The image to the left is from the Spring Game.

Ninety-Eight days to Holy Cross!

UPDATE: Tom UM72 states that the on-line roster has a misprint and the player pictured is indeed Kyle C. Harrington. Good luck to Kyle in '07. Hope he has a great season.

Friday, May 25, 2007

99 Days and #99

It's 99 days to football and for UMass Wilner Alexis wears #99. The Junior DT is 6-3 255.

Wilner played in all 15 games in 2006. He had 6 UT 8 AT 14 TT 1.5-11 TFL and 1.5-11 sacks.

He's part of the small, but fast UMass DL. Wilner, hope you have a great year in 2007!

Helmets of the National Champions

The Helmet Project has a screen showing all the helmets of the yearly winners in the FCS/I-AA National Championships games. It's here . It's an interesting page. I've blogged about the Helmet Project before, but it's always worth a re-visit. Check out the new helmets for 2007 (available off the main link).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Recruiting 2008---OT Travis Poston

UMass is recruiting Travis Poston a 6-7 315 pd OT from Horsham, PA.

His Rivals page is here . His page is here . He is First-team Pittsburgh All-Combine.

He has an offer from Temple. Drawing interest from Big East and ACC schools. B.C., UConn, Maryland and others.

At least four CAA schools (UMass, Villanova, Delaware and Richmond) are recruiting him.

Travis, take a long look at UMass!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Recruiting 2008-- RB Jarren Brown

UMass is recruiting Jarren Brown a 5-8 188 pd RB from Upper Marlboro (MD). His MD Rivals page is here . His page is here . Brown made the Pittsburgh All-Combine Team.

He has a offer from Syracuse. Interest from Boston College, Maryland, Minnesota and Penn State.

He has FCS/I-AA interest from UMass, JMU and Delaware.

I would think most I-A schools would want him as a DB or "Athlete" (i.e. kick returner), while UMass, JMU and the Hens would be looking at him as a running back.

Jarren, hope you choose UMass!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

UMass ranked #5 in pre-season

UMass was ranked # 5 and received one #1 vote in the CSN Pre-season Poll.

The vote is pretty close to my estimate or UMass' power ranking. We return eleven All-conference players. We return an experienced QB in Liam Coen.

If the running game is effective, I expect UMass to make the playoffs again this year.

R.J. Cobbs gives back to the community

Former UMass player R. J. Cobbs recently took part in a Community program for New Jersey high school students sponsored by the NY Giants.

See this Giants press release. Cobbs Giants bio is here . His UMass bio is here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

New UMass Sports Book out

I just purchased a copy of "University of Massachusetts Amherst Athletics" by Steven R. Sullivan '91.

Lots of classic UMass Football images and other UMass sports. Arcadia Publishing's website is here. It was published in 2006 and covers a wide range of UMass football history as well as all UMass sports.

On the cover is UMass' first All-American Lou Bush. His UMass Hall-of-Fame bio is here . An even better biography is here .

Bush was phenomenal athlete. In 1931 and 32 he scored 39 touchdowns in two years. He still holds or ranks high on a number of UMass football records even though he did not play most of his senior year due to an injury. He was also a varsity member of the basketball and baseball teams.

I knew Lou Bush personally. He was my high school chemistry teacher and a member of my parish. He was active as a sports official into his late 70's.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thompson and Baylark news

Some links on David Thompson and Steve Baylark.

The notice of Thompson's free agent contract is here. His fairly barren Ram player page is here . The Ram's depth chart is here. It shows who David has to beat out to stay with the team (includes the Ram's 7th round pick Mark Setterstrom).

Meanwhile, Steve Baylark's Cardinals page is here . His Cardinals Insider page is here with a lot of material about him. The 2006 Cardinals depth chart is here .

Friday, May 18, 2007

NCAA FCS News Site

The NCAA has an active news site for FCS/I-AA football here . It has numerous stories about the Division including Coach Brown's contract extension.

I'll be adding it to the "Links" section in the sidebar.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Blog Spam

We've been getting some bizarrely obscene spam in the comments section of at least four or five posts this morning. I think I deleted all of it.

If you find any more e-mail me. My e-mail link is in the "Profile" section.

Spring CAA Football Guide up ---plus more CAA TV News

The CAA has a 66-page Spring Football Guide (pdf) available on its website. Some pretty good stuff including detailed UMass coverage.

Building on my Tuesday Blog about CAA TV coverage, the guide has the following:

"2007 CAA Football
Television Package

CAA Football is currently formulating plans
to televise an unprecedented number of
games in the upcoming 2007 inaugural
The league will partner with Comcast
SportsNets which will feature a noon kickoff
throughout the 12-week season. CAA
Football will also showcase a number of
kickoffs at 3:30 p.m., throughout the year
on CN8.
The Comcast and CN8 family will utilizing numerous
partners to air broadcasts in each
team’s home networks. Some of these
partners include CSN-Mid-Atlantic, CSNP philadelphia,
SportsNet New York, Fox
Sports-New England, WSKY-Hampton
Roads, as well as many others.
Plans are also underway with ESPNU to
televise as many as four games over the
course of the 2007 league schedule.
Logon to for all the
latest on television scheduling and game times.

The CAA Football 2007 Television Package
will kickoff when CN8 televises the conference’s
inaugural game Thursday, August
30. The Delaware Blue Hens travel to face
the William & Mary Tribe in a contest
slated to kickoff at 7:30 p.m., at Zable Stadium
in Williamsburg, Va."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ihedigbo signs free agent contract with Jets!

After a successful tryout with the NY Jets, James Ihedigbo has signed a free agent contract with the NY Jets.

The Jets press release is here . The UMass website story is here .

Some CAA/A10 players have also been involved with the Jets. Maine's DT Matt King was released--see the Jets press release above.

Happier news for Villanova's Marvin Burroughs---he signed a free agent contract and was one of only two QBs at the the camp.

UPDATE: The Springfield Republican has an article about Ihedigbo's signing here .

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Furman Blog going active

I have the happy news to report that a new FCS/I-AA blog is starting up. The Paladin Walk is up and running. The Blog-Meister already has interviews with Furman Head coach Bobby Lamb on tap and lots of other Furman news.

After loosing Blogs from Colgate, OVC and the Big Sky this year, an active Southern Conference Blog will be a welcome addition to the FCS/I-AA Blog-o-sphere.

Check it out.

CAA Football on TV in 2007

I was recently lurking on the CAAZone message board---not usually a welcoming area for UMass fans. A poster called Dukie95 had a linkto a story about CAA Football being televised on the Mid-Atlantic Sports network in 2007.

What makes that important to UMass fans is that the MASN is carried by 17 large satellite and cable providers. Both of the large satellite systems, Dish Network and Direct TV, as well as Comcast Cable offer MASN.

UMass fans in any part of the country should be able to see all CAA games offered if they had the "Sports package" offered by those large providers.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Brandon Smith has tryout with Giants

Here's an item I don't think has appeared in the media---- Brandon Smith has a tryout with the NY Giants.

His name in on the Giants roster here .

He is the third UMass player on the current Giants roster. Check out the Giants roster pages for R.J. Cobbs and Brandon London .

Good luck to all! Hope they make the roster or do well enough to be picked up by another team.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A look at FCS/I-AA national schedules

Matt Dougherty of the Sports Network has the latest issue of his column Extra Point up.

He discusses the various combinations and permutations of the FCS/I-AA schedules in 2007.

Strangely, he does not mention in the "possible BCS/FCS upsets" section, my pick of Maine over UConn.

Also, in the "non-conference" section he does not mention the September 1st meeting between UMass and Holy Cross. The Crusaders had the best overall record in the Patriot League in '06 and UMass had the best record in the CAA.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A couple of articles about UMass Legend Steve Schubert

I've blogger before about UMass legend Steve Schubert (scroll down after clicking---Blogger will display the results below this post).

There have been a couple of nice articles about him recently.The UMass Alumni magazine has one here.

The image to the left is from the Alumni magazine.

The New Hampshire Business Review has another here. A quote from the Business Review article on his business success: "A lot of it, believe it or not, is from my football days at UMass and even my high school days at Central"

Thursday, May 10, 2007

UMass Captains Named for 2007

UMass has appointed Matt Austin, J.J. Moore, Jason Hatchell and Charles Walker as captains for 2007. The UMass website has an article here .

Matt Austin was first team All-A10 as well as member of numerous national All-Star teams. The OL lead UMass to the National Championship Game and 5,757 yards for offense.

J.J. Moore was 2nd team All-A10. He was also second in receptions at UMass with 46-594 12.9 AVE 4TD 44 longest 39.6 yards/game. He also was the leading punt returner with 30-244 8.1 AVE 59 long.

On Defense:

Jason Hatchell was 1st team All-A10. Lead UMass in TT. Had 126 TT 51 UT 75 AT 6.5 TFL.

Charles Walker was second team All-A10. Also 2nd in TT at UMass with 120. Had 38 UT 92 AT 2.5 TFL 2.5 Sacks.

Congratulations to all four captains. The UMass Football Blog and the UMass Football Nation hope they will lead UMass back to Chattanooga in 2007!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wednesday morning Odd & Ends

The UMass Daily Collegian has an article about the UMass Spring Game here . This Blog remembers the old days at the Collegian and continues to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the articles in the current Collegian.

Many readers have probably read this article by the Arizona Cardinals about undrafted free agents as both Matty V. and the UMass website have linked to it, but if you have not bothered to read it, it's worth your time.

Apropos to the previous blog post about UMass' future BCS/I-A opponents, there is a high-quality Boston College Blog called Eagle-in-Atlanta . I'm sure he'll have a lot to say about the BC-UMass game as it gets closer.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Future BCS/I-A opponents

In Matty Vautour's latest article (scroll down to the previous blog post) he gives UMass' future BCS/I-A opponents.
May God grant me the grace to be still alive in 2012 when we kick UConn's butt...

Coach Brown signs Contract Extension

Coach Brown has agreed to a five-year contract that will run through 2011.

The UMass athletic Dept press release is here .

The Springfield Republican has an article here and the UMass Collegian has another article here.

This Blog thinks this is great news for UMass Football and for the University. Brown's teams have done a great job representing UMass. There have been no discipline problems. The last two years every UMass football player who has used all their eligibility has graduated.

The team grade-point average is up over a half a point. And lastly, we've been playing football at a very high level, as anyone who saw UMass compete with a good BCS team Navy last year can attest.

Congrats to Brown and thanks to UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon for getting that contract signed.

UPDATE: Matty Vautour has an article in the Hampshire Gazette about Brown here .

Monday, May 07, 2007

Article on Ben Coblyn

Marty Vautour has an article on Ben Coblyn's return to football. It also has a little bit on the Spring Game.

Recruiting 2008 ----- DL Eric Kuraczea

UMass is recruiting Eric Kuraczea a 6-3 300 pd DL from Arsonia CT.

He was First Team All-CT. Had 70 tackles and 14.5 sacks as a junior.

His page is here .

Also being recruited by Delaware in FCS/I-AA. Has an offer from UConn. Interest from Maryland, BC, Penn St., Temple and Notre Dame.

UMass is a great place for a DL to prosper.

Blog News

Several notices about the UMass Football Blog:

1. A reader noticed I did not have a way to be contacted. Well, Blogger must have changed my settings because I thought my e-mail link was in the "Complete Profile" section. My e-mail link is now active in the profile section.

2. Readers probably noticed that I've added a header graphic to Blog title. If anyone has a good UMass football image suitable for the header, send it to me and I'll use it and see that credit is given. The image has to be cropped to about 640px by 180px.

3. The Picassa web album thing worked well on my end and I'm going to continue to use it to display game albums and the like. I've added a "2007 images" category to the blog and I'll add images as time goes by. It is very time consuming to post images one at a time to Blogger like I did last year. The Picassa album also has the advantage of full screen slide shows being available.

4. We are continuing to loose FCS/I-AA sites. I just deleted "Home Team Blogs" from my "other sites of interest. Since the turn of the year we have lost blogs at Colgate, OVC and Big Sky. The number of active FCS/I-AA blogs continues to be less than five nationally. I find that fairly amazin'

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spring Game 2007

Well, it was short and sweet. Matty Ryan reports that injuries on the OL precluded a real Spring Game. It ended up as an extended practice.

Still, it was fun. UMass ran some one on one drills, some passing drills and some situation plays.

Several things that UMass fans were interested in were not really covered. Matt Lawrence and Tony Nelson did not get many carries, so we did not get much action by our two running backs.

Also, there was no roster list at the game, so there were a number of "mystery" players. I think Jeromy Miles was wearing #17 in red rather than #13 on the roster.

I've set up a Picassa Web album that has 45 images from the Spring Game/Practice.It's here. After the link, click on the "Slide Show" option button and you'll get a full screen slide show of some of the images I took. Forty-five images is too many for me to write a caption on each. FireFox allows tabbed browsing. You could open a tab for the UMass roster and go back and forth to the slide show if you want to identify players.

There are a small number of images from the album after this post. Right click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view. Note that Picassa allows for a full screen view from the web album.

Still, the players looked enthusiastic and fast. There was a good turnout of football fans especially since there were two other games (baseball and softball) going on at the same time.

Coach Brown

Linemen out

Getting Ready

Matt Lawrence Runs


Brown sums it up

End of Spring Practice

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Saturday Activities

Well, in a while I'll start driving down to Amherst from New Hampshire for the UMass Spring game.

Former UMass star center Alex Miller will be in Detroit taking part in their Mini-camp.

New Hampshire is having their Spring Game today.

Up in Orono Maine, the Black Bears are doing the same.

Friday, May 04, 2007

UMass Spring game

The UMass website has two articles about the UMass Spring game. The first is a preview by Coach Brown. UMass intends to run a controlled scrimmage and some set situations.

Second is the last Blog by Jason Hatchell. As a linebacker he's happy that they're going to get to do some hitting.

The CAA also has the last of the Spring Blogs by players from teams around the league.

The weather is still holding. I'll be covering the game for this blog. Hope to see some UMass fans there!

Update: I'll be sitting in my normal seat in section 6, row "I". If any blog-friends want to stop by and say hello, I'd be happy to greet you.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Article on Navy Transfer Jeromy Miles

Matty Vautour has an article in today's Hampshire Gazette on Jeromy Miles.

He's wearing #5 for Navy in this Associated Press Meineke Car Care Bowl image. Miles will be wearing #13 for UMass.

Miles should be a great addition to UMass football. Hope he has a great career with the Minutemen.

Alex Miller gets try-out with the Lions

A tip of the hat to a sharp-eyed reader who noticed that Alex Miller has received a try-out with the Detroit Lions.

Scroll down the "Yet more NFL Draft Articles" post below this one and click on the "Draft Daddy" link.

UPDATE I: The Arizona Cardinals have bios of all their undrafted free agents here (including Steve Baylark).

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Jason Cherry still getting a kick out of football

Former UMass kicker Jason Cherry is still playing football. He is currently trying out for the Arizona Rattlers.

There is an article here about his current status.

Cherry was a big part of UMass' 1998 National Championship. He scored 13 points (2 field goals and seven extra points) against Georgia Southern.

The image to the right is a scan from the 1999 UMass Press Guide.

Good luck Jason!

Yet more NFL Draft articles

The UMass Collegian has a good article here with lots of quotes from Brandon London.

Draft Daddy has a list of all the UFA (undrafted free agents) here .

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Weather still good for Spring Game!

The weather is still supposed to be good for the Spring Game Saturday.

High 66 degrees and mostly sunny!

Alabama had 93,000 show up for its Spring Game. Lets have a good turnout of fans for the UMass Game!

More UMass free agent articles

The Springfield Republican has an article here about the UMass players who have signed free agent contracts.

The Boston Herald has a good article about various New England players including the UMass trio here .

And Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has an explanation of James Ihedigbo's invite to the New York Jets rookie camp here.

UPDATE I: Matty Vautour has more on Ihedigbo's chance with the Jets here. Also some info about Christian Koegel's efforts to catch on.