Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Media Day Practice and comments

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

On August 12th I attended the UMass Media Day and a practice at McGuirk. A thirty-three image Picassa web album is here. Click on the "slide show" button or view individually.

Truth-in-blogging note, I was asked not to take images of offensive or defensive sets. And the athletic dept asked to see the web album before I published it. The reason being that this was a "live" practice and they didn't want potential opposing teams having any more information than was necessary. As we bleed Maroon & White here at the UMass Football Blog, I had no problem with that.

The kickers felt that the addition of Travis Tripucka had solved the long snapping problems I witnessed in the spring. At 6-2 215 he looks like a football player and I did not see a bad snap during the practice. Both Armando Cuko and Brent Arnold kicked well in this practice.

Both Liam Coen and Sean Smalls sat out the practice with minor physical problems.

I was impressed with RFr Spencer Whipple . His throwing mechanics seemed excellent, as you might expect given who's son he is. He's 6-2 200. He was moved around in high school because his father was hired by Pittsburgh and he ended up only starting one year. He could be a steal as a walk-on. A concentrated year in weight room and learning the UMass offense could place him in contention for a starting job when Coen graduates.

The UMass offensive line looked like athletes. For a while, it seemed every team had to have 315+ pound offensive linemen. Seems like the pendulum has swung to taller and leaner players.

This year's "Best Biceps" award goes to Captain Brandon Collier. At 6-1 280, he looks like he could bench-press a pickup truck.

I was impressed with the speed of Terrance Farris and Sam Besong. Our defensive teams speed could be second to none in FCS/I-AA. We have some defensive line depth this year. In 2007 UMass had five DL with numbers in the 90s on their chest. This year we have eight. Transfer Ray Jones at 6-4 275 and JUCO Theluxon Pierre at 6-3 260 have some size.

The players looked motivated. This could be a fun year for UMass football fans.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the analysis Frank. I noticed on the latest roster update that the CB Xfer from BC (R. Goodwin) is no longer listed.


Anonymous said...

Great flattery to you, Frank, if the coaches are concerned about your sagacious use of the lens! Excellent pics. Thanks! By the way, how many players typically make/are on the travel squad?

UMass74 said...

I believe that the NCAA limits FCS travel squads to 56 players.

Back during our money trouble days when Jim Reid and Mike Hodges were coaching, we typically took only about 50 or so to save money. If I remember right, back in '88 when we played Eastern Kentucky in the playoffs, they made a special appeal for contributions so that we could take a full allotment to the game.

Those were the days when we played Maine, the UMass bus would stop at a rest stop on the Maine Turnpike and feed the players a nutritious lunch of a plastic wrapped sandwich, an apple, some Doritos and Cool-Aid.

Most teams try to reserve a couple of spots on the travel squad for good citizens like scout team members or "good chemistry" guys.

UMass74 said...

RE: practice security. Read this link Kansas football fears spies

RE: Goodwin and Logan (they're both not listed). Both of them played in the practice I went to and were photographed in the team portraits on Media day. I don't know what's going on with the roster.

Anonymous said...

Logan quit.

Anonymous said...

How would you know Logan quit?

Anonymous said...

i was at practice last week and a reliable source informed me.