Thursday, January 31, 2008

Recruiing 2008 --- RB Demetrius McClendon

Sources say UMass has offered to Demetrius McClendon a 5-10 180 pd RB from Delray Beach FL.

This article discusses him .

He also has offers from Buffalo, N.C. State and Louisanna Layfyette.

UNCC may join FCS/I-AA football

UMass plays in the A10 for Basketball and some other sports. League member North Carolina Charlotte may be adding football to their stable of sports. This article discusses the 49ers aspirations. Note that they want to move to BCS quickly.

One the constantly mentioned negatives of a potential UMass move to BCS is that there would be no BCS league available.

See this quote from the article: "Said Gene Corrigan, a former NCAA president and commissioner of the ACC who is now a consultant: "Leagues in (FBS) are always looking for schools to join. It won't be a problem for (Charlotte)."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Recruiting 2008----Archie Barnes Athlete

UMass is recruiting Archie Barnes a 6-4 185 pd athlete from Berkley Prep in Hillsborough FL.

This article talks about him . He was All-county .

Has offers from Furman and Vanderbilt. Also recruited by UMass and Navy.

UPDATE: Barnes committed to Vandy yesterday.

Recruiting 2008- CT Offensive lineman verbals to UMass

UMass picked up its second verbal for 2008 when 6-5 300 pd OT Gilbert Parsons committed to UMass. His page is here .

He was also recruited by Boston College, UConn, New Hampshire, Northeastern and Pitt.

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lights! Transfers! Recruits!

Matty Vautour has confirmed that UMass will have stadium lights for the 2008 season! Read his article here .

Wow! That's great news! With the new surface in 2005 and new lights in 2008, McGuirk will have the most renovations in 40 years. And last year they fixed the roof of the stadium clubhouse. Kudos to UMass AD John McCutcheon for all his good work for the football program.


Also in Matty's article is the news that UMass will have a transfer from Boston College ---Corey Eason a 6-5 270 DE from Mansfield, MA.

Eason had multiple awards in HS. He was ranked as the 2nd best player in New England and was ranked the 15th best DE in the nation. See the BC recruiting page here . Another article about his signing with the Eagles here .

Nice pickup for UMass and Eason has four years of eligibility left. Welcome to the Minutemen Corey!


Also in the article is the statement that the UMass football banquet will be held on Friday February 29th . Leap year day.


Check out three other Blog Posts today. Scroll down.

Recruiting 2008---- OL James Thomas

UMass in interested in James Thomas a 6-2 305 pd OL from Aquinas Institute in Rochester, NY.

See this article (scroll down until you hit his bio).

Thomas in #76 in this MaxPreps image.

Also being recruited by Delaware, Hofstra, Maine and Albany.

James, hope you choose UMass!

Demarcus Roberson verbals to Troy

Former UMass DB Demarcus Roberson has verbaled to Troy University.

He will still be taking a visit to UMass this week.

Players can take recruiting visits after verbaling. Commitments are not final until a LOI is signed.

The UMass football blog wishes Demarcus good luck wherever he ends up.

UMass Legend Mark Whipple joins the Eagles

Former UMass coach Mark Whipple has joined the staff of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles press release here .

A Philly newspaper has a related story here .

Congratulations to Coach Whipple. The Eagles offense will get better quickly.

UPDATE: The UMass Athletic Dept site has an article about Whipple's hiring here .

Monday, January 28, 2008

Three star OL commits to UMass

Quinton Sales a 6-2 278 pd OC from Fort Washington, MD has verbaled to UMass.

His page is here . There is another article on him here (does not mention UMass).

This page lists him as the 15th best center in the nation. That page was first brought to my attention by "zangzigger" over on the UMass football message board.

He had offers from Buffalo, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Kent State, Ohio and Wake Forrest.

Welcome to UMass, Quinton! Hope you are an All-American here.

Some UMass-Xavier images

I don't usually blog on any other UMass Sports except for football, but Mrs. Blog got me a 18-55 Canon zoom lens for Christmas.

With no football to photograph, I took it to the Sunday's UMass-Xavier hoops game. I also cranked up the effective ISO to 1,600. The lens does not have image stabilization.

Anyway, here are twelve images from that game.

Article on Brandon London

Brandon London got some ink in NY as he helps the Giants prepare for the Super Bowl.

London's roster page is here .

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Matt Lawrence and Brad Listorti mentioned as top "Small School Prospects"

Draft Daddy has an article by Josh Buchanan on the top small school prospects at quarterback and fullback.

Two of the top QBs are Delaware's Joe Flacco and UNH's Ricky Santos. BTW, several sources said Santos had an average outing at the Hula Bowl and hurt his chances in the draft. The scouts didn't like his mechanics and his passes fluttered.

UMass gets two mentions with Matt Lawrence and Brad Listorti as Free Agent picks. At 6-4 255 Listorti is fullback size in the NFL. Several NFL draft wizards are projecting him as a fullback.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Article on Jimmy Reid and three 2008 recruits

Chip Ainsworth of the Greenfield Recorder has a story on that includes information about former UMass coach Jimmy Reid and also has a bonus coverage of three South Florida players that UMass is recruiting.

First is Jatavious Miller, a 6-1 210 pd LB from Pahokee HS. He is also being recruited by Auburn, UConn and Valdosa State. Another article on Miller here .



Also being recruited is Chivas Jones 6-1 218 pd QB from Atlantic Community HS in DelRay Beach. He's also being recruited by Army and Buffalo. He has his own website .







UMass is also recruiting a teammate of Jones, Ladarius Denson a 6-3 223 pd DE. His rather minimal MaxPreps page is here . Also recruiting Denson are Alcorn State and Southern.


Hope they all choose UMass! The UMass Football Blog likes that South Florida speed.

Friday, January 25, 2008

2008 CAA BCS schedule

Right now, eleven CAA teams will play BCS/I-A teams in 2008.
  • Villanova @ West Virginia
  • Richmond @ Virginia
  • UMass @ Texas Tech
  • Towson @ Navy
  • New Hampshire @ Army
  • Maine @ Iowa
  • James Madison @ Duke
  • Hofstra @ UConn
  • Delaware @ Maryland
  • Rhode Island @ Boston College
  • William @ Mary @ North Carolina State
Discussion: I think UNH has a good chance of winning their fourth BCS-I-A game in a row against Army. Duke improved last year, but JMU should be very competitive against Blue Demons. Navy lost their coach and Towson had tons of injury problems last year. The Tigers could be improved in 2008.

Hofstra and Delaware could be competitive. North Carolina State is not very good, but neither is William @ Mary.

Villanova, Rhode Island, UMass and Richmond should be facing Top-25 teams and are in it for the experience and the $$$.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

UMass Legend Jimmy Reid joins the Dolphins.

Former UMass coach Jimmy Reid has left his current job as Head Coach of VMI and accepted a job as linebackers coach with the Miami Dolphins. VMI press release here .

He'll be working for former Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni who has been appointed defensive coordinator of the Fish.

I've done a number of previous posts on Reid in this blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008------- UMass Defensive Line

Back on Sunday we took a look at the status of the UMass linebacking corps for 2008. Today, we continue on the defensive side of the ball with a look at who's returning on defensive line for UMass and try to guess what the coaching staff is thinking for this coming campaign. Remember I have no special inside information.

Freshman are green.
Sophomores are orange
Juniors are blue
Senior are red

I'm working out of the UMass depth chart for the Hofstra game. Teams are only allowed to dress 60 players for the playoffs, so the depth chart for the playoffs may have been different. Note that the class of the player is for fall of 2008 not their current status.

According to the last regular season depth chart:

DE Michael Hanson Redshirt Junior
Darnel DeLaire Redshirt Senior

DT Brandon Collier Redshirt Junior
Bob McLaughlin Redshirt Sophomore

NT Kyle Harrington Redshirt Junior
Wilner Alexis Redshirt Senior

DE Open
Darrlyn Fenner Redshirt Senior

Other defensive linemen on the roster are DL Shaun Allen and DL Andrew Kervis.

It looks like we had only one freshman redshirt--DE Courtney Jackson .

Discussion: Based on their play in 2007 (I keep typing 2006), Hanson and Collier will be fixtures on the UMass defensive line for the next two years. Brown likes smaller active defensive linemen. "Chasing athletes with athletes" as he puts it. He substitutes freely to keep the DL fresh. Delaire appeared in 13 games, Fenner 12, Alexis 11 McLaughlin 13 and Allen 7.

The UMass defensive line was very active. Hanson had 61 total tackles and Collier 62. That's a lot for defensive linemen. The UMass DL was very good in 2007 and looks to be strong again in 2008. We do have to replace First Team All-Conference David Burris. That's going to be difficult.

With only eleven defensive linemen on the roster and four of them will be seniors, it seems likely that this will be a position that will receive some recruits. The line appears to be very solid and while there may be a BCS transfer or two, I would think that Brown would be recruiting freshmen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Odds & Ends

Devon Lewis-Buchanan a 6-2 205 Safety/Linebacker from Sunrise, FL verbaled to Louisiana-Layfayette. He was considering N.C. State, UConn, Liberty and UMass .

Still lots of Flordia players available .

Albany, our 2008 opener, has a number of players on the Sports Network Mid-Major All-American list.

A number of UMass seniors on this NFL draft list .

UMass Coaching tree: Milford High has hired Tom Cullen as Head Coach. He was a graduate assistant at UMass for three years under Jimmy Reid. He is not listed as an assistant coach in the 2007 UMass Press Guide's assistant coach history, but he is in the press guides from that era.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mark Whipple up for Offensive Coordinator at Marshall

As you know, there have been rumors that former UMass coach Mark Whipple was interested in the Richmond job. In their dreams.

This report says he has been offered the offensive coordinator job at Marshall.

That's more like it.

Sunday Morning Stuff

New Hampshire is sticking with eleven games for 2008.

Brandon London's dad, Mike London was appointed Head Coach at Richmond yesterday. Another story about the hiring here .

Brad Listorti makes another "Top-75" small school NFL list over on Draft Daddy.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday Articles

Not much news on the wires today.

Texas Tech may add another FCS/I-AA team (along with UMass) next year.

Several players we know will play today at the East-West Shrine game including Appalachian State's Dexter Jackson . East roster here .

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 --------- UMass Linebackers

Back on Tuesday we took a look at the status of the defensive backfield for 2008. Today, we continue that series with a look at who's returning at linebacker for UMass and try to guess what the coaching staff is thinking for this coming campaign. Remember I have no special inside information.

Freshman are green.
Sophomores are orange
Juniors are blue
Senior are red

I'm working out of the UMass depth chart for the Hofstra game. Teams are only allowed to dress 60 players for the playoffs, so the depth chart for the playoffs may have been different. Note that the class of the player is for fall of 2008 not their current status.

According to the last regular season depth chart:

SLB Open
-----Andy Resende-Gomes Redshirt Senior

MLB Open

WLB George Byrd Senior
------Josh Jennings Redshirt Junior

Other Linebackers currently on the roster are Emil Iqwenaqu, Anthony Rouzier, Chad Arango, Jason Grochowalski and Johnny Evens.

Discussion: It will be interesting to see how Brown deploys Josh Jennings. He's best in open space and I would speculate that his best position would be WLB---a position already occupied by George Byrd. Both Byrd and Jennings are fast, but not large. Putting them in the middle or over the TE probably would not use their talents to the best effect.

Rouzier is a good run stopper and probably is the leading candidate for MLB.

Darrlyn Fenner is listed as a LB on the roster, but he was moved to DE to back up David Burris. With Burris graduated, I would think Fenner would be in line to move up.

This is not a deep position for UMass. There were only two freshman LB last year (Evans and Iqwenaqu). Two other LB recruits, the highly touted Ryan Moreshead and JUCO Justin Halas, quit the team in the first week of practice.

I would not be surprised to see one or more BCS transfers brought in and I would think this would be a priority position for recruiting.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

National Letter of intent

I've published this link in the past, but here it is again for newbies: The National Letter-of-Intent website. Updated for 2008.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Athletes signing a letter-of-intent to play college football.

Recruiting 2008---Safety Tyrone McBride

UMass is recruiting Tyrone McBride a 6-1 205 pd three star Safety from Winslow HS. Scout. com page here .

UMass is also mentioned in this article.

Also interested are Akron, UConn, East Carolina, Iowa, Marshall and Tennessee .

Tyrone, hope you pick the best coached defense in the East!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday Articles

The Springfield Republican thinks UMass' 2008 schedule is tough.

New Hampshire has been adding to its verbals .

For UMass, two that got away (we were also recruiting Travis Poston)

Texas Tech has picked up another Top-20 rating for 2008.

Meanwhile, Joe Flacco has started his own website .

When UMass lost to SIU I have the feeling that the Minutemen players stuck together and showed more class than Ohio State did when they lost to LSU and Buckeye players fought each other at halftime (the story page has a link to Dayton-UMass preview for UMass hoops fans). The Hoops link has moved. It's here .

UPDATE: Matty Vautour has an article on the 2008 schedule here .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 UMass Football Schedule Released

UMass has released the 2008 Football Schedule. Athletic Dept. release here .

Dates Opponent

8/30 Albany
09/06 @ Holy Cross
09/12 @ James Madison
09/20 @ Texas Tech
09/27 Open Date
10/04 Delaware
10/11 @ Northeastern
10/18 Richmond
10/25 Bryant
11/01 @ Rhode Island
11/08 Maine
11/15 @ New Hampshire
11/22 Hofstra

Analysis: Whew! Tough schedule. It's going to be interesting to get eight I-A wins for the playoffs.

We play four playoff teams (one fourth of the entire 2007 playoff slate) : Delaware, JMU, Richmond and UNH).

We play @ Rhode Island, where we have lost the last two games.

Holy Cross was 7-4 and was in contention for the Patriot League championship.

Albany was 8-4 including a win over Fordham, who we met in the first round of the 2007 playoffs. One of their losses was @ Montana. Their '07 schedule here .

Bryant was 8-3 in DII Northeastern Conference with one of their losses to FCS Stony Brook 0-30.

And, of course Texas Tech, 8-4 in the Big Twelve. Beat FCS team Northwestern State 75-7. The Red Raiders 2007 schedule here.

Combined W-L 77-55 .583 DI records only. Not counting Bryant, 8 of the 11 DI teams had seven wins or better.

2008---UMass' Defensive Secondary

Let's start looking at UMass' unit positions for 2008. It may give us a clue as to what UMass is trying to recruit this year. Remember, I have no special inside knowledge. This is just my take on what the status of the UMass Defensive Secondary for '08.

Freshman are green.
Sophomores are orange
Juniors are blue
Senior are red

I'm working out of the UMass depth chart for the Hofstra game. Teams are only allowed to dress 60 players for the playoffs, so the depth chart for the playoffs may have been different. Note that the class of the player is for fall of 2008 not their current status.

According to the last regular season depth chart:

CB --- Courtney Robinson Senior
--- Reshaude Goodwin Red Shirt Sophomore

SS --- Michael Meggett Red Shirt Senior
--- Spencer Ridenhour Red Shirt Senior

FS --- Jeromy Miles Junior
--- Brian Ellis Red Shirt Senior

CB --- Sean Smalls Senior
--- Corey Davis Red Shirt Junior

Other DBs on the roster are Shane Viveiros, Keiron Brown, Sam Besong, Eric Dickson and James Carven.

Both Smalls and Miles have been listed as pro prospects (use the search blog feature and use their names and Draft Daddy). Robinson and Meggett are also excellent players. This is a strong unit and returns all the two deep for 2008.

Of the DBs not listed in the two-deep, Eric Dickson appeared in nine games in '07 and Besong played in five. Keiron Brown played in eleven games. Besong is a safety. I get the feeling that Brown is high on Reshaude Goodwin who played in twelve games in 2007. He looks to be a starter when a slot opens.

Corey Davis played in all 13 games in 2007 and should contend for a starting spot in the future. Ellis played in 11 games and will see lots of time in various packages next year.

Spencer Riddenhour played in 12 games and supplied two of the three biggest hits I saw this year. He likely will see increased playing time next year.

Recruiting needs: I don't see any pressing need for a BCS or JUCO transfer for this year. However, five of the listed two-deep will be seniors in '08, so there will be lots of jobs open in 2009.

Coach Brown loves defensive backs and loves defensive packages, so I expect several recruits when the commit list comes out.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Morning Stuff

This is the current view out my study window. About 8 to 10 inches of snow and going strong. We set an all-time snowfall record in December. Click on the image for a larger view.

Later today, after I finish digging out, I'm going to start on a series about UMass' recruiting needs by looking at the various units in 2008 and trying to assess recruiting needs.

Until then....

Central Conn just signed a big JUCO QB from Polomar CC. Who remembers UMass' most famous recruit from Palomar?

UMass ended up 7th in the last GPI poll.

Rickey Santos kicked ass in the Hula Bowl.

More commentary on Delaware's signing of a big BCS transfer .

And lastly, UMass is currently #26 in the Director's Cup standings. Look who were are in company with.

That's it for now. Got to dig out my truck and take Mrs. Blog to work. Then shovel...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Odds & Ends

I've re-organized the sidebar. Other UMass fan sites now have their own category. Be sure to visit "Between Mullins and McGuirk" and "UMass1863's Football page".

BMM has a neat football post going and, of course, UMass1863 has it's 2008 recruiting page.

As you know, I live in the great Granite State. With all the sports surfing I do you would think I would have known about the New Hampshire Football Report----but I didn't until yesterday.

Dartmouth, BTW, has already finished its 2008 recruiting.

Rumor has it that Delaware is getting another big QB transfer to replace Flacco.

UMass' 2008 BCS opponent Texas Tech is already being touted as a Top 25 team.

Texas Tech has its own football Blog Flags over Raiderland.

UPDATE: More information about the Hens new transfer .

Friday, January 11, 2008

Richmond Head Coach Clawson Leaves

UMass will play Richmond in 2008 after a two year absence. The Spiders Head Coach David Clawson is leaving to be Offensive Coordinator for Tennessee. Story here .

UMass and Richmond were Co-Champions of the CAA this year.

The Spiders will loose their stud running back Tim Hightower and now their head coach. Hightower led the CAA with 1,924 yards 5.9 yards/carry and 137.4 yards a game. All three stats were CAA leaders.

UPDATE: One of the rumored candidates for Richmond's head coaching position is Mike London, Brandon London's dad.

UMass Finishes third in Lambert Cup Voting

UMass finished third in the 2007 Lambert cup voting. Story here . The final votes were:
  1. Delaware 80 votes
  2. Richmond 71 votes
  3. UMass 65 Votes
The UMass Football Blog is one of the few places on the web with information about the history of the Lambert Cup. Click and scroll to the 10/18/06 blog post (it's difficult to point Blogger to a specific post. It won't search by date).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 UMass Football Schedule Ver 1.3

Last Friday (January 4th) I published the latest version of confirmed dates for the 2008 UMass Football Schedule.

Now Rhode Island has published its 2008 schedule. This brings UMass to six confirmed dates.
  • 09/13/08 @ JMU
  • 09/20/08 @ Texas Tech
  • 10/04/08 Delaware
  • 10/11/08 @ Northeastern
  • 10/18/08 Richmond
  • 11/01/08 @ Rhode Island

Recruiting 2008 -- DB Demarcus Roberson

Former UMass defensive back Demarcus Roberson spent the last year at Garden City CC in Kansas. He was All-conference there .

I've Blogged about him several times in the past .

He's currently considering Marshall, Middle Tennessee , Troy, Baylor and UMass .

It would be nice to see him back in Maroon & White if it happens.

Four UMass Players Named ECAC All-Stars

J.J. Moore, Jason Hatchell, David Burris and Matt Austin were named First Team ECAC in 2007.

Story here . It was the second award for Austin. It was nice to see David Burris get recognition for his great season. He had 27 UT 40 AT 67 TT (fourth on the team, which is really a lot of production for a DL) 13.0-62 TFL 9.5-55 Sacks and 1 FF.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tuesday Morning Odds & Ends

A week ago last Sunday I blogged about former UMass WR Neal Brown being in line for the offensive coordinator post at Troy. He got it.

Two days ago I blogged about J.J. Moore and Jason Hatchell being Sporting News All-Americans. The UMass athletic web site now has an extensive article here .

The UMass Library has an extensive collection of UMass Football historical images here . Since the library charges $35/image each for use, you won't see any of them here .

Monday, January 07, 2008

The return of New Haven

University of New Haven is restoring football. Former UMass coach Mark Whipple was head coach at New Haven and led them to wins over UConn and other I-AA teams.

They will join the DII Northeastern 10 conference.

UMass Defensive Coordinator Keith Dudzinski was with Whipple at New Haven.

Recruiting 2008

The mother of all High School All-Star lists .

The MA All-State link in the above does not work. Try this link .

Sunday, January 06, 2008

J.J. Moore and Jason Hatchell make Sports Network's All-American Team

The Sports Network has announced its All-America team. J.J. Moore and Jason Hatchell made 2nd team All-American. UMass had seven players in the "Honorable Mention" section.

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 UMass Football Schedule Ver 1.2

Last Sunday I did a post on the available dates for the 2008 Football Schedule.

Now Richmond has published their 2008 Schedule. So the confirmed UMass 2008 schedule is now up to five games:
  • 09/13/08 @ JMU
  • 09/20/08 @ Texas Tech
  • 10/04/08 Delaware
  • 10/11/08 @ Northeastern
  • 10/18/08 Richmond

Friday morning stuff

CSN columnist Charles Burton takes a look back at all the FCS conferences .

Ted Roof, former UMass assistant coach and former head coach at Duke, has been hired at Louisville . I've done a number of posts on Roof here in the UMass Football Blog.

Meanwhile, Ricky Santos is going to the Hula Bowl.

Darren Rizzi is working on his coaching staff down in Rhode Island .

UPDATE: Matty Vautour, the UMass beat writer for the Hampshire Gazette thinks 2008 will be an exciting year for UMass Sports------ including football .

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday morning articles

There are 220 players on the NFL paylist from FCS/I-AA. Guess who is tied for fourth in number of players .

Speaking of FCS teams, CSN has published its 2008 team link page.

And the Sports Network takes a look back at FCS in 2007.

One that got away

WR Jesse Sparks, from Cambridge, MA verbals to Northeastern .

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Article on UMass Offensive Tackle Vladimir Ducasse

Nice article in the Stamford Times about UMass' LT Vladimir Ducasse. The 6-4 310 pd Ducasse will be one of only two OL returning in 2008.

The Blog looks for Ducasse and Sean Calicchio to anchor the UMass line in '08.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

UMass Football History

I've taken some time to edit and re-organize the scans of the various UMass Football Historical material in the "Scans of UMass Historical material" section of the blog. I've added date captions to all the images.

Also added were scans from 1976 that were in the main blog but never were placed in the historical folder.

The material covers:
  • 1971 roster and team photo
  • 1973 roster
  • Scans from game programs including rosters, coaches and other material for 1976 to 1980 inclusive.

The permanent link is in the side bar.

A direct link in this blog post is here .