Sunday, February 28, 2010

UMass 2010 Football Banquet

There was a good turnout for the UMass Football Banquet Friday. Click on the above images for a larger view.

I spoke personally with UMass AD John McCutcheon. He commented on the NCAA's committee's choice of Firsco, TX to host the FCS National Championship game. He stated that Frisco made an outstanding presentation and the committee felt the event needed to be re-energized.

In his speech to the gathering, McCutcheon stated that UMass Football was important to the athletic dept and to UMass. He stated that program was healthy, as were the remaining CAA teams. McCutcheon said he felt the state's financial support of the University was stable. He also said he expected to continue to work on improvements to McGuirk stadium. The stadium support buildings would receive some attention in 2010.

Brandon London attended and gave a rousing speech to the crowd.

Victor Cruz was not at the gathering, but Coach Morris announced that Victor had received his degree.

My notes have disappeared, so feel free to comment on the team honors. Tom Brandt received the outstanding defensive scout team award and Octavious Hawkins won the award on the offensive side.

UPDATE: From Jason Yellin (UMass Sports Information Office)

"AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass football team held its annual team banquet on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Campus Center. Senior wide receiver Victor Cruz was honored as a team MVP. Senior tackle Vladimir Ducasse was named the Outstanding Offensive Player while seniors Kyle Harrington and Jeromy Miles shared the top Defensive Player Award. Former star receiver Brandon London, who recently signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, spoke to the team as a guest speaker.

Here are the 2009 season award winners:

Outstanding Defensive Scout Team Player: Tom Brandt
Outstanding Offensive Scout Team Player: Octavious Hawkins
Vic Fusia Most Improved Offensive Player: Jared Chivers & Chris Zardas
Vic Fusia Most Improved Defensive Player: Anthony Monette & Tyler Holmes
Academic Achievement Award: David Ramsden & Jeff Strait
Marcel Shipp
Iron Minuteman Award: Vladimir Ducasse & Jeromy Miles
Outstanding Special Teams Player: Armando Cuko
Outstanding Offensive Player: Vladimir Ducasse
Outstanding Defensive Player: Jeromy Miles & Kyle Harrington
Team Most Valuable Player: Victor Cruz

Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday News---- February 26th, 2010

Former UMass Captain and assistant coach Jerry Gordon is in the news again. He's just been appointed HC at Woodgrove HS in VA. Well, we know one HS where UMass recruiters will always be welcome! Congrats to Jerry!


FWTW, a Bleacher Report columnist says "UMass is clearly the best choice for Big East expansion".


Chattanooga made its pitch and now awaits the decision on if it will host the National Championship game. They think it went well.


Eastern Washington went through with it and is installing red turf.


The Philadelphia Eagles have released Brian Westbrook. He was one of the best FCS/I-AA players I have ever seen. Mrs Blog and I went to the Villanova game in 2001 down on the Mainline and Westbrook was the whole Wildcat team in a 47-13 rout of the Minutemen.


This year's FBS opponent Michigan may be in some major hot water with the NCAA due to "potentially serious' rules violations.


Delaware basketball still sucks.


This first came to my attention over at Draft Daddy. Learn "Combine football speak"


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday News---February 25th,2010

Three more articles discussing Hurricane QB's including Spencer Whipple here and here and here.


Another Blogger equates UMass with Delaware State.


This Jaguar Blog mentions Vladimir Ducasse.

Eric Gallant of has an article on Ducasse.

The Big Blue (Giants) blog looks at Ducasse.


From the NCAA rulebook: how many coaches can a FCS program have?


The delegation from Frisco, TX leaves today to make their presentation to the NCAA about hosting the FCS Championship game.

The Chattanooga Times says the FCS Championship game is near and dear to them.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday News --February 24th, 2010

Vladimir Ducasse is ranked #51 overall in this NFL Draft article by USA Today.

NFL Draft maven Mike Mayock says the Dallas Cowboys could pick Vlad.


The last paragraph of this article about Colorado signing Passiac Tech running back Terrel Smith talks about Tech alum Marcel Shipp's signing with UMass.


More on the quarterback mix at Miami and Spencer Whipple.


There will be three new members on the NCAA FCS committee. I'm not sure if UMass AD John McCutcheon is keeping his seat.

As snow buries New England, Appalachian State starts Spring Practice.


University of Oregon is clearly in the lead for the 2010 edition of the Fulmer Cup.


Do, Do, Do Lookin' out my back door.

Click on image for a larger view.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday News --- Feburary 23rd, 2010

The UMass Daily Collegian has another story about Vladimir Ducasse. Vlad is also mentioned in this Atlanta Journal article on players to watch from small/mid-major schools .


Former UMass assistant coach Mike Cassano has been named running backs coach at the University of Miami.


The Worcester Telegram has a story about Holy Cross' QB Dominic Randolph. Note that the article says UMass' Pro-Day is March 25th.

Maybe Matty Vautour will attend and give us some info on UMass players.


The Richmond Spiders are in the process of having an unprecedented year in Football and Basketball.


Bob Huggins says it's time for basketball to split into FBS and FCS divisions like football.


Any Given Saturday has a new owner.


The Weatherman is calling for back-to-back 12+ inch snow storms here Jaffrey over the next couple days...


Monday, February 22, 2010

UMass Historical Scans--1985

Click on the image and Blogger displays a much large view. The 1985 UMass press guide depicted above has 80 pages and survived my basement flood although with some water stains.

I've added nine scans from four different 1985 UMass game programs to the UMass Football History section.

In 1985 UMass went 7-4 and 4-1 in the Yankee Conference (2nd place). That was Bob Stull's second and last season as head coach. Captains were Paul Platek and George Barnwell.

Dave Palazzi, Paul Platek, Todd Rundle and Bob Shelmire were All-Yankee Conference.

Al Neri led the team in rushing with 530 yards. Dave Palazzi went 84/157 1152 and 5 TD's. John McKeown had 80 UT 56 AT 136 TT to start on his way to becoming UMass all-time career leader in tackles.

I included a cover from the UMass-Northeastern game at Parsons Field. They were celebrating their 50th year of football.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday News -- February 21st, 2010

The University of New Hampshire is considering a recommendation that athletics be considered a core function of the University. This is undoubtedly the de facto position of the top public universities.


A Question-and-Answer session with Mike McLaughlin , whose father starred for UMass back in the 70's.


In a link I first saw on the blog "Wiz of Odds' , favorites work harder than undogs.


I watched the UMass Hockey team lose to Merrimac on NESN last night. As I have said several times, I totally lack the hockey gene----unusual for a native New Englander----so I don'tknow enough about the game to comment. For my hockey analysis I read the excellent UMass "Fear the Triangle" blog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Northeastern transfer --Liam Krahe

UPDATE: It appears I don't have good information about where Krahe is.

I should not have done the blog post without getting confirmation. It's part of the pressure of trying to find something to write in February :)

My fault.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday News --February 19th, 2010

Former UMass QB Spencer Whipple gets a mention in this article about Miami's quarterbacks. More mentions of Whipple here and here.


One potential UMass recruit that got away.


Is there a college football superconference in the works?


A college program with one of the best monikers in sports, the Stetson Hatters, are considering bringing back football. The Hatters had a pretty good hoops team at one time.

Get your own nickname here.


Former Montana CB Jimmy Wilson's last game was against UMass in the 2006 playoffs. He was considered to be an NFL prospect. Then he killed a man.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday News --February 18th, 2010 looks at "small school" NFL prospects and rates Vladimir Ducasse as #1. The article has one of the better images of Vlad.


UNH adds a tall WR to their recruiting class.


More complaining about the proposed legislative bill to require the Terps to play an in-state (FCS) team.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday News-- February 17,2010

The BC Lions have signed former UMass great Keron Williams. He joins CFL All-Star Anton McKenzie who also plays for the Lions.


James Madison loses RB Corwin Aker .


Washington State AD Jim Sterk will be appointed AD at San Diego State, which is the position current UMass AD John McCutcheon was interested in.


Maryland lawmakers are skeptical about a proposed rule that forces the Terps to schedule in-state FCS teams.


The South Jersey Courier-Post says football withdrawal sucks.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday News--February 16th, 2010

Former UMass two time Captain and assistant coach Jerry Gordon has a new book out:"Coaching the Under Front Defense". Be sure to check out Gordon's bio on the Amazon link.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- has a long and interesting story about former UMass nose tackle and assistant coach Joe Cullen. Lots of UMass connections in the article.


Another Michigan post on Bleacher Report predicts an easy win by the Wolverines over UMass.


There will be some rule changes from the NCAA this year concerning taunting and eye black. Eye black?


The University of Texas at San Antonio just signed their first recruiting class. The Roadrunners plan to play two years in FCS starting in 2011 and be in FBS by 2015.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday News--February 15th, 2010

I ran a link to this story about Norwell, MA WR Dominic Wooten's signing with UMass on LOI day, but it has been updated lately.


Some early bulletin board material for the UMass locker room. A Michigan fan reviews the Wolverines' OOC schedule for the Bleacher Report and predicts Michigan 63-10 over the Minutemen. "Think Delaware State", he says.


The Southland Conference and Pizza Hut are joining forces to bring the FCS National Championship game to Frisco, TX. The decision should be made by the first week of March.


The winningest coach in FCS history, Eddie G. Robinson, has just had a museum dedicated to his 57 years of coaching.


Lawsuits may end video games based on college sports.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Images of Gary Pearson and Coach Pickett

Click on the image and Blogger displays a much larger view. The article above is readable when enlarged.

The newspaper clipping is by legendary UMass beat reporter Milt Cole of the Hampshire Gazette. Before the internet, Milt was my primary news feed for Minutemen football.

The images were taken by me with God-knows-what type of camera. Some of them were none too good to begin with. I scanned the original prints and did a color correction and then ran an unsharp mask to tighten things up.

The images with UMass in their home Maroon & Whites are of the game against West Chester State in 1982. The images of the team in road whites were taken at Holy Cross the same year.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday News---February 12th, 2010

Former UMass Head Coach Bob Pickett's funeral Mass will be held this morning at 9:15 in Portland, ME.

Note the request by the family:"In lieu of flowers, the Pickett family requests that contributions be made to a scholarship fund they are establishing at UMass. Contributions can be made to Coach Bob Pickett Football Scholarship Fund, care of University of Massachusetts, 308 Mullins Center, Amherst, Mass. 01003 or telephone (413) 577-4290. "

Classy man and a classy family.


In more sad news for UMass, Garry Pearson, former UMass Hall-of-Fame RB passed away Tuesday.

Articles by the Springfield Republican and the UMass Athletic Dept are here and here respectively. Matty Vautour has a short article here.

I have some material about Pearson that has not appeared in the Blog. My flatbed scanner is giving me problems, but I'll try to get the material up in a day or so.
Click on the image and Blogger displays a much larger view. The original scan from the 1982 program is in the Blog section sidebar on UMass Football History.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday News---February 11, 2010

A story I had been meaning to tell you. Monday I was at the gym and one of the guys was wearing a Saints jersey. I went over and congratulated him on on New Orleans Super Bowl win.

He just lit up. He said "Thank You!" and related he had been a fan of the Saints for years and had gone through some lean times.

The moral of the story for football fans is that there are various joys in life, but there is nothing quite like your team winning the freakin' Big Game.


UMass AD John McCutcheon has withdrawn his name from contention for the AD position at SDSU. Story form the San Diego News here and Springfield Republican here. Matty Vautour checks in with an article here.


UMass opens its 2010 season on Sept 4th against William & Mary. The Tribe just lost two expected starters.


Attention old football players. Scientists have made a breakthrough in regrowing cartilage.


Southeastern Louisiana says they were #1 in recruiting in FCS.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday News-- February 10, 2010

Special thanks to a reader who sent me an e-mail pointing out that the "Texas Vs The Nation" site finally has a game writeup and box score. Chris Zardas in mention in the writeup and he also tied for the most pass receptions by the Nation squad player.


I've updated my previous post about traveling to see the Michigan game. I've added a link to the parking section of the Michigan website. The link page has parking lot maps and whole bunch of other relevant information. The site says there is a shuttle service that runs between local motels and the stadium on game days. It appears Michigan makes frequent changes to their game day traffic rules as they attempt to cope with 100,000 fans. I book marked the page and will check again as the game gets closer as there will probably be more parking changes in 2010.


Yesterday in Matty Vautour's UMass Sports Blog, Matty pointed out that Brandon London had been signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers off-season squad. The official Steelers news of London's signing here.


The Dolphins beat writer for the Sun-Sentinel says the fish are interested in Vladimir Ducasse.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

News-- February 9th, 2010

Former UMass running backs coach Mike Cassano has joined Mark Whipple in Miami.


Pennsylvania teams Penn State, Villanova and California University of Pennsylvania won the Lambert Trophy, Lambert Cup and the DII Lambert cup respectively.


A Maryland legislator wants the Terps to play more in-state FCS/I-AA teams.


Holy Cross, one of our OOC opponents this year, adds a First Team All-State player from Pennsylvania. Note that Patriot League teams don't give scholarships. Then see this quote:

"Holland will receive a grant-in-aid package from Holy Cross that amounts to close to a full scholarship according to the Old Forge HS Guidance Department."


While New England schools are dropping football, future CAA team Georgia State is going full ahead with its football facilities.


UMass Football Banquet Friday, Feb 26,2010

The UMass Football Banquet is coming up in a couple of weeks. I'll be there. The food is excellent and it's fun talking with players and other fans.

If you don't have the contact information, call 413-545-2026 Ext 0 to reserve a seat. Cost is $40/person; kids 12 and under $20.

We're undefeated in 2010 :) Come out and support UMass football.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Travel to the Big House

Wikipedia images. Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

UMass will play at Michigan on Saturday, September 18,2010.

Seeing a game at the Big House is on the "Bucket List" for many college football fans.

The UMass Alumni Association and/or the Athletic Dept will probably has some sort of travel package. In the past, we've found the official packages to be pricey.

Mrs. Blog and I have made reservations at the Courtyard by Marriott on Boardwalk St. in Ann Arbor. According to the reservations center, it's about 2-3 miles from the stadium.

A list of Ann Arbor motels/hotels is here.

Note there is a "Event" that weekend and prices are on the high side.

UPDATE: I probably should have given parking/getting to the stadium information. The University of Michigan has multiple pages on parking, shuttle service from motels and other info here. Note that they have frequent changes in lots and procedures as they cope with 100,000 fans. I would bookmark the page and check as the game gets closer for 2010 updates.

We usually fly out of Manchester, NH Airport. Current round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines are currently running about $240-$240 for a leave-on-Friday-and-return-on-Sunday flight. What they will be this fall is anyone's guess.

Hope to see a lot of UMass fans there!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Sunday News---February 7th,2010

I've heard that Chris Zardas had a good run and a touchdown catch in the Texas Vs The Nation All-Star game yesterday. I haven't had a chance to watch my DVD version yet. I can't find a box score and he is not in the highlight reel on the game webpage. An image of his TD catch would be nice. Anyone have any links were he is mentioned?


The Maine Black Bears release their 2010 schedule.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

News--February 6th, 2010

The latest iteration of Josh Buchanan's "Top 100 Small School NFL Draft List" is here. Vladimir Ducasse still leads the class.

NFL House has "Fifteen recruits you should know". Vlad is one of them.


Chris Zardas will be in action today at the Texas Vs The Nation All-star game. Available on:

Catch the 2010 Hall of Fame Texas vs the Nation All Star Game on Feb, 6 2010 at 12 PM MT/2 PM ET on CBS College Sports.

DirecTV CH 613, Dish Network CH 152, Bell TV CH 413, and Sky Angel CH 323.

Set your DVD or VCR now.


The Sports Network looks at the results of 2010 recruiting for the Division's top teams.


The CAA website has a recruiting recap for all the League's teams here.

College Sporting News has a tour-de-force of cut and pasting to list all the recruits for FCS.


This year's FBS opponent Michigan, picked up a controversial recruit.


Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday News---February 5th, 2010

The SeaCoast OnLine remembers Bob Pickett's Maine roots.

Matty Vautour has more tributes to Bob Pickett.


The Daily Collegian has more about former UMass Captain Sean Smalls' December arrest.


The Foxboro reporter has an article on Mike Delaney signing a LOI with UMass football.

A Foxboro Reporter photo.


Wicked Local Norwood has a story on Dom Wooten verbaling to UMass.

A Robin Chant/Wicked Local Norwood image


The Sun Chronicle has an article on both Matt Campbell and Mike Delaney signing with UMass.

A Sun-Chronicle image.


WEEI has a story on local college seniors (including Vladimir Ducasse and Mike McLaughlin), who were invited to the NFL combine.


Former UMass standout and assistant coach Ben Albert has joined another UMass football alum Joe Cullen as an assistant coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.


2010's OOC opponent Stony Brook has announced its schedule.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thursday after LOI Day News

Matty Vautour quotes Coach Morris that many UMass recruits had late FBS interest. on UMass' signing day.


Ron Chimelis has an article on the death of Coach Pickett.

Matty Vautour also does a story about Pickett. Both articles have some great quotes by Jimmy Reid and former UMass players.


This article features QB Brandon Hill's signing with UMass.

Image by CourierPostOnLine.

This story from the Sun-Sentinel has some quotes about Edward St. Vil signing with UMass.


Matt Helig is featured in this story about his signing with UMass.

Image by John C. Whitehead/Patriot News


Twenty three Northeastern players will be playing for other schools this year.


One we lost to Syracuse.


Other team's recruiting

This article says the Maryland Terps recruited well in Florida because of Coach Brown.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

2010 UMass football recruit list

OK, this isn't up yet on on the UMass website.

UPDATE: The UMass website now has the signing list up. If you want to print out the list, I recommend the UMass article. Blogger does not handle fonts very well (as you can see).

UMass Announces Football Signing Class Of 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE • Contact Jason Yellin 413-687-1756
Feb. 3, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. - UMass football coach Kevin Morris has announced the signing of 11 future Minuteman football players to National Letters of Intent. These 11 incoming freshmen join the six mid-year transfers and will be eligible to play this fall for the 2010 season. The class of 17 players is one of the tops in the nation.

“We are very excited about this class,” said Morris, who enters his second year as head coach of the Minutemen. “I am really confident in the character of these student-athletes. We hand-picked these players and were able to yield all of our top recruits. I am looking forward to coaching them when they get here and having them compete right away.”

The six transfers are be eligible to practice with the Minutemen starting in Spring Football, which begins on March 23, and will be able to play in games for the Minutemen in the Fall of 2010.

Signee Players Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Previous School
Stanley Andre LB Fr. 6-1 250 Dorchester, Mass./Reading H.S.
Matt Campbell LB Fr. 6-1 230 Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro H.S.
Shawn Campbell WR Fr. 6-2 205 Woodstock, Conn./Hartford Public H.S./Hyde School
Mike Delaney RB Fr. 6-3 220 Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough H.S.
Matt Heilig DL Fr. 6-4 210 Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin H.S.
Brandon Hill QB Fr. 6-5 210 Audubon, N.J./Audubon H.S.
Kirkland Nelms DB Fr. 5-10 180 Spotsylvania, Va./Riverbend H.S.
Edward Saint-Vil DB Fr. 5-11 175 Mirmar, Fla./Hollywood Hills H.S.
Antoine Tharpe DB Fr. 5-10 175 North Lauderdale, Fla./Coral Springs Charter School
Dominic Wooten WR Fr. 6-5 220 Norwell, Mass./Norwell H.S.
Ryan Young OL Fr. 6-5 280 Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley H.S.

Transfers Players Pos. Yr. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School/Previous School
Galen Clemons DL R-Fr. 6-2 255 Danielsville, Pa./Northampton Area H.S./Central Michigan
Anthony Dima OL R-Fr. 6-7 271 Centereach,N.Y./Centereach H.S./Hofstra
John Griffin TB Sr. 6-0 208 Westminster, Mass./Oakmont Regional H.S./Northeastern
Chad Hunte LB So. 6-0 205 Brookline, Mass./Brookline H.S./Northeastern
Anthony Nelson WR Sr. 5-10 180 Wellington, Fla./Glades Day School/Hofstra
Greg Niland OL R-Sr. 6-5 305 East Bridgewater, Mass./Coyle Cassidy H.S./Northeastern

Stanley Andre
Freshman • Linebacker
6-1 • 250
Dorchester, Mass./Reading H.S.

Before College: Starting linebacker at Reading High School ... Named to 2009 Massachusetts All-State Super 26 ... Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team ... Daily Times Chronicle Offensive Player of the Year ... Middlesex League All-Star as junior and senior at quarterback ... Became the first quarterback in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season (1,108) ... Also passed for 883 yards as a senior ... Piled up 85 tackles on defense ... Served as team captain as a senior ... Led team to 13-0 record and the Middlesex League Championship and Division 2 Super Bowl in 2009 ... Led Rockets to a 26-1 record as the starting quarterback ... Started as a sophomore in six games at linebacker and three at quarterback. Personal: Andre M. Stanley ... Born May 16, 1992 ... Son of Roberta Carnes.

Matt Campbell
Freshman • Linebacker
6-1 • 230
Attleboro, Mass./Attleboro H.S.

Before College: Three-sport team captain at Attleboro High School in Massachusetts, lettering in football, basketball and baseball ... Named to the Boston Herald Super 26 All-State Team ... Two-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic selection ... Named an Eastern Mass Division I All-Star as a junior and senior ... Three-time Old Colony and Sun Chronicle All-Star ... Three-time football team MVP ... As a senior, gained 1,336 yards and scored 22 touchdowns ... Rushed for 3,200 yards and 51 touchdowns in career ... Also had 36 receptions for 615 yards ... On defense, racked up more than 350 tackles ... Also forced seven fumbles, had interceptions and three sacks. Personal: Matthew Campbell ... Born Sept. 4, 1991 ... Son of Peter and Susan Campbell.

SHAWN Campbell
Freshman • Wide Receiver
6-2 • 205
Woodstock, Conn./Hartford Public H.S./Hyde School

Before College: Prepped for a year at the Hyde School in Woodstck, Conn. ... Gained 659 all-purpose yards and scored five touchdowns ... Also had 22 catches in just four games ... Missed rest of season with a high ankle sprain ... Two-year letterwinner at Hartford Public High School in Connecticut ... Named All First-Team Central Connecticut Conference (CCC) ... Honorable Mention Hartford Courant All-State as a senior ... Had 28 receptions for 16.7 average as a senior along with six touchdowns ... Grabbed 46 catches and 10 touchdowns in his career ... Two-year All-CCC selection in track and field in the 100-meter dash and 4X100 relay ... Posted a 10.89 100-meter time as a senior. Personal: Shawn Campbell ... Born May 7, 1991 ... Son of Victoria Cruse.

Mike Delaney
Freshman • Running Back
6-3 • 220
Foxborough, Mass./Foxborough H.S.

Before College: Played at Foxborough High School as a senior after transferring from high school in New Jersey during junior season ... Named a senior team captain ... Named to Boston Herald Super 26 All-Star Team ... Boston Globe All-Scholastic as senior ... All-Hockamock and Eastern Mass All-Star running back ... Started for four years at running back throughout high school career ... Gained 4,703 yards and scored 65 touchdowns on the ground ... As a senior, ran for 1,694 yards and 22 touchdowns ... Finished as the 13th all-time leading rusher in Massachusetts. Personal: Michael T. Delaney ... Born Sept. 6, 1991 ... Son of Thomas and Daphne Delaney.

Matt Heilig
Freshman • Defensive Line
6-4 • 210
Harrisburg, Va./Central Dauphin H.S.

Before College: Three-year starter on defense (defensive end and outside linebacker) at Central Dauphin High School in Harrisburg, Pa. ... Team captain as a senior ... Honorable mention All-Conference in the Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division at defensive end ... Racked up 61 tackles along with five sacks as a senior ... Also started for two years at tight end ... Averaged 22.6 yards on 10 catches (226 yards) ... Also served as team’s long snapper. Personal: Matthew J. Heilig ... Born on Nov. 19, 1991 ... Son of Sherrie Heilig.

Brandon Hill
Freshman • Quarterback
6-5 • 210
Audubon, N.J./Audubon H.S.

Before College: Highly-rated quarterback started at Audubon High School in New Jersey ... Earned a three-star rating from as a pro-style quarterback ... Rated the second pro-style quarterback in New Jersey behind only Wisconsin commit Joe Brennan ... Two-time First-Team All-Colonial Conference quarterback ... As a senior, threw for 1,739 yards, completing 113-of-178 for 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions ... Had three games where he threw for 300 yards ... Rushed for 286 yards and two touchdowns ... Also starred on the basketball team, averaging 16 points per game ... Expected to score his 1,000th career point during his senior season. Personal: Richard Brandon Hill ... Son of Nov. 7, 1990 ... Son of Richard and Kelly Hill.
Kirkland Nelms
Freshman • Defensive Back
5-10 • 180
Spotsylvania, Va./Riverbend H.S.

Before College: Played at Riverbend High School in Fredericksburg, Va. ... Named AAA Commonwealth District Co-Defensive Player of the Year First-Team All-District ... First-Team All-Area ... Second-Team All-Region ... Versatile player who saw action on both sides of the ball and special teams ... Racked up 40 tackles and picked off six interceptions, returning two for touchdowns ... Rushed for 436 yards and seven touchdowns, 7.3 yards per rush ... Had 19 receptions for 320 yards and three touchdowns ... On special teams, returned 10 kickoffs for 215 yards (21.5 yard per return) and 13 punts for 311 yards (23.9 yards) and two touchdowns. Personal: Kirkland J. Nelms ... Born Aug. 12, 1991 ... Son of Michael Nelms.

Edward Saint-Vil
Freshman • Defensive Back
5-11 • 175
Miramar, Fla./Hollywood Hills H.S.

Before College: Played at Hollywood Hills H.S., for coach Scott Barnwell ... Played in the Public vs. Private All-Star Game ... Named Hollywood Hills Special Teams Player of the Year ... Racked up 54 tackles, including six tackles for loss along with 18 pass break-ups ... Also forced three fumbles and recovered two fumbles. Personal: Edward J. Saint-Vil ... Born May 7, 1992 ... Son of Marguerite Henriquez.

Antoine Tharpe
Freshman • Defensive Back
5-10 • 175
North Lauderdale, Fla./Coral Springs Charter School

Before College: Lettered at the City of Coral Springs Charter School in Florida, playing for coach Mike Higgins ... First-Team All-Broward County ... Named a Broward County Athletic Association All-StarStar ... Honored as an Independent Private School All-Star ... Made 22 tackles and had 12 pass break-ups as a senior ... Also forced two fumbles ... On offense, gained 690 yards of total offense and scored nine touchdowns. Personal: Antoine J. Tharpe ... Born July 16, 1992 ... Son of Jonathan Tharpe.

Dominic Wooten
Freshman • Wide Receiver
6-5 • 220
Norwell, Mass./Norwell H.S.

Before College: Two-year starter at Norwell High School in Massachusets ... Played both wide receiver and tight end racking up 79 receptions and 1255 yards over the last two years ... Also hauled in seven touchdowns ... Named a South Shore All-Star wide receiver ... Also started at center for the Norwell basketball team, averaging 11 points and 10 rebounds. Personal: Dominic Christian Wooten ... Born Oct. 25, 1991 ... Son of Darryl and Deborah Wooten.

Ryan Young
Freshman • Defensive Line
6-5 • 280
Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley H.S.

Before College: Played both offensive tackle and on defensive line at Wayne Valley High School in New Jersey ... Named All-Conference and All-County as a senior ... Graded out at 86 percent on the year on the offensive line ... Had 12 pancake blocks ... On defense, had 33 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and three sacks. Personal: Ryan Young ... Born Jan. 14, 1992 ... Son of Robert Young.

Galen Clemons
R-Freshman • Defensive Line
6-2 • 255
Danielsville, Pa./Northampton Area H.S./Central Michigan

General: Joins UMass with four years of eligibility remaining ... Attended Central Michigan as a freshman in 2009, but did not appear in any games.

Before College: Four-year starter at Northampton High School in Northampton, Pa. ... 2008 team captain ... all-conference first team selection as an offensive and defensive lineman in 2008 ... earned all-area first team honors from both the Express-Times and the Morning Call ... credited with 87 tackles in 2008 ... made 83 stops in 2007, 102 tackles in 2006 and 71 in 2005 ... helped lead team to 4A Eastern Conference championships in 2006 and 2008 ... Northampton finished 10-3 overall in 2008 ... two-year letterman in track and field.

Personal: Born June 3, 1990 ... ... Son of Steve and Wendy Clemons Uncle Don Clemons spent 24 years as a coach with the Detroit Lions.

Anthony Dima
R-Freshman • Offensive Line
6-7 • 271
Centereach, N.Y./Centereach H.S./Hofstra

General: Retains four years of eligibility after a redshirt season as a true freshman at Hofstra ... Part of scout team with the Pride.

Before College: Played football and ran on the track and field team at Centereach High School...Was named to All-Suffolk County and all-league teams as a senior...

Personal: Born October 21, 1990...Has one brother and one sister ...Enjoys working out in his free time...Favorite athlete is Jumbo Elliott...Aspires to a career in business.

John Griffin
Senior • Tailback
6-0 • 208
Westminster, Mass./Oakmont Regional H.S./Northeastern

General: Will play his senior season at UMass after three seasons at Northeastern ... Honored as an All-CAA First-Team selection as well as the New England Writers All-Star Team.

As a Junior in 2009 at Northeastern: Ran for 1,009 yards on 207 carries with five touchdowns, while catching 25 passes for 178 yards during the 2009 campaign ... Was named First Team All-CAA, Northeastern’s Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player ... Was named to the 2009 New England Football Writers Football Championship Subdivision All-Star team ... Became the fifth Huskie to eclipse the 1000 yard mark with 158 rushing yards and two scores against Rhode Island (11/21) ... Ran for 128 yards on 28 carries and one touchdown against Hofstra (11/14) ... Accounted for 95 percent of team’s offense against Massachusetts with 52 yards on nine carries (11/7) ... Rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown against New Hampshire (10/31) ... Named CAA Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts against Towson ... Rushed for a career-high 200 yards, including a 70 yard touchdown run in a 27-7 win over Towson (10/24) ... Rushed for 75 yards against William & Mary, including a 43-yard rush (10/10) ... Had a 41-yard rush and had 87 total yards against Holy Cross (10/3) ... Tallied 75 yards on 15 attempts against Youngstown State (9/19) ... Ran for 92 yards on 18 carries against Maine (9/12)

As a Sophomore in 2008 at Northeastern: Played in 10 games as a backup tailback ... Rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns on the year ... Rushed for a career-high 110 yards and a touchdown and also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass against Rhode Island (11/ 22) ... Scored his first touchdown and had 66 rushing yards in 35-17 win at Towson (10/ 4).

As a Freshman in 2007 at Northeastern: Appeared in nine games as a true freshman ... Caught three passes for 18 yards ... Caught two passes for 13 yards at Northwestern ... Had one kick return on the season and returned it 23 yards at Rhode Island ... Was a top sprinter and long jumper on the track & field team.

Before College: Played one season of varsity football at Oakmont Regional High School for head coach Dave LaRoche ... Broke the school record for touchdowns in a single season with 25 and also amassed the highest single-season point total in school history while running for 1,239 yards ... Named team MVP and conference Co-MVP ... Led the Spartans to a conference title and the 2006 Div. III Super Bowl, scoring three touchdowns in the 28-0 win over Frontier ... Also excelled in track & field, winning the 100 and the long jump and earning Most Valuable Athlete honors at the 2007 Central Mass. Championship ... Set the school record in the 100 ... Played three seasons of basketball, captaining the team as a senior.

Personal: Born Dec. 17, 1988 ... Father, Tony, played football at Texas ... Majoring in Sociology.

Chad Hunte
Sophomore • Linebacker
6-0 • 205
Brookline, Mass./Brookline H.S./Northeastern

General: Eligible to play three seasons at UMass after a true freshman campaign at Northeastern.

As a Freshman in 2009 at Northeastern: Appeared in all 11 games for Northeastern in 2009, totaling 32 tackles (18 solo) ... Had two solo tackles in a win at Rhode Island (11/21) ... Returned his first career interception 51 yards for a touchdown against Massachusetts (11/7) ... Tallied two tackles against Holy Cross (10/2) ... Recorded four tackles against Villanova (9/26).

Before College: Played three years of varsity football at Brookline High under head coach and former Northeastern football letterman Laz Mitjans (1979-82) ... Captained the team his senior season ... Named All-Bay State first team, team MVP and defensive team MVP ... Also wrestled and played basketball for one season.

Personal: Born Feb. 14, 1991 ... Father, Alan, lettered in football at Northeastern from 1978-81 ... Has two brothers, Kyle, who was also a member of the Northeastern football team and AJ, who wrestles at Pittsburgh ... Was a member of the African American Scholars program at Brookline High.

Anthony Nelson
Senior • Wide Receiver
5-10 • 180
Wellington, Fla./Glades Day School/Hofstra

General: Will play his senior season at UMass after three seasons at Hofstra.

As a Junior in 2009 at Hofstra: Caught 40 passes for 520 yards and four touchdowns during the 2009 season ... Returned four punts for 25 yards and eight kick-offs for 121 yards ... Brought in five balls for 71 yards and a score against UMass (11/21) ... Caught three passes for 32 yards against Delaware (11/7) ... Caught four balls for 117 yards, highlighted by an 89 yard grab and a touchdown against Rhode Island (10/17) ... Brought in six balls for 60 yards against Maine (10/10) ... Caught six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown against Bryant (9/12).

As a Sophomore in 2008: CAA Academic All-Conference and Hofstra Athletics Academic Honor Roll selection ... Played and started in eight games as a sophomore ... Missed the final four games of the season with an injury ... Was second on the team in receptions with 35 for 314 yards and one touchdown ... Hauled in nine passes for 92 yards against Rhode Island and nine for 85 yards against Albany ... Posted four receptions for 69 yards, including a season-long of 30 yards, and a touchdown at Stony Brook ... Returned nine punts for 31 yards ... Recorded one return for a season-best 22 yards at James Madison ... Also returned five kickoffs for 94 yards on the season ... Tallied two kickoff returns for 43 yards at Connecticut ... Recorded his longest kickoff return of the year, 29 yards, at Maine ... Made 10 solo tackles on special teams, including four at Bucknell and three against URI.

As a Freshman in 2007: All-CAA first team selection as a punt returner ... Played in all 11 games as a true freshman ... Second on the team, 12th in the CAA and 97th in the FCS in receptions with 44 ... Posted the second-most receptions by a freshman in school history, behind all-time record-holder Charles Sullivan’s 68 in 2004 ... Recorded 543 receiving yards, which was second on the Pride and 15th in the CAA ... Posted two 100-yard receiving games ... Tallied 10 receptions for 128 yards against New Hampshire and six catches for 105 yards at Northeastern ... Posted seven receptions for 92 yards in his college debut against Furman ... Recorded his only receiving touchdown of the season on a 24-yard pass from Bryan Savage at Villanova ... Led the CAA and was sixth in the CAA in punt returns with 20 returns and 312 yards for a 15.6 average ... Tallied three punt returns for 83 yards at Rhode Island, including a third-quarter 77-yard runback that helped spark the Pride’s come-from-behind victory ... Posted four punt returns for 39 yards at Villanova and had a 67-yard punt return at Northeastern ... Recorded three rushing attempts for 17 yards and had one kickoff return for 6 yards.

Before College: Earned four letters in football and baseball, and one in basketball at Glades Day School in Belle Glade, Florida ... Helped lead team to a 12-2 record and the Florida IA state championship in 2006 ... Named to All-Florida honorable mention team as a senior ... Named first team all-area by the Sun-Sentinel and second team all-area by the Palm Beach Post ... Posted 32 catches for 550 yards and nine touchdowns in 2006 ... Also returned three punts and one kickoff for scores ... Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior.

Personal: Born August 29, 1989 ... Has one sister ... Boys and Girls Club volunteer ... Entrepreneurship major at Hofstra.

Greg Niland
R-Senior • Offensive Line
6-5 • 305
East Bridgewater, Mass./Coyle-Cassidy H.S./Northeastern

As a Redshirt Junior in 2009 at Northeastern: Blocked for a team that averaged 130.8 rushing yards per game, including John Griffin who became the fifth Husky to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season.

As a Redshirt Sophomore in 2008 at Northeastern: Started all 12 games at left tackle for the Huskies ... Named to the CAA Football Academic All-Conference team.

As a Redshirt Freshman in 2007 at Northeastern: Started 10 games at left tackle.

As a Freshman in 2006 at Northeastern: Redshirted season.

Before College: Lettered in football, hockey and track at Coyle-Cassidy High School in Taunton, Mass. ... Captained the football team his senior year ... Was named Eastern Athletic League MVP in 2005 ... Also named a Brockton Enterprise & Taunton Gazette All-Scholastic ... Was a member of the Gridiron Club of Boston Super 26 All-State team ... Helped football team to No. 1 ranking in Division 2 in 2004 ... Led hockey team to No. 1 ranking in Division 2 in 2005-06.

Personal: Born Oct. 5, 1988 ... Uncle, Joe Lipinski, was captain of football team at Maine ... Majored in Finance & Insurance at Northeastern.

Jason Yellin
Associate Athletic Director/Media Relations
UMass Athletics
250 Boyden Gym
Amherst, Mass 01003
Office: 413-577-3061
Cell: 413-687-1756
Fax: 413-545-1556

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Bob Pickett passes away

Former UMass Head Coach Bob Pickett has passed away. Story from the UMass Athletic site.

Recruiting 2010 --- LOI Day Updates

From the UMass live chat with Coach Morris (new information):

OK, life intrudes for the moment and I have go offline. I'll be back this afternoon after UMass posts the complete recruiting list.
  • Ryan Young 6-5 280 OL. Mentioned here. Honorable mention all Passaic County.

Letter-of-Intent Day 2010

Today is Letter-of-Intent Day, a High Holy Day in the college football year for fans.


The Boston Globe has an article on where some greater Boston area players will be heading this fall. No new information about UMass.


Six CAA players will be at Saturday's Texas Vs The Nation All-Star Game. Chris Zardas' player bio from the All-Star web site.

Speaking of CAA teams, Maine has its 2010 schedule up.


Malik Hall, former UMass player and Hofstra coach, has been hired as Defensive Coordinator at Wagner.


Boston College signs a pair of three-star quarterbacks.


I'll be back later today as more news becomes available. In the meantime, get your recruiting questions in to coach Morris now!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Live chat about LOI Day with Coach Morris tomorrow

The following is from the UMass Sports Information Office.

Wednesday is National Signing Day for Football and you can get all the latest news on UMass' newest Minutemen with a live online chat starting at 10:30 a.m. Head Coach Kevin Morris will be chatting with fans and announcing the signees as they arrive at UMass.

A full release on all the newcomers will be posted in the afternoon on Wednesday.

Click here to chat:

We have seven transfers and about seven or so verbals. UMass probably will have about 17 scholarships (not all of them a full ride) to give. So, there should be some signings we have not heard about yet.

I'm sure they would like to give Brandon Hill a redshirt year to get stronger and learn the offense. I wonder if they are thinking about a JUCO or a I-A transfer to add to the QB list?

Tuesday News---Feb 2nd, 2010

Matty Vautour has an article that features UMass QB recruit Brandon Hill.

The CourierPostONLine has another mention of Hill signing with UMass.


Matty Vautour has more on UMass AD John McCutcheon's contacts with San Diego State.

Ron Chimelis also has a story about McCutcheon.


Sunday I got a chance to watch the Senior Bowl, which I had on DVD. I missed the original broadcast to see the Minutemen basketball team lose to Charolette.

I thought Vladimir Ducasse played well. He move quickly and fluidly for such a huge man. It is obvious that his technique is still raw, but he more than held his own during the game. He did get one penalty for hands in the face, but on the next play he did a classic "fists to the chest" of an opposing defensive lineman and stopped the pass rusher in his tracks. Ducasse also did well on running plays; burying his man several times.

The National Football post has some comments on Ducasse's performance at the Senior Bowl.

The Union Leader has some more information about the UMass-UNH game at Gillete next year. Note that it was UNH that set up the deal. UMass may or may not follow up with its own deal in 2011.


A University of Chattanooga coach talks about the art of recruiting at the FCS level.


One day to go until 2010 Letter-of-Intent Day.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Recruiting 2010 ---Mike Delaney

UMass has received a verbal from Mike Delaney a 6-3 210 pd RB from Foxboro, MA.

Verbal article here. He is a Rivals two star player.

I've blogged about Delaney back on October 1, 2009. That post has links and video.

Recruiting 2010---Brandon Hill

UMass has received a verbal from Brandon Hill a 6-5 210 PD pro-style QB from Audubon, NJ. Chose UMass over Akron.

In 2009 he went 111-175-1,790 63% AVE 16 TDs .

This article features his verbal to UMass.

His Rivals page here. He is a Rivals three star QB.

Hill's page here. YouTube highlights here.

Audubon, NJ: Cradle of Quarterbacks.

This is the player a commenter was trying to tell us about. I hereby apologize. I have released his comments, which appear in last Thursday's post about Dylan Swartz.

Recruiting 2010--Edward St.Vil

UMass has gained another verbal, this time from Edward St.Vil a 6-0 175 pd DB/athlete from Hollywood Hills FL. He runs a reported 4.47 40.

St.Vil had verbaled to FAU, then changed his mind after taking a visit to Amherst.

This article features his verbal to UMass.

YouTube has six minutes of highlights.

Apparently St. Vil only played one year of HS football. The recruiting services don't have much on him.