Thursday, February 28, 2019

UMass Football Recruiting 2020--Caleb Fauria

Hudl.com image
Caleb Fauria, a 6-5 210 pound WR from North Attleboro, MA has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports three-star player.

Hudl.com has video.

MaxPreps has some stats.

Son of former Patriot TE Christian Fauria.

Fauria has offers from UMass and UConn as well as Power Five teams Boston College, Colorado and Iowa.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

UMass Football News--February 27th, 2019

The Tennessean has Luke Paschall joins "brother" Walt Bell at UMass.

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247Sports has the Spring practice start dates for a bunch of schools including UMass.

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Jake Bentley, who contributed to South Carolina's win over UMass in 2016 leaves the Gamecocks.

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NJ.com has a report from Rutgers Junior Day that features Miles Bailey, who has a UMass offer.

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DetroitLions.com has five things to watch for in the 2019 combine. One of them is how fast will Andy Isabella run the 40?

Saints Wire.com has 20 prospects New Orleans could be interested in at the Combine.

247Sports has nine "burner" WR's the Broncos could be considering at the Combine.

Lombardiave.com has three things the Packers should watch for in slot receivers at the Combine.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

UMass Football News--February 26th, 2019

Sports Day has 10 potential draft picks for the Dallas Cowboys (includes Andy Isabella).

Big Blue View looks at the top ten wide receivers in the NFL Draft, which of course, includes Andy.

Niners Wire thinks a certain speedy small school WR could be the perfect answer for San Francisco.

USA Today looks at ten WR's could star in the NFL Combine.

Yard Barker looks at ten burning questions for the NFL Combine. One of which is how fast will Andy Isabella run?

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SB Nation previews the 2019 Charlotte 49ers and predicts a 61% chance of a win over UMass.

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NJ.com looks at the players Rutgers offered during its Junior Day. A couple of them have Minutemen offers.

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Former UMass coach Jimmy Reid changes to DE coach for the BC Eagles.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

UMass Football Recruiting 2020--Brady Martin II

247Sports image
Brady Martin, a 6-0 180 pound pro-style QB has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass

247Sports three-star player.

Hudl.com has video.

I blogged about Martin way back in 2016.

Besides UMass, Martin has an FBS offer from Arkansas State. In addition he holds offers from UNH and URI.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

UMass Football News--February 23rd, 2019

WWLP takes note of the UMass stadium improvements.

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Minutemen 2020 and 2021 opponent New Mexico State works on finishing their schedule for both those years.

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Two Massachusetts lawmakers want to ban youth tackle football.

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Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on Minutemen 2019 commit Xavier Graham. The 6-3 305 pound Graham is one of two three-star rated OL recruits in the 2019 class.

The 247Sports UMass scholarship distribution page shows Graham and fellow 2019 recruit Bryce Wade as the only three-star offensive linemen on the Minutemen roster.

I've mentioned before that UMass has struggled to run the ball since our move to FBS. As I showed in my February 8th blog note, the Minutemen have not finished above #100 in rushing rankings since 2012. 

As a point of comparison Boston College has one four-star and eight three-star players in their offensive line. The Eagles also have a second four-star recruit coming in.

Let's hope Graham and Wade are the start of an upgrade in the athleticism and run blocking for the O-line.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

UMass Football News--UMass annouces major Football facilities upgrade

Five years after the Football performance center opened in 2014, UMass has announced a major upgrade to its football facilities.

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.


The South wall of the stadium will be taken down a a hospitality plaza built. The space will include a new 48 X 20.4 foot video board courtesy of a gift from Paul and David Manganaro.


A new practice field will be constructed parallel to press box side of the stadium.


A seasonal bubble will cover the practice field. All this is because of a $5.8 million gift from Martin Jacobson.

We now have a football complex. The covered practice field should be a big help to a cold weather team. It should also help in recruiting. New restrooms will be added and the sound system will be improved. All the improvements are an exciting improvement to the football program.

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 UMass LB Bryton Barr has been named ECAC defensive player of the year.

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Former UMass coach Scott Woodward has joined Coach Whipple in Pittsburgh.

247Sports thinks Pitt QB Kenny Pickett will benefit from having Whipple as OC.

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

UMass Football News--February 21st, 2019


Paul Sheely of Pro Star Sports says Andrew Ford is ahead of schedule on his recovery from his knee injury. Hope he continues to do well and gets a shot at playing in the pros.

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UMass adds URI to the Minutemen's 2021 season. So with two games yet to add the 2012 season looks like:

09/04 - at Colorado
 09/11 - Boston College
 09/18 - Eastern Michigan
 09/25 - at Coastal Carolina
 10/09 - UConn
 10/16 - Rhode Island
 11/06 - at Liberty
 11/13 - Maine
 11/20 - at Army
 11/27 - at New Mexico State

AD Ryan Bamford relates there was no other FBS teams available. We'll add a Group of Five home game and an away pay game with a Power Five team.

The URI game could be interesting. As I blogged back on February 11th, URI coach Jim Fleming said he would love to play UMass.

One of the FCS games does not count towards bowl eligibility, but with no bowl tie-ins for UMass, it probably does not matter.

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Pro Football Focus says Andy Isabella is much more than just a slot receiver.

Full Press Coverage thinks Isabella would be a good fit for the Vikings.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

UMass Football News--February 20th, 2019

247 Sports has three recruiting articles worth reading:

Ten players to know in New England.

Ten players to know in New York's 2020 recruiting class. UMass has offers for a number of these.

Ten Players in District of Columbia's 2020 recruiting class. This is UMass defensive coordinator Aazaar Abdul-Rahim's wheelhouse. While most of the players in all three articles have multiple Power Five offers, it would be nice if UMass could pick up a couple higher-rated recruits from the Northeast.

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This one is a must read. How speed Andy Isabella on a fast tract to the NFL.

Rotoworld has a NFL draft profile of Andy Isabella.

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Michigan ramps up recruiting a Massachusetts player (last part of the article).

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UMass Spring practices will be open to the public. Remember when Don Brown was head coach and you could bring a lawn chair and watch the Minutemen practice on the mall in from of the Stadium?

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Four UNH football players are charged with felony riot charges after a fight at a UNH fraternity.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

UMass Football Recruiting 2020--Kevin Lemieux

Hudl.com image
Kevin Lemieux, a 6-4 235 pound strong-side DE from Ashburnham, MA has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports three-star player.

Hudl.com has video.

Lemieux has six offers. Besides UMass and Tulane, Lemieux has Power Five offers from Rutgers and Syracuse.

Monday, February 18, 2019

UMass Football News--February 18th, 2019

UMass strength and conditioning coach Matt Shadeed has been running some transformation images on his Twitter feed.


Taylor Edwards now 6-4 260. Edwards went 8-1 GP-GS 5-48 9.6 AVE 16 LONG. Hope Edwards has a breakout year in 2019 as TE for the Minutemen.


Dennis Osagiege 6-0 290. Osagiege went 10-0 GP-GS 4 UT 11 AT 15 TT 0.5-0 TFL.


Bryce Wade 6-7 272 is a 2019 JUCO recruit. Wade went from 255 to 272 in  4 weeks.

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Andy Isabella makes Athlon Sports post-season First Team All-American team.

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The Oklahoman ranks the 2019 coaching hires and has Coach Bell #20 out of 27 new head coaches.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

UMass Football News--February 16th, 2019

Senior Bowl image
Big Blue View asks if Andy Isabella could be the heir to Sterling Shepard.

247Sports Cleveland Browns reports Andy grew up a Browns fan.

Dallas Cowboys mailbag discusses Isabella as slot receiver for Dallas.

We are the Texans blog picks Andy for Houston in the 3rd round.

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Will college football do away with the kickoff?

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SB Nation says running the spread offense helps win the transfer portal.

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Friday, February 15, 2019

UMass Football News--February 15th, 2019

NJ.com image
Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on JUCO recruit Javon Turner bringing track speed to the Minutemen.

The WR position is one unit UMass should be deep and talented for 2019.

UMass returns:

Sadiq Palmer --12-7 GP-GS 28-419 15.0 AVE 2 TD 38 LONG
Brenon Dingle-- 12-9 GP-GS 19-269 14.2 AVE 2 TD 37 LONG
Zak Simon-- 10-2 GP-GS 15-238 15.9 AVE 2 TD's 67 LONG
Samuel Emilus-- 6-1 GP-GS 15-212 14.1 AVE 4 TD's 23 LONG
Jessie Britt --4-0 GP-GS 11 118 10.7 AVE 1 TD 29 LONG.
Melvin Hill--RSFR DNP in 2018
Will Connery--SO DNP in 2018

2019 WR recruits in addition to Turner are:

Dariyan Wiley  FR
Jermain "OC" Johnson FR

I would think Palmer would start at the "X" position. Dingle and Brett would likely start also. Turner has three years to play two for the Minutemen. That should give him some flexibility to get his degree and game time.

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Liberty releases its 2019 schedule. The Flames play four Power Five teams and visit UMass between a home game with BYU and an away game at Arkansas.

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State College.com breaks down the transfer portal by the numbers.

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MassLive.com has fifteen  2019 NFL draft prospects for the Patriots. Isabella would be a good fit for the Pats. Both the coach and the QB know how to use a slot receiver. Many teams don't.

Draftwire.com has a conversation with "stud" WR Andy Isabella.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

UMass Football News--February 14th, 2019

Hudl.com image
Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on JUCO QB recruit Andrew Brito ready to get started with the Minutemen.

Things should be wide open at the QB position in 2019 due to the change in staff and the move to the spread offense.

UMass returns only one QB with game experience in 2018.

Mike Curtis 6-1 GP-GS 174.52 EFF (highest among the 2018 QB's) 26-40-412 65% AVE 4 TD's 2 INT's 44 LONG.

Also on the roster:

Mike Fallon 6-2 195
Randall West 6-4 220
Jaret Pallotta 6-5 215
Josiah Johnson 6-5 210

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Fan Sided has college football's Spring Game schedule.

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2019 opponent Akron has added Youngstown State to their 2019 schedule.

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WVNews.com has getting to know Neal Brown.

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Hogs Haven says Andy Isabella could give the Redskins passing game a boost.

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ESPN has Northwestern #19 and Army #25 in this 2019 preseason Top-25 poll.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

UMass Footall News --February 13th, 2019


If you go to the Combine website, click on participants, and then click "I" Andy's link comes up. Says his conference is the MAC.

The NFL Network has Saturday March 2nd as the workout day for wide receivers.

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Former UMass player  Ricardo Miller (2013) signs with the WWE.

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Syracuse.com has New York's top recruits for 2020. UMass has offers to four of them.

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SB Nation previews the 2019 Akron team and has UMass as a 2.5 favorite on September 23rd.

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247Sports has the top recruits in Massachusetts for 2020.

The top recruits for Connecticut in 2020.

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AN HONORARY BOSTON DRIVER'S LICENSE GOES TO

This Plaistow, NH guy.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

UMass Football News--February 12th, 2019

NJ.com reports Rutgers gets a preseason 2019 ranking of #108. The Scarlet Knights' #59 recruiting ranking is low for a Power Five team, but it's a ranking UMass could only dream about. Rutgers snagged 19 three-star recruits.

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Former UMass player and coach Mike Dawson has been hired by the NY Giants as outside linebackers coach.

Husker247 has a post on Dawson leaving Nebraska.

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Calvin Ashley, the former five-star recruit Jack Driscoll beat out at Auburn, is leaving the Tigers.

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The Cheshire Herald has a post on two Cheshire Academy grads taking their football career to UMass.

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Watch Stadium.com has UMass 2019 opponents Northwestern and Army as preseason #25 and #24 respectively.

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Former UMass player Da'Sean Downey is a member of the the new AAF Arizona Hotshots team.

Downey was signed by the Ravens but was cut last spring.

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Monday, February 11, 2019

UMass Football News--February 11th, 2019

Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle talks with Coach Bell about recruiting, weather and an uptempo offense.

Bell related the UMass playbook will similar to Coach Hal Mumme or Mike Leach's lots-of-reps-with-a-limited playbook practice philosophy.

Leach has successful with the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech and Washington State. Leach's Washington State bio. His Red Raider offense led the nation in passing yardage six times with four different quarterbacks. so it was the system, not player. In this system, the running back has to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Coach Bell was asked about recruiting two QB's in 2019. He said he thought two of the current Minutemen  QB's would be leaving. Randall West is a red-shirt junior, so he could be on track to graduate.

UMass recruit Andrew Brito is 5-10 180. He  threw for 3,071 yards and 30 TD's at College of the Canyons. He also  rushed for 175 yards.

Garrett Dzuro is 5-11 200 pounds. He is a good runner who totaled 1,000 rush yards in his senior season.

Current UMass QB Michael Curtis could be the starter in 2019. His body type is similar to the players Bell recruited.

Jaret Pallotta and Josiah Johnson are both 6-5 body types favored by Whipple. However, Johnson ran the wing-t in high school so there is no reason why they could not compete in Bell's offense.

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URI head coach Jim Fleming complains about UMass poaching a couple of the Rams recruits.

Quote from the article:

I’d love to go play UMass. Let’s go. You think you’re going to be better than us? Put ‘em on the schedule. I’d love to line up against those guys.”

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Thanks to the blog reader who sent me the Driscoll graphic.

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 Off Tackle Empire reviews Rutgers 2018 season and looks to 2019.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

UMass Football Blog news

Hi Everyone. I've been cranking out posts seven days a week since August. With LOI day over college football news will be slowing down.

So I'm going to start my off-season no-posts-on-Sunday period.

I'll be back tomorrow with some news and discussion about UMass quarterbacks.

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Saturday, February 09, 2019

UMass Football News--February 9th, 2019


 Coach Bell also said at the UMass Signing Day event that the Minutemen would play a base 3-4 defense plus "situational". I have no idea how the coaching staff will populate the three-four. My guess would be Isaiah Rogers will start at one corner and the other 10 positions are up for grabs. Maybe Chinedu Ogbonna and Penn State transfer Jarvis Miller at OLB and Cole McCubrey and Mike Ruane at ILB?

Bell also mentioned 2019 recruit Xavier Gonsalves could play LB in some situations. Since UMass had zero pass rush in 2018, I would think we will see a lot of LB blitzes this year.

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The UMass website has a 2019 Winter roster up. It does not have the Spring enrollees so I would think further updates will occur.

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Brandon London and the "Daily Blast Live".

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Football Scoop has the best recruiting classes for all Ten FBS conferences. Recruiting matters. Toledo has had the top recruiting class in in the MAC the last three years. The Rockets won the MAC title all three years.

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SB Nation has the best and worst recruiting classes relative to each FBS conference.

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Tanner Davis is a determined walk-on for UMass. I've blogged about Davis before.

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Spencer Whipple joins the Cardinals as a quality control coach

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Friday, February 08, 2019

UMass Football News--February 8th, 2019


After the UMass signing event I asked Coach Bell about the type of offense he ran. Bell said it would be a run-first spread offense with one back and no huddle.

Run first will be interesting for the Minutemen as running the ball is not something we have done well since we moved to FBS.

UMass rushing rank:

2012 #118 91.5 yards a game
2013 #105 125.17 yards a game
2014 #105 109.25  yards a game (Whipple's first year)
2015 #103 142.26 yards a game
2016 #124 99.50  yards a game
2017 #100 135.33  yards a game  (highest ranking)
2018 #102 139.50 yards a game

Coach Whipple did not have trouble developing a run offense in his prior stint with UMass. Marcel Shipp and Steve Baylark were a big part of the offense. That never happened during Whipple's FBS tenure. We have never finished out of the bottom ten in rushing offense since the move to FBS.

UMass is not exactly loaded at RB going into Spring Ball. Arkansas State, a group-of-five school where Bell two years as offensive coordinator was ranked #48 in rushing offense in 2018 with 189.77 yards a game.

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Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on what we learned from UMass' signing day.

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MassLive has Andy Isabella has been invited to the NFL Combine.

Blogging the Boys looks at three slot receivers that could figure into Dallas' plans.

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The Cape Cod News has a story featuring UMass recruit Xavier Gonsalves.

The News also has another post about Gonsalves.

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Southern Illinois announces their 2019 schedule, which includes UMass. The Salukies have been a strong FCS team in the past, but fell to 2-9 last season.

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The Tampa Bay Times thinks UConn has the AAC's easiest non-conference schedule.

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Speaking of UConn, the Huskies announced their 2019 schedule and Edsall was not happy with their bye weeks.

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MLive has a report on Kalamazoo athletes signing LOI's. Included UMass OL signee Max Longman.

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Thursday, February 07, 2019

UMass Football News--February 7th, 2019


I had a grand time at the UMass signing event yesterday. Sat with a couple of UMass legends. It'll take a couple of days to catch up with all the news from the event.

The UMass write-up on the 2019 recruiting class.

Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a story on UMass finalizing coach Bell's first recruiting class.

Josh Walfish reports on Coach Bell and the 2019 recruiting class.

MLive.com has a story about UMass recruit Max Longman's journey from three-sport player to offensive line for the Minutemen.

The Hartford Courant has a post on CT players signing LOI and includes Jarvis Miller transferring to UMass.

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Bell said he still had about 3 or so scholarships to offer and was keeping an eye on adding more transfers in the spring or summer.

Luke Paschall talked about signing three WR's. He said he would normally have about 11 scholarships allotted to receivers and UMass only had six scholarship players at that position when he arrive in Amherst.

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The Minutemen's weak 2018 recruiting class took a further hit when Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" reported that class' highest rated player Josh Jefferson is leaving UMass for junior college.

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247Sports has Bell's first class rated #119 in the nation. It has the Minutemen's highest ever average rating (the first class with a average rating above 8.0). In addition Bell signed 12 three-star athletes. That doubles last year's total and, if I counted right, the highest ever number of three-star athletes since we moved to FBS.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2019

National Letter of Intent Day 2019--UMass Recruiting


I'm going to drive down to Amherst to see the UMass Signing Day event in person. That means I won't be able to comment on any previously not covered recruits until I get back. It's a long haul for me from New Hampshire so it might take a couple of days to cover all the news.

The event will be televised live on NESN+ and the UMass all-access website.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has what to expect for the Minutemen's Signing Day.

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The Daily Service has a post on former UMass player Brandon Collier's recruiting service for European players.

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Hoist the Colors reports East Carolina, Coastal Carolina and UMass are competing for DL Rick D'Abreu. He's a 247Sports three-star player.

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My Central New Jersey reports Aditya Singh, a 6-1 245 pound OL/DL will join the Minutemen as a preferred walk-on.

Singh's MaxPreps page here.

Hudl.com has video.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Monday, February 04, 2019

UMass Football Recruiting 2019--Xavier Graham verbals to UMass

Hudl.com
Xavier Graham, a 6-3 305 pound OG from Niceville, FL has Tweeted he's committed to UMass.

UPDATE: Now rated as a three-star player by 247Sports.

Hudl.com has video.

Grham had nine offers with UMass as the only FBS school. Drew attention from Florida State and Miami.

UMass Football Recruiting--Andrew Brito commits to UMass

Cougar News Online image
Andrew Brito, a 5-10 170 pound QB from College of the Canyons has Tweeted he's verbaled to UMass.

UPDATE: Now rated as a three-star player by 247Sports.

Hudl.com has video.

Canyons QB draws inspiration from tragedy.

In an article from October 2018 NJ.com reports Brito was named the 2017 SCFA National Division, Northern League Player of the Year and an All-California JUCO selection, after generating 3,246 passing yards and 34 TDs as a freshman.

UMass was Brito's only FBS offer.

UMass Football News--February 4th, 2019

UPDATE: Today (Monday) is the start of a 48-hour recruiting "dead period". NJ.com explains what's allowed and what isn't before Wednesday's Signing Day.

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Coach Bell with JUCO QB Andrew Brito and JUCO WR Javon Turner.

Not much news this morning. We're in the final hours before national signing day. I think UMass is doing well for the short time the coaching staff has had to recruit.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

UMass Football News--February 3rd, 2019

The Berrkshire Eagle covers former UMass QB Liam Coen's unbelievable chance to coach in the Super Bowl.

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Vanquish the Foe has a way-to-early power ranking of BYU's 2019 opponents.

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The AOSN (whatever that is) says the Senior Bowl is more than a game.

Black and Teal says the Jags should take a second look at five Senior Bowl standouts.

The Wasserman Sports Agency will be representing Andy in the NFL Draft.

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Saturday, February 02, 2019

UMass Football News--February 2nd, 2019

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has posts on recent UMass verbals offensive line Max Longman and defensive lineman Billy Woodman.

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Eleven warriors image
Currently, as we go into the last weekend before Signing Day, UMass has signed or has strong verbals from:

1 Running back

2 Wide Receivers

2 Offensive linemen

2 Defensive linemen

1 Defensive end

5 Defensive backs (probably three CB's and two Safeties)

1 Transfer outside linebacker

Bell and staff have yet to sign a quarterback, tight end or inside linebacker. UMass currently has 14 players and probably have seven or so scholarships to give. Bell also convinced two starters Isaiah Rogers and Bilal Ally to return for 2019.

Some global things to think about:
  • Coach Bell was hired on 12/03. He seems to be recruiting well for the short time he has had.
  • We're changing offenses from pro-set to spread.
  • He inherited a roster that large holes at TE, RB and basically every position on defense. This will take more than one recruiting cycle to fix.
  • Bell might keep a couple of scholarships open for transfers or late additions after Spring ball. 
  • After 13 commits, this year's class has a higher overall rating average than last year and more three star recruits (by two).
I'm hoping for a big finish Tuesday and an even better year in 2020.

Friday, February 01, 2019

UMass Football News--February 1st, 2019

UMass officially adds four coaches to the UMass Staff.

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NJ.com reports on the status of New Jersey's Top-50 recruits on the last weekend before signing day. Mentions UMass a number of times.

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Penn added Kevin Morris to their staff as offensive coordinator and QB coach.

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Buffalo Rumblings reports on five Senior Bowl winners including Andy Isabella.

The Morning Call has small school prospects who shined in the Senior Bowl.

I've meaning to point out the NFL has more money than God and a mind bending number of analysts, coaches, support staff and more.

All that does not necessarily mean some teams know what they are doing...

Andy needs to go to a team that understands how to use the slot receiver position. Gruden got a lot of production out of Isabella in the Senior bowl. Andy would likely thrive in the Patriots organization. If he is drafted by a team or quarterback that wants to go deep all the time that may not work for him. If he's always the third or fourth read he's not going to make the impact like he could.

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