Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blog Blog

A few notes about some recent updates to the UMass Football Blog.

First, I've added an improved countdown clock in the sidebar column. Note that I set the time of UMass' game with Colgate to be a 6:00 pm kickoff. This is assuming the Athletic Dept will make this a night game.

The previous UMass-Colgate night game drew 16,405 for the 11th largest crowd in McGuirk history.

Also added some new links after a spurt in blogging about I-AA.
  • A blog about the Big Sky Conference is here
  • A blog about the Ohio Valley Conference is here
  • A blog about Patriot League Team Lehigh is here
  • Ralph Wallace the publisher of I-AA.org has started a I-AA Blog here

Sunday, February 26, 2006

2006 Recruit TE John Ihne

Joining the Minutemen this summer will be John Ihne, a 6-4 255 pd TE from Wayne Hills HS in Wayne NJ.

His full stats are here .

John played for State Champion (12-0) Wayne Hills HS.

Stats of note:
  • First Team All-New jersey Group 3
  • First Team All-League, All-County, All -Area
  • As a senior 17 catches, 355 yds, 3 YDs
  • Team Captain Senior year
  • Ranked as the #12 TE signing in I-AA football by ShowingBlitz
Welcome to UMass John! Hope you have a great career with the Minutemen.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

ShowingBlitz's TE Recruits Ranking out

I-AA's only recruiting guru has posted his ratings on the 2006 TE class. The ranking is here .

Note the high ranking of UMass recruit John Ihne. Note also that John is the only UMass recruit that I have not done a blog on. Will get that taken care shortly.

UMass' other TE recruit, Rob Getek, is not ranked because he is a transfer and ShowingBlitz does not rank JUCO's or transfers. There is a blog about Getek directly below this one.

Friday, February 24, 2006

2006 Recruit TE Rob Getek

Joining UMass this year will be Rob Getek a 6-6 250 pd TE from Bishop Guertin HS HN.

Getek originally signed with UConn, where he was described as recruit of influence. He missed qualifying academically and spent one year at Milford academy.

After joining UConn he was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons.

Getek's stats:
  • First team All-State and All-Area
  • Played in the New Hampshire-Vermont All-Star game
  • 13 yards/catch in his senior year.
welcome to UMass Rob. Hope your career takes off with the Minutemen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Showing Blitz's WR recruit rankings out

Rob of ShowingBitz.com has released his wide receiver 2006 recruits ranking. The list is here.

Included in the list of 2006's top receiver recruits is UMass' Tony Esalomi from Tampa FL. I've already done a blog about him. Scroll down.

This Blog thinks UMass Recruit Ke'Mon Bailey (a Rivals 3 star player) is one of the top I-AA WR recruits if played at that position.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

UMass drops AIC from schedule adds I-AA Stony Brook

Good News! The UMass Athletic Dept has just announced that UMass has been able to add I-AA Stony Brook to the 2006 schedule instead of DII AIC.

The Sea Wolves were co-champions of the Northeast Conference.

No disrespect intended to the Yellow Jackets. This move helps UMass in its quest to make the I-AA playoffs. DII teams do not count towards the necessary seven I-AA wins to be eligible for the playoffs.

With a I-A game (Navy) and a DII game, UMass would have to go 8-1 against the rest of the 2006 schedule even to get an at large bid (unless we should win the A10 and get the auto bid). Playing 10 I-AA games does not require near perfection in order to get a playoff slot.

Kudos to the Athletic Dept for this astute move.

UPDATE 02/22/06: The Springfield Republican has an article on the switch here.

2006 Recruit WR Torrey Esalomi

Signing with UMass is Torrey Esalomi a 6-1 175 pd WR from Gaither High School in Tampa, FL.

Esalomi was Third Team All-Florida.

There is video of Esalomi here (scroll to middle of page). Esalomi wears #4.

Some of Torrey's stats:
  • 74 career receptions w/12 TDs
  • 44 receptions for 667 yds and 5 TDs in 2005
  • member of 4X100 relay team that placed 4th in state
  • ran a 10.7 100 meters
Welcome to UMass Torrey! Hope you catch a lot of passes for the Minutemen.

Monday, February 20, 2006

2006 Recruit DB James Carven

Joining the Minutemen this year will be James Carven DB 6-0 185 from Hanover High School.

This article states that UMass was interested in him as a QB as well as DB. Here is another article from the Boston Globe. His brother Bill Carven is Head Coach at Nichols College.

Carven's stats:
  • Named to Boston Globe's "Dandy Dozen" as one of the 12 top players in MA
  • All-League, All-Scholastic
  • 15 career INTs
Welcome to UMass James! Hope you have an excellent career in the UMass secondary.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Former UMass great Mike Dawson hired at Akron

Former UMass LB/DE Mike Dawson has been hired at Akron University
as linebackers coach. The Akron article is here. The Zips football page is here.

Dawson last worked as Defensive Coordinator for University of New Hampshire.

Dawson was a four year letter winner (1994-1997) for UMass and was Tri-Captain in 1997.

The image to the right is a scan of Dawson in his playing days from the 1997 UMass Press Guide.

2006 Recruit RB Sloan Russett

Joining UMass this year is Sloan Russett a 5-10 200 pd RB from Manchester Central HS in Manchester, NH.

This article has a lot of information about Russett as well as former Manchester Central star Tim Day.

Russett had one prep season at New Hampton School in New Hampshire.

Some of Russett's stats:
  • First Team all state
  • ran for 199 yards in the game shown above
  • 4,000 yards and 60 TDs in HS
Welcome to UMass Sloan. Hope you have a productive career as a RB for UMass!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ShowingBlitz has 2006 RB recruit rankings out

I-AA's only recruiting site has its ranking of the 2006 class of I-AA running backs out. It's here .

The A10 did well with Delaware getting the #3 rated recruit, JMU with #8, UNH with #12, Northeastern #22 and Villanova with an honorable mention.

UMass' only RB recruit is Sloan Russett, about whom I have yet to do a blog. Will take care of that shortly...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Recruiting 2006 DB Marcus Snow

Joining UMass this fall will be Marcus Snow, 5-11 210 from South Dade HS in Homestead FL.

The Miami Herald has a story on South Florida signees here (last paragraph).

There is an excellent video of Snow's highlights here . NOTE: The video clips are indexed by FIRST (!?) NAME. Scroll down to "Marcus" and load 4 mb of highlights.

Some of Marcus' stats:
  • Runs a 4.5 40
  • averaged 21.5 yrds per catch as a kickoff return man
  • made 12 tackles in the Dade County All Star game
Welcome to UMass Marcus. Hope you have an outstanding career with UMass!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

UMass Football Blog graphics

This website counts the words in the blog of your choice and creates an t-shirt printable image of the result.

It's kinda cool. The above image is what you get if you do the UMass Football Fanzone...

ShowingBlitz starts recruiting rankings

Rob McFadden, who runs ShowingBlitz.com, is I-AA's only recruiting guru. He's started ranking this year's I-AA recruiting classes.

He will rank by position and by total class.

His Quarterback rankings are here. Read the notes about the rankings here. Keep in mind several things when considering his rankings of the UMass recruits:
  1. We did not sign a QB this year.
  2. The rankings do not cover transfers or JUCOs
  3. Since UMass had five JUCOs or transfers (six counting Tim Washington), our class will not rank high by his ratings.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

UMass adds another recruit

The UMass website reports that UMass has added another recruit to its 2006 class. Signing with UMass is Aaron Fears 6-1, 180 pd WR/CB from North Attleboro MA.

Fears is the son of New England Patriots Running back coach Ivan Fears.
  • Fourth Mass native to sign with UMass this year.
  • All league two years
  • Mass 55-meter dash champion as a junior
  • 23 yrds/catch w/5TD in 2005
Welcome to UMass Aaron!

Recruiting 2006 DB Michael Thomas

Joining UMass this year will be Michael Thomas a 5-11 210 pd DB from Columbus, Ohio. Thomas prepped at Fork Union Military Academy .

Fork Union is one of the top prep schools for players hoping the get a college scholarship. This article tells how over 80 college coaches attended a Fork Union Media day.

At the time this Blog is written, 25 former Fork Union players have signed with a Who's Who of college football.

Thomas' stats:
  • Played RB at Bishop Hartley HS in Columbus, Ohio
  • Runs a 4.4 40
  • All-Ohio and All League
  • Chose UMass over I-A Ohio and Bowling Green
  • 5.9 yards/carry at Fork Union
Welcome to UMass Mike! Hope you have a wonderful football career at UMass.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Guido Falbo Recruiting Coordinator?

Football Scoop reports:

UMass: Guido Falbo - TE's at UMASS promoted to Recruiting Coordinator/RB's

Falbo was previously TE coach. He functioned as recruiting coordinator for Rhode Island in 2003.

Nothing on the official UMass board as yet.

Matt Dougherty on I-AA recruiting 2006

Matt Dougherty of The Sports Network has an article on the national I-AA recruiting scene.

Matt Starts out:

Philadelphia, PA - Get all worked up about last week’s recruiting classes if you wish.

Read the glowing press releases and salivate over the high school statistics. Just keep in mind that the hoopla and excitement will be as distant a memory as the Super Bowl XL officiating by the time the incoming true freshmen make their marks in I-AA...

Read the rest of the article here .

Atlantic 10 Publishes 2006 Recruit list

The Atlantic 10 has published its official 2006 recruiting list with some notes.

Read it here .

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

2006 Recruit DB Chris Pollard

Signing with the 2006 UMass recruiting class is Chris Pollard a 6-2 200 pd DB from Camden, NJ.

Pollard played two seasons with the Fort Scott CC (Kansas) Greyhounds. The Greyhounds play in the Kansas Jayhawk CC league.

While at Fort Scott:
  • All-Conference both years
  • Led team in tackles with 66 and 1 INT
  • Pre-Season All-American
Welcome to UMass Chris. Hope you have a great career with the Minutemen.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2006 Recruit LB Josh Jennings

Joining UMass this year will be Josh Jennings 6-0 200 pds LB from Dean College. Jennings had a stellar career at Dean.

He was Northeast Conference Defensive-Player-of-the-Year in 2005. He was also a NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American.

In high school, Jennings was the Conn. Gatorade Player-of-the-Year (2003).

Jennings stats in 2005:
  • Led Dean and the Northeast Conference in tackles.
  • 9G 65 Solo 29 Ast 84 TT 30 TFL 10.4 T/Game 10 Sacks
  • Tied for the League lead in sacks.
I could not find an image of Jennings anywhere. If any of his relatives sends me an action photo, I'd be glad to publish it.

Welcome to UMass Josh! Hope you have a productive career with the Minutemen.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Recruits 2006 DT Shaun Allen

Joining UMass is Shaun Allen a 6-3 250 DT from Dean College. He will be a junior with two years of football eligibility.

Allen's signing, along with teammate Josh Jennings (I'll do a separate blog on Jennings later) was big doin's at Dean College. Read the Dean College write up here.

Allen was the only Defensive lineman signed by UMass so far. Seeing that we only signed one down lineman in 2005 (Tony Cina), it would be likely that UMass is still looking for more players in this category.

Allen played well for Dean.
  • started 20 games in two years
  • Stats (2005) : 9G 22 Solo 23 AST 45 TT 5.0 T/game 5 Sacks 2 FF
  • Second in total tackles to the other UMass recruit Josh Jennings (really good totals for a down lineman)
Welcome to UMass Shaun! May you have a great career here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

2006 recruit OL Nick Dana

Joining the 2006 Minutemen is Nick Dana a 6-3 300 pd OL from Nassau CC in NY. Dana is #60 in the above image. He was originally recruited by New Hampshire and ended up at Nassau CC.
  • Was First team All-Conference both years
  • Was Third team All-American in 2005
Welcome to UMass Dana! The east coast does not have extensive community college football leagues like California or the Midwest. Nassau CC is about the top school (in football) in the Northeast. They have a bulletin board showing the schools that have signed former players. It's here . At the time that I'm writing this blog, seven former Nassau players have signed with various colleges.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

2006 Recruit K/P Chris Koepplin

Joining the Minutemen is Chris Koepplin (#11 in the image above). Koepplin is a 6-3, 195 pd kicker/punter from Nassau CC. The Nassau Team Page is here. Koepplin has a personal page here.

His stats are here.
Koepplin should provide immediate competition for Armano Cuko who struggled with a 6-13 field goal percentage (46.2%) and provide a backup punter for Christian Koegel

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

UMass publishes 2006 recruiting list

UPDATE #3-2:30 pm 02/02/06. UMass beat writer Matt Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has an article on the UMass recruits here (registration required, but worth it)

- 7:30 am, 02/02/06. Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Union has an article on the UMass recruits here.

- 9:00 pm, 02/01/06. The UMass website has added Coach Brown's comments on the recruiting class. Read it here .

UMass has released its 2006 recruit list . Welcome aboard to all the new UMass players!

Some points of interest:
  • 6 JUCO's
  • DL 1
  • OL 2
  • DB 4
  • TE 2
  • LB 2
  • K/p 1
  • WR 3
  • RB 1
Some initial comments:

  1. During the build-up to the recruiting season, it was speculated that UMass most needed help on the OL/DL. With only 1 defensive lineman and two OL in this recruiting class, it would be likely that UMass is not done with recruiting.
  2. 6 JUCO's are probably a UMass record.
  3. The list does not count Tim Washington, the transfer from Syracuse.

UMass signs FL receiver

PrepSports.tbo.com reports that Torrey Esaloni a 6-2, 175 pd WR from Gauther in Tampa Florida has signed a letter-of-intent with UMass.

His Rivals Bio is here. This article lists him as All-State.
  • Was third-team All-State 5A Conference
  • 4.6 40 with a 230 pd bench
First found by MikeUMA, the owner of the UMass Hoops Board.

Der Tag!

Today's the day! All UMass fans should place their fingertips to their temples and try to send brainwaves to a fax machine somewhere in the UMass football offices so that it will spit out letters-of-intent for all the top recruits UMass has been recruiting.

The Boston Globe has an article here about some Mass players signing. None are listed as committing to UMass. The only name that might have been in play for UMass is Alex Dulski, who chose Northeastern.

I called the UMass football office and they said that there would not be a signing day press conference. They said UMass signings would appear over several days on the UMass website.

Coach Brown is scheduled to appear at the weekly UMass Sports Luncheon on 02/08/06. The luncheon will be held at the Massachusetts Room, 3rd floor, Mullins Center. Call 413-545-4290 for reservation...