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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Connecticut
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  03/31/21 - Kevin MensahrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-09, 198 (DS#47 RB) + More +

  The UConn football team cut its spring practices short due to positive COVID-19 test results among Tier I personnel and subsequent contact tracing protocols. "Just been informed that we won't be able to finish the last 3 practices of the Spring due to some positive tests of COVID-19," Edsall said in a tweet that was later deleted. The Huskies held 12 of 15 scheduled practices. The final three practices will not be rescheduled. The Huskies were one of the few teams to hold their 2020 spring session before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports across the country. - Hartford Courant

(DS#47 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  02/25/21 - Ryan Van DemarkrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-7, 302 (DS#13 OT) + More +

  It's been 452 days since the UConn football team last played a game. The Huskies were one of the few teams to play their 2020 spring session before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports across the country. Months later, they were one of three FBS teams to opt out of the season. In exchange for competition, the fall was spent practicing, conditioning and lifting. It's been a while since the Huskies have seen something that resembles real football. "If you really think of it, we haven't really put on the pads in a while," senior offensive tackle Ryan Van Demark said. "I'm pretty sure the whole team is just amped to just get out there with some shoulder pads and starting hitting each other. I miss playing, but it's definitely going to help us this season in terms of wins."

UConn will begin its spring practice session on Monday as the Huskies - after months of development and film consumption - will see the football calendar return to something more normal. Van Demark, a member of the team's leadership committee, said the team is the most dialed in he's seen in his four years in Storrs. "I can just see a glaring difference this year, rather than the last three years," he said. "We have more kids bought in. We have more kids definitely trying to get after it every day trying to get a ring. That's our main mentality now. Our main mentality is to get a ring, to win no matter what. I think everybody had that shared mentality. "The sky is the limit for us. I'm super excited for this year. Everybody is motivated, you can see it." - Hartford Courant


(DS#13 OT) rSr/2022 OT Ryan Van DemarkConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  08/05/20 - Ryan Van DemarkrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-7, 302 (DS#13 OT) + More +

  The University of Connecticut Department of Athletics today announced that its football program will cancel all competition for the 2020-21 school year. "After receiving guidance from state and public health officials and consulting with football student-athletes, we've decided that we will not compete on the gridiron this season," director of athletics David Benedict said. "The safety challenges created by COVID-19 place our football student-athletes at an unacceptable level of risk." Members of the team will remain enrolled in classes, either virtually or in person, as full-time students at UConn. The team members will also retain access to facilities and support services in accordance with NCAA rules, ensuring that student-athletes remain on track academically and developmentally. - UConn Football

(DS#13 OT) rSr/2022 OT Ryan Van DemarkConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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  08/03/20 - Brian KeatingrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-0, 230 (DS#7 LS) + More +

  2020 PRESEASON PATRICK MANNELLY LONG SNAPPER AWARD WATCHLIST: Brian Keating, Connecticut,...Senior long snapper Brian Keating has been named to the initial Patrick Mannelly Award Watch List, an award that recognizes the best FBS senior long snapper. The Patrick Mannelly Award is named after former NFL long snapper Patrick Mannelly, The Award benefits Bernie's Book Bank, a non-profit organization located in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Last year's inaugural winner was John Shannon from Notre Dame. 20 senior long snappers make up the initial watch list. Ten semi-finalists will be announced on November 16, 2020 and then three finalists selected on November 27, 2020. The winner is tentatively expected to be announced on December 12, 2020. Keating is also on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, an award given to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. - UConn Football

(DS#7 LS) rSr/2022 LS Brian KeatingConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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  07/27/20 - Brian KeatingrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-0, 230 (DS#7 LS) + More +

  2020 WUERFFEL TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST: Brian Keating, UConn, senior, long snapper,...The Wuerffel Trophy, known as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service," is presented annually at the All Sports Association's Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Keating has played in 47 of 48 games in his UConn career at long snapper. - UConn Football

(DS#7 LS) rSr/2022 LS Brian KeatingConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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  07/23/20 - Kevin MensahrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-09, 198 (DS#47 RB) + More +

  2020 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: Kevin Mensah (Sr.), Connecticut,...Mensah rushed for over 1,000-yards for the second-straight season in 2019, marking only the second time that a Husky (Jordan Todman in 2009 and 2010) eclipsed 1,000-yards rushing in consecutive years. Mensah's five rushing TD's against UMass on October 26 marked the highest single-game total in the nation this year and he was honored as the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week following his performance against the Minutemen, which included 164-yards on the ground. The senior has accumulated 2619 rushing yards in 35 career games for the Huskies. - UConn Football

(DS#47 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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  05/12/20 - Jonathan PaceJr/2022, Connecticut, 6-4, 277 (DS#999 OT) + More +

  UConn's new TV deal for football, combined with the robust schedules assembled for the next five years, will provide the selling points coach Randy Edsall needs to kick-start recruiting. "This is a really good day for us," Edsall said in a conference call with reporters Monday, as the four-year agreement with CBS Sports was announced, "and it came at the right time because we're right in the middle of recruiting kids from the 2021 cycle." The deal assures the Huskies, who have left the American Athletic Conference and will play as an independent in football, will have exposure, with most of the games to be played between 12:30 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, something Edsall wanted. As he makes the recruiting rounds, albeit virtually during the coronavirus shutdowns, Edsall said he has been feeling the positive vibes in recent weeks.

"There's no question," he said. "Myself and our coaching staff, we really sat down and talked a lot about what is going to be our message and how are we going to market what we're doing. By telling them, 'Hey, we felt good about the television package' and by telling them about the schedule we were playing, and how we're going to play more Power Five [conference] teams now than what we would have staying where we were previously, that made a big impact with the kids we were talking to. So that helped us tremendously, and we've seen tremendous interest...Do we have a challenge ahead of us? Yes, we do. But we have an ability to go out and sell things to get the kind of kids we need to win." - Hartford Courant


(DS#999 OT) Jr/2022 OT Jonathan PaceConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  05/11/20 - Kevin MensahrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-09, 198 (DS#47 RB) + More +

  UConn has agreed to a multi-year television deal that will put most of its home football games on CBS Sports Network, the school announced Monday. The university did not disclose the financial details of the deal between CBS and Learfield IMG College, which holds UConn’s athletics multimedia rights, but said it is worth seven figures over four years. Under the contract, the network plans to televise four UConn home games in 2020 (Indiana, Liberty, Middle Tennessee and Army) and all home games from 2021-2023. This will be the Huskies' first season as a football independent after leaving the American Athletic Conference. Most of UConn's sports teams will be playing in the Big East, which signed a 12-year, $500 million media deal with Fox in 2013. - AP College Football

(DS#47 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: AP College Football
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  05/09/20 - Ian SwensonrJr/2022, Connecticut, 6-0, 206 (DS#97 SS) + More +

  The continuing coronavirus shutdowns have put the 2020 college football season in question, and could compel UConn to reimagine its current independent schedule. "We're planning for all contingencies," Athletic Director David Benedict told The Courant on Friday. "The most important thing is, we don't even know if we're going to have a season yet. We're certainly planning like we're going to have a season, but that has to be determined first. That's going to determine how we move forward." There has been speculation that college football could start late and play a shortened season with travel limited, in which conference opponents eliminate nonconference games or play only within their region. That could lead to independents playing more games against one another, which could mean Notre Dame or Brigham Young appearing on UConn's schedule. There have been such discussions, Benedict said.

UConn, having left the American Athletic Conference to join the Big East in most other sports, is competing as an independent in FBS football, and has scheduled games with a number of high-profile programs, including five from Power Five conferences. Illinois and Indiana (Big Ten), Virginia and North Carolina (ACC) and Mississippi (SEC) are on the 2020 schedule. "I have not received a single call from anyone on our schedule telling me, 'Hey, you need to prepare for us not playing our game,' or 'We need out of our game,'" Benedict said. "If that is where we land, there's going to be effort and conversation within the independents to coalesce and play each other, but that's not where we are right now." - Hartford Courant


(DS#97 SS) rJr/2022 SS Ian SwensonConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  04/25/20 - Matt PeartrSr/2020, Connecticut, 6-6, 318 (DS#8 OT) + More +

  The Giants, looking to fix their offensive line, took UConn tackle Matt Peart with the No. 99 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Peart, 6 feet 7 and 318 pounds, joined Andrew Thomas, an offensive tackle the Giants chose in the first round, in what could become an impressive pair of bookends. The Giants were in the market for a center, but couldn't pass on Peart. "It's about value," Giants GM Dave Gettleman told reporters on a conference call late Friday night. "[Peart] was too good of a value to pass by. We had him rated well above the rest of the other centers on our board. He is long, he's big. He's a 315-pound kid that's skinny. We interviewed him a number of times, he's a great kid. He's athletic and he's long and we think he has a lot of upside for a young kid. He's a guy that the coaching staff really wanted to work with."

Born in the Bronx, Peart has been a Giants fan all his life, and they were among the teams that paid a lot of attention to him in the predraft process. They've had success in drafting Randy Edsall-coached, UConn linemen in the past, with Will Beatty in 2009. Peart started 48 games in a row for UConn, every game the last four seasons, and got better each year. He was a late-comer to football, switching from basketball during his time in prep school. But he has exceptional athletic ability for such a big man, running the 40-yard dash in 5.01 seconds at the Combine and navigating the agility drills impressively. - Hartford Courant


(DS#8 OT) rSr/2020 OT Matt PeartConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  04/13/20 - Matt PeartrSr/2020, Connecticut, 6-6, 318 (DS#8 OT) + More +

  Former teammate Foley Fatukasi, drafted by the Jets in 2018, told Peart the pre-draft process wouldn't be easy, and he needed to treat every part of it like he would only get that one shot. Little did either know how true that would be in this year of the coronavirus. Peart followed up his Senior Bowl performance in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25 with a strong showing in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis at the end of February. At 6 feet 7 and 318 pounds, Peart ran the 40-yard dash in 5.06 seconds, made a vertical leap of 30 inches, a broad jump of 113 inches. Then they measured his arms - 36 5/8 inches, longer than any other tackle. That set the scouts and analysts abuzz.

"I knew I had long arms," Peart says, with a belly laugh, "but when they came up and said I had the longest, I was like, 'Oh. … Really?' I couldn't help but laugh and smile. I thought I'd be middle of the pack, but to have the longest? That's pretty good." Then the process was swept into this uncharted territory. There was not to be a Pro Day at UConn, no visits or workouts for individual teams, few chances to work out at conventional facilities. Instead, Peart has spent the last month lifting weights in his basement, marking off his quiet street to run sprints and "gassers," uphill, to the wonderment of neighbors out walking their dogs. Distance runs, up to 3 miles, not his favorite thing, are keeping him in shape, and he has had virtual interviews with numerous teams assessing his football IQ and upbeat disposition. - Hartford Courant


(DS#8 OT) rSr/2020 OT Matt PeartConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  03/20/20 - David PindellSr/2019, Connecticut, 6-0, 202 (DS#169 WR) + More +

  David Pindell is joyfully proactive in the way he continues to chase a football dream. Pindell figures if he keeps working out, keeps throwing the football, keeps recording these actions on the fields of Columbia, Md., and keeps sharing videos with the world on social media, he's eventually going to catch the right eye and opportunity. "Keep posting stuff, keep posting stuff, keep posting stuff," Pindell said. These are the repetitions of his everyday life, as much as five-step drops, out routes and crossing patterns. Keep throwing, keep filming, keep believing, keep in touch with a growing football community cultivated through these actions and keep doing what you love until you just can't any longer.

Pindell, who played two years at UConn and started every game as a senior in 2018, is still at it. If you're among his 78,000 followers on Instagram or 16,000 followers on Twitter, you know this, and he has again ramped up efforts. Pindell remains optimistic about a playing career past the point where many players are met by the frustrating reality that the game just won't have them. He remains committed to creating and exhausting every single avenue before either reaching his goal or moving on without a sliver of regret. - Hartford Courant


(DS#169 WR) Sr/2019 WR David PindellConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  02/22/20 - Matt PeartrSr/2020, Connecticut, 6-6, 318 (DS#8 OT) + More +

  2020 NFL COMBINE INVITE: Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut,...The Kingston, Jamaica native anchored the Huskies offensive line for four seasons, starting all 48 games. A team captain in 2019 and member of the leadership council in 2018, he helped produce back-to-back 1000-yard rushing seasons for Kevin Mensah. It is only the second time in program history that the Huskies have had the same running back put together back-to-back 1000 yard campaigns (Jordan Todman). - Connecticut Football

(DS#8 OT) rSr/2020 OT Matt PeartConnecticut
News Source: Connecticut Football
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  02/18/20 - Oneil RobinsonJr/2022, Connecticut, 6-1, 180 (DS#999 FS) + More +

  Three members of UConn's 2019 football team face charges stemming from a November burglary on campus. Running back Khyon Gillespie and defensive backs Oneil Robinson and Ryan Carroll are accused of stealing about $5,000 worth of items, including a television, video game systems and clothes from a dorm on Nov. 23, according to arrest warrant affidavits. The three sophomores face charges including burglary, larceny and making false statements. They did not immediately return email messages Tuesday seeking comment. Gillespie and Robinson turned themselves in to police last week. Carroll was charged Tuesday. - AP College Football

(DS#999 FS) Jr/2022 FS Oneil RobinsonConnecticut
News Source: AP College Football
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  12/09/19 - Matt PeartrSr/2020, Connecticut, 6-6, 318 (DS#8 OT) + More +

  2019 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): OT Matt Peart, UConn, Sr.,...The Kingston, Jamaica native anchored the Huskies offensive line for four seasons, starting all 48 games. A team captain in 2019 and member of the leadership council in 2018, he helped produce back-to-back 1000-yard rushing seasons for Kevin Mensah. It is only the second time in program history that the Huskies have had the same running back put together back-to-back 1000 yard campaigns (Jordan Todman). The 6-7, 303 pound lineman is projected to be one of the top tackle prospects in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft and he will participate in the prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama on January, 25, 2020. - Connecticut Football

(DS#8 OT) rSr/2020 OT Matt PeartConnecticut
News Source: Connecticut Football
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