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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Connecticut
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  Steven Krajewski threw for two touchdowns, ran for another and UConn snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 21-15 win over Yale on Saturday. The victory ended the second-longest losing streak in the nation and gave interim head coach Lou Spanos, who took over two games into the season, his first victory. The win comes after Spanos missed last week's game against UMass because of COVID-19 protocols. The game was scoreless until Krajewski threw deep to a wide-open Keelan Marion for a 63-yard score with under six minutes in the first half. Following UConn's third interception of Griffin O'Connor in the half, Krajewski found another wide-open receiver, Kevens Clercius, for a 14-yard score. Krajewski went around the left edge for a 7-yard TD and a 21-0 lead early in the third quarter. Krajewski finished with 199 yards passing for UConn (1-7). Yale closed the gap to 21-15 with 4:30 remaining, and the last drive reached the UConn 30 before it ended with an interception in the end zone on a final untimed down. Nolan Grooms threw for a touchdown and a pick for Yale (2-3). The two Connecticut schools met for the 50th time but just the first time in 22 years. Yale faced its first FBS opponent in seven years. - AP College Football

(DS#999 QB) rSo/2024 QB Steven KrajewskiConnecticut
News Source: AP College Football
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  09/03/21 - Durante JonesFr/2025, Connecticut, 6-1, 186 (DS#999 FS) + More +

  Jones, a true freshman from Atlanta, started at safety against Fresno State and had six tackles in his collegiate debut. Senior safety Diamond Harrell said Tuesday that Jones already carries himself like a leader. "Durante is the quarterback of the defense," Harrell said. "He's very vocal. He has a lot of energy, very aggressive...playing next to him is really great because we need that on our defense. We need someone to bring the defense, when they're down, when everybody's head is down, we need him to make sure everybody's head is up. Just lift everybody's head up so we can keep going and never go back down." Edsall said he wasn't surprised to see Jones win the starting job in preseason camp. - Hartford Courant

(DS#999 FS) Fr/2025 FS Durante JonesConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  09/03/21 - Kevon JonesSo/2024, Connecticut, 6-2, 247 (DS#999 DE) + More +

  Junior defensive lineman Kevon Jones, who had 93 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2018-19, was held out of Saturday's season opener due to an undisclosed violation. Edsall said he expects Jones to return this week. "I love K.K to death, I love the kid," Edsall said. "He has too many sins, self-inflected wounds. I just hope that, moving forward, he can just limit those decisions that he makes that aren't in his best interest. It's going to be good to have him back, he has a chance to be a force for us out there. I just hate any time any young man makes a poor decision and it ends up taking an opportunity away." Jones, an East Hartford native, missed time in 2018 and 2019 for academic reasons and, according to Edsall, "not achieving and not living up to the standards" of the program. - Hartford Courant

(DS#999 DE) So/2024 DE Kevon JonesConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  09/03/21 - Jack ZergiotisSo/2024, Connecticut, 6-1, 212 (DS#999 QB) + More +

  There isn't a quarterback controversy in Storrs. For better or worse, Jack Zergiotis will remain the starter. Head coach Randy Edsall was careful not to blame the sophomore for the Huskies' ineptitude in last Saturday's opener at Fresno State. Edsall instead directed much of the heat toward the offensive line, saying quarterbacks tend to get too much of the criticism when things go wrong and too much of the credit when they go right. "It's good to know that Coach has my back," Zergiotis said Tuesday. "Obviously, it wasn't (the performance) we wanted. It's tough after training for two years to have that happen, but in the end it's one out of 12 weeks. "Now it's on to Holy Cross." Holy Cross is one of two FCS teams on UConn's schedule.

The Crusaders, who won the Patriot League title during the abbreviated spring season, are listed as slight underdogs heading into Saturday at Rentschler Field (noon, CBS Sports Network). It's a game the Huskies should win - a 'get right' opportunity after a humbling loss in which they gained just 107 yards and were blanked, 45-0, for the first time since 2016. "It was kind of a wake-up call for us," Zergiotis said. "Everyone's a little more focused. Instead of talking and joking around, everyone's focused on their job. I definitely think the team's more locked in." - CT Post


(DS#999 QB) So/2024 QB Jack ZergiotisConnecticut
News Source: CT Post
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  08/14/21 - Kevin MensahrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-09, 202 (DS#54 RB) + More +

  UConn running back Kevin Mensah isn't quite sure what his career rushing numbers are or how they might stack up when his been around forever college football career ends in about four months. Which is probably healthy, because Mensah's body of work through four years and three seasons, which leaves him in line to become one of the program's all-time leaders, won't necessarily help him remain the Huskies' top ball carrier when the team resumes competition Aug. 28 at Fresno State and beyond. "He can't get complacent and can't rest on his past accomplishments to think he's got the job won," coach Randy Edsall said at the Huskies' media day event last month. "But he's been productive. I think the challenge to Kevin is taking his game to another level. … He's maturing, and he needs to continue to mature. I'll just be honest. He hasn't developed as the type of leader that I would expect (from) a guy in his situation. Gotten better, but still has a ways to go."

Mensah, a fifth-year senior, will have to prove himself again on a team with options it has not had the luxury of drawing from since his 2017 arrival, which coincided with the return of Edsall. Rob Burns, a graduate transfer from the University of Miami, and Nate Carter, a freshman from Rochester, N.Y., are Mensah's main backfield competition. Edsall wants Mensah to work a little more efficiently and talk a little less. - CT Post


(DS#54 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: CT Post
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  08/05/21 - Cameron RossSo/2024, Connecticut, 5-10, 176 (DS#999 WR) + More +

  On a young UConn football team two years ago, freshman wide receivers Cam Ross and Matt Drayton stood out as promising newcomers. Ross, now a 5 foot 9 sophomore, led the Huskies with 60 catches and 723 receiving yards. The Delaware native was second nationally among freshman in catches per game and total receptions. Drayton, a 6-1 native of Jacksonville, Fla., caught 21 balls for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Now in their second seasons, and third year overall at UConn after the Huskies opted out of the 2020 season, both are likely to be leaned on as top playmakers on offense.

"The big thing is, we were young two years ago," wide receiver coach Aaron Smith said. "We've aged a little bit, a little bit more maturity from the Xs-and-Os standpoint, and they understand how to work. That comes with age, and they've done it together. For the past two years, they've grown together, they've worked together, they've studied football together. That's been a big deal with the cohesion of that group and the development of that group - they've all done it together." Ross played largely out of the slot in 2019, and made plays in between the hashes using quick feet and speed. Against Eastern Carolina, he scored on a 94-yard catch-and-run pass from classmate Jack Zergiotis after gaining separation across the middle and outracing a defender down the field. In the year since he last played, Ross said he's been working to improve "everything." "Any weakness that I had, I tried to correct," he said. "Whether it's my game, whether it's mental, I've just been trying to get on everything. Every day, you at least want to come to this facility and do something. Every day you want to work on some kind of aspect." - Hartford Courant


(DS#999 WR) So/2024 WR Cameron RossConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  08/03/21 - Travis JonesSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-4, 333 (DS#8 DT) + More +

  Travis Jones is a hulking figure, checking in at 6-foot-5, 333 pounds. Although he's soft-spoken and reserved in demeanor, the defensive tackle from New Haven commands attention when he walks into a room. That was certainly the case Thursday as the chiseled junior settled into his seat inside Shenkman Training Center. Jones was asked a lot about his physical transformation. A real lot.

As usual, he was to the point as he spoke in front of cameras at UConn football media day, explaining he wants to be better conditioned and would like to become more agile overall. "Everybody slimmed up and cut body fat and weight and added muscle," Jones said. "I feel great playing at my weight right now." Coach Randy Edsall recently showed Jones a picture from freshman year. Jones, standing next to left tackle Ryan Van Demark and long snapper Brian Keating in the photograph, weighed closer to 360 pounds then. "They said, 'Holy crap,' " Edsall said. "You look at them back then and you look at them now, they've reshaped their bodies. When you see Travis today, you're going to be amazed at what he's done." Van Demark joked that Jones could pass as a professional wrestler. "He's come a long way since freshman year," he said, smiling. - CT Post


(DS#8 DT) Sr/2022 DT Travis JonesConnecticut
News Source: CT Post
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  07/20/21 - Travis JonesSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-4, 333 (DS#8 DT) + More +

  UConn junior defensive lineman Travis Jones was named to the Bednarik Award watch list Monday, given out to college football's top defensive player. Jones, a New Haven native and Wilbur Cross graduate, totaled 40 tackles and 3.5 sacks for the Huskies in 2019 and had 55 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a freshman in 2018. "People are going to look at him and go 'holy crap, look what he's done with his body,'" UConn coach Randy Edsall said of Jones. "And it's like that with the whole team for the most part. I just know this: I've been doing this for 40 years, and I sure as heck see the difference in the kids." - Hartford Courant

(DS#8 DT) Sr/2022 DT Travis JonesConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  05/08/21 - Robert BurnsrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-11, 220 (DS#70 RB) + More +

  The Huskies also landed a pair of Power Five transfers on Friday: Miami running back Robert Burns, and Colorado offensive lineman Valentin Senn. Burns, a redshirt junior, was a four-star recruit in high school per ESPN, and a three-star according to 247 and Rivals. He picked the Hurricanes over Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. The Miami native played sparingly for the Hurricanes, rushing for 193 yards on 47 attempts in three seasons. Burns was fourth on Miami's depth chart at running back in 2020, and entered the transfer portal in January. Burns joins senior Kevin Mensah, who's rushed for over 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons, redshirt sophomore Khyon Gillespie and freshmen Brian Brewton, Nathan Carter and Devontae Houston. Mensah will likely be UConn's primary back, though the Huskies are tasked with replacing the production of Art Tompkins, who rushed for 510 yards and two touchdowns in 2019. - Hartford Courant

(DS#70 RB) rSr/2022 RB Robert BurnsConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  03/31/21 - Kevin MensahrSr/2022, Connecticut, 5-09, 202 (DS#54 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#54 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: Hartford Courant
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  02/25/21 - Ryan Van DemarkrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-7, 304 (DS#19 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#19 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, 304 (DS#19 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#19 OT) rSr/2022 OT Ryan Van DemarkConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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  08/03/20 - Brian KeatingrSr/2022, Connecticut, 6-0, 225 (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, 225 (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, 202 (DS#54 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#54 RB) rSr/2022 RB Kevin MensahConnecticut
News Source: UConn Football
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