Now that basketball is officially over (and UConn has added two more NCAA National titles to the trophy case) we can fully turn our attention to football. New coach Bob Diaco took over in December, and now he's about to wrap up his first spring practice in Storrs.
As has been the case since Zach Frazer left following the Fiesta Bowl in Jan. 2011, the Huskies' quarterback situation remains a question. Johnny McEntee won the job in Paul Pasqualoni's first year, but inconsistency and lack of a supporting class saw Chandler Whitmer take over in 2012. Last season, Whitmer, freshman Tim Boyle and sophomore Casey Cochran split the duties with Cochran clearly outplaying the other two.
At Saturday's Blue-White game, Cochran will be the first QB to take first-team snaps.
"When the next unit goes on the field, Chandler will be with them," Don Patterson, the Huskies' associate head coach and quarterbacks coach, said Wednesday, according to the Hartford Courant.
"If you want to think of it terms of two offensive units, that's how they'll operate in the early stages of the game. At some point Chandler will switch over to the starting unit and Tim [Boyle] will work with the second unit and [sophomore] Mike Ecke will work with the second unit, too.
"If we had a game to play tomorrow, obviously, based on what I just said, that would indicate that Casey would take that snap."
Based on the last three games of last season, Cochran earned that right. He led the Huskies to three wins -- their only three wins on the year following an 0-9 start. A lot can change between now and late August, when UConn kicks off the season against BYU, but so far, Cochran has looked good in spring practice.
"I think he's got a really, really high football IQ," Patterson said. "He's very motivated to learn whatever the plan might be. He can learn it. He's a coach's son and understands the game really well, but beyond that I like the fact he has really good intangibles and by that I mean he's got outstanding leadership ability. The players respect him for his toughness and they appreciate that he's got the right kind of mentality as it relates to teammates. He's a good teammate. We all know the quarterback gets too much blame when you lose and too much credit when you win so Casey is smart enough to know if I had a good day there are 10 other guys that had a lot to do with it. He's very selfless."