UConn's Casey Cochran takes snaps during one of the Huskies' spring practice sessions.
There are worse fates than redshirting. In fact, for quarterback Casey Cochran, this could be great news. It appears that the freshman from Monroe could do just that after not seeing the field in the Huskies' first five games while he recovers from a wrist injury he suffered this summer.
"We thought Casey was going to get the cast off for the Maryland game but those x-rays didn’t come out the way we would have liked," coach Paul Pasqualoni said recently according to the New Haven Register. "It is a little longer process so that has pushed it into a week by week deal. We are going to evaluate it again this week. Casey is out there and he is going everything he can do, we just can’t give him hard snaps from center play after play. He can take a shotgun snap, he can throw the ball and do all of those things."
Pasqualoni's hasn't committed to anything but his decision should be a lot easier with the emergence of junior college transfer Chandler Whitmer, who won the job outright in August. Whitmer struggled with turnovers early in the season but he's progressed each week. A year ago, Johnny McEntee was the starter but we also saw Scott McCummings and Michael Nebrich. McCummings remains the Huskies' wildcat specialist but Nebrich transferred before the season. For all intents and purposes, this is Whitmer's team.
Which means there's no rush to get Cochran healthy and onto the field.
"He has not been 100 percent cleared at this point and we will evaluate it again this week and see how it is this week," Pasqualoni said. "He is still up and still in development. My sense is that we will keep him going that way. I don’t know if we would play him. A hand grenade would have to go off right now for us going into game six. We will see how he is at the end of the week and we will see what kind of clearance we get. If he is not cleared 100 percent then we will start over again next week."
Players redshirt all the time and in most instances it's in their best interests. For Cochran, it would mean more time to recover from the wrist injury, more time to learn the nuances of George DeLeone's offense and a better chance to be in position to earn the starting gig down the road. For Pasqualoni, these are good problems to have.