Bob Diaco was introduced as the new UConn head football coach on Thursday.
Well, it's ... something. Athon Sports has released its American Athletic Conference preseason team and a single, solitary Husky found his way onto the first team: Tight end Sean McQuillian.
It's an interesting choice if for no other reason than Phil Steele's AAC preseason squad had just one UConn first-teamer, but it was playmaking wide receiver Geremy Davis. And in recent weeks we've heard a lot about cornerback Byron Jones, whom first-year coach Bob Diaco has called "one of the best players in the country"
Like Steele's list, Athlon named Jones to its second team along with defensive tackle Julian Campenni and the aforementioned Davis. Meanwhile, Jones' secondary mate, safety Obi Melifonwu. garnered third-team honors.
Diaco has high expectations for Melifonwu, the 6-4, 215-pounder who earned his way into the starting lineup last season.
“Obi, in time, will be the best or one of the best safety prospects in the country,” the coach said. “He has unbelievable skillset, crazy. I’ve been around some great safeties. He’s the most talented safety I’ve ever been on a team with physically. Just talent. (Notre Dame) had a first round draft pick, a pro bowl safety in Harrison Smith. From a talent standpoint, (Melinfonwu) the most talented safety I’ve ever been around.”
If Melifonwu emerges as that type of talent, no one will remember these preseason lists other than to mock them.
Athlon also has the Huskies finishing 5-7 (which was their record in their first two seasons under Paul Pasqualoni before falling to 3-9 last season) and 3-5 in the AAC. That would be good for sixth place.
And all this brings us to the point we make every offseason, where it seems fitting to end with a quote from former Huskies coach Randy Edsall. In 2010 after the Huskies were picked fourth in the Big East, Edsall had this to say: “My reaction is the same as it was last year. Who cares? We don’t get excited about preseason polls. It’s all about what you do on the field.”