While the Huskies officially lost one sophomore quarterback when Michael Nebrich transferred to Fordham, another returned to practice after more than a week away from the team for personal reasons. Scott McCummings, who appeared in all 12 games last season, was back in Storrs Tuesday but after missing much of the spring with a toe injury, his place on the depth chart was as unclear as ever.
“I don’t know where I stand,” McCummings said Tuesday via SNY.tv's John Silver. “I am just trying to get into football shape. It was tough, knowing I was falling behind and I was worried about losing my spot and my role. I am happy that I still seem to have it.”
This much is certain: Chandler Whitmer remains the starter. Coach Paul Pasqualoni made the decision early in training camp and it'll be Whitmer's job to lose in the coming weeks and months. But McCummings, who as a freshman rushed for 285 yards on 74 carries and scored five times, is still an integral part of UConn's revamped offense -- its Wildcat offense.
“It’s so hard to get ready to stop it,” Pasqualoni said via Silver. “You have to defend all these other things that people do. You got to get yourself into a defensive approach that will allow you to account for extra blockers. The direct snapper becomes the tailback, there are extra blockers, you have to get defenders there. With Scotty being able to throw the ball, that presents a lot of stress and duress for the guys coaching on defense.
“You got to get everything covered, not only the run but the pass. That’s kind of the philosophy behind it. We are fortunate we have a big strong guy who can do it and made big plays for us last year. It’s a pretty good approach.”
Because of his absence, McCummings is playing catch-up, but as one of the team's best performers in the classroom, it shouldn't be too difficult.
“I miss a lot of the protection and footwork stuff working on the Wildcat,” he said. “I have to make that up on my own. But, that’s what I asked for and I want to play here. I will do whatever it will take.”