EAST HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 1: Lyle McCombs #43 of the Connecticut Huskies runs in for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the second half during the game at Rentschler Field on December 1, 2012 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
We're some six weeks away from the start of training camp and with it, the Huskies' efforts to better back-to-back 5-7 records under coach Paul Pasqualoni. In what's sure to be the first of countless preseason previews, ESPN.com's Big East blog has weighed in with a look at the weakest and strongest positions on UConn's team.
Blogger Andrea Adelson admits that it took some thinking to come up with a strongest because "there are questions at virtually every position on this team." It's a tough point to argue given that the Huskies lost five players to the NFL Draft, four on defense. But she settles on defensive line because "a look at returning starters and returning experienced players shows the (unit) has a chance to continue to be one of the better groups in the American." Adelson concedes that the loss of defensive end Trevardo Williams will be "huge" but the Huskies return veterans Jesse Joseph and Shamar Stephen, and should have plenty of depth along the line.
As for the weakest position, Adelson offers two: running backs and the offensive line. Both seem reasonable, especially after Lyle McCombs had a down sophomore season following an All-American effort as a freshman. But his struggles -- at least in part -- can be blamed on an inconsistent offensive line, which, Adelson points out, returns every starter for 2013.
If there's an upside, it's this: at least the quarterbacks weren't listed here. That has a lot to do with just how well Chandler Whitmer played as a redshirt sophomore last season under some pretty trying circumstances, as well as the depth at the position. The Huskies will enter preseason practice with six quarterbacks on the roster, including three freshmen.