Senior cornerback Byron Jones had two brothers play for Jack Cochran, Casey Cochran's father, at New Britain High School, so he knows just how much that family loves football. This week, Casey retired from the game after suffering his latest concussion but will remain with the Huskies to pursue his next challenge: coaching.
And while UConn is losing its starting quarterback, it's gaining someone who is wildly passionate about the game.
"He's been a guy who has given it 100 percent," Jones said, according to the New Haven Register. "We are 100 percent behind his decision. You use it as motivation because anything can be your last play. ...
"It is tough to see a guy up there who has been around football for so long and probably didn't think for one second, this is going to be my last game to go down like that," the cornerback continued. "It is just one of those unfortunate moments, people get inured and don't come back. We will 100 percent support his decision, no doubt about it.
"He is a very high-quality person, a leader and a person who does everything at 100 percent. He is definitely going to be missed with the football team but he is still going to be a part of us in a coaching capacity."
team captain Marquise Vann added: "You just see a very strong person. He was strong with it, very confident. He wasn't crying, he was very excited tat he was going in a new direction with his life. We are all backing him and he is still going to be around. It wasn't a hard time, it was an exciting time for Casey because we saw how great of a man he was, how great of a leader he was so."
And tight end Sean McQuillan took to Twitter to echo similar sentiments: "Casey Cochran is one of the best kids I know and never gave anything but his best in everything he did, unbelievable teammate and friend."
Which is why no one will be surprised if Cochran's wildly successful in his next endeavor.