Wirth The Wait

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Before Saturday's Blue-White Spring Game, Connecticut senior defensive tackle Ryan Wirth had played in a total of 18 games and had seven career tackles. During the game, Wirth was one of the standout players, sparking a solid defensive effort while totaling seven tackles and a game-high 4.5 sacks, including one for a safety.

Wirth said playing behind former UConn stars Kendall Reyes and Twyon Martin had been instrumental in his growth as a player and as a teammate.

"I feel like I am more comfortable and confident out there," Wirth said. "I learned a lot from Kendall [Reyes] and Twyon [Martin] over the last four years. I'm just trying to fit into a role as best I can and anyway I can help this team that is what I am going to do."

Coach Paul Pasqualoni was well aware of Wirth's accomplishments on the day but stated that he and the coaching staff have to go back to the video tape and take a good look at who Wirth was lined up across from before making a final judgment.

"Ryan's played football for us, Ryan is a real try hard guy," Pasqualoni said. "You've got to get in and see exactly who it was he was lined up on and how young the guy was and how experienced the guy was and all those things."

Wirth understands perhaps better than anyone that the road ahead is a long one and there is always room for improvement.

"You can't sit back. It's always a competition and at this level of football you've got to be on your A game," Wirth said. "There are guys right behind me and they are good football players, so you've got to keep on going."

Now Wirth, along with the rest of the Connecticut football team, will wait until the fall to get back to official practices. But Wirth said he will work as hard in this offseason as he ever has. As a senior he understands that this is his final season to prove himself.

"Tomorrow is a new day," Wirth said. "I'm going to rest and then it's right back to the grind. We're going into the next phase, which is summer lifting, and I am going to continue to get better. And I'm going to work my butt off and take it one day at a time."

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