It hasn't even been a week since UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni announced the Huskies would enter preseason camp with Chandler Whitmer as the first-string quarterback. That seemed to bring some calm to a chaotic situation that had lingered since last season when the Huskies relied on a three-QB system.
Now the question is whether the Huskies will be facing a shortage of signal callers? Has the number of healthy and capable quarterbacks gone from five to two?
At Big East media day on July 31, Pasqualoni said he hoped to name a starter by Aug. 23 – one week ahead of UConn's opener against UMass. Two days later he named Whitmer, a transfer from Butler Community College in Kansas, as the No. 1 heading into camp.
Sophomore Scott McCummings, used primarily in "wildcat" formations last season, is currently on excused absence for personal reasons. Pasqualoni said Tuesday he expects to know more about McCummings' situation later this week. Even if McCummings returns to UConn, he will be behind.
Freshman Casey Cochran has a cast on his left (non-throwing) wrist that isn't to be removed until Aug. 23. His practice status will be very limited until then. Nebrich's departure also might impact the possibility of redshirting Cochran this season.
With Nebrich transferring, that essentially leaves Whitmer and senior Johnny McEntee, last year's starter who completed 51.3 percent of his passes for 12 touchdowns, eight interceptions and an average of just 175.8 yards per game.
UConn's sports information office announced Nebrich's decision by e-mail Wednesday morning. Nebrich, a 6-1, 208-pound sophomore from Burke,Va., was off to solid start in practice, which began last Friday. He began camp second on the depth chart along with McEntee. But he was throwing the ball with a tight spiral and accuracy – especially impressive on deep patterns.
"I tell you what, he threw some deep balls pretty good today," Pasqualoni said of Nebrich after Friday's opening practice. "He completed a couple right in a row there. That's great to see. He's getting better. He's getting better from a drop-back pass standpoint. [Quarterback] Coach [Shane] Day said that all summer and all spring that he's just got to keep getter better a little bit at a time. I think he's focusing on it and he's trying real hard. It was pretty evident today that the timing of what he did, the read and the placement of the ball was really pretty good."
Fordham might be a possible destination for Nebrich, who played in eight games last season last season as a true freshman and passed for 69 yards. Nebrich also had 10 yards rushing.
Former UConn quarterback coach Joe Moorhead is in his first season as head coach at Fordham. Nebrich was 3-for-8 for 60 yards in UConn's season-opening victory over Fordham in 2011.