Yet, it would be normal if Caulley did. After all, the 5-foot-7,
187-pound tailback for the
He missed the rest of the season and all of 2004 - UConn's first in the Big East, which led to a win in the Motor City Bowl. His replacement, Cornell Brockington, emerged as the Huskies go-to back, rushing for a conference best 1,218 yards to earn all-Big East first team honors.
But Caulley, now a junior, is back this year and battling Brockington in training camp for a starting spot for the upcoming season. Following a grueling afternoon practice session Wednesday, Caulley had a humble perspective on his year and a half away from the field.
"That's football…one man gets hurt and another steps in," Caulley said. "I might have been forgotten but the attention isn't what I'm aiming for. I'm here to play, I'm a team player. I'm happy for the success that Brock has had and hopefully we can both have success this year."
Caulley and Brockington could give Huskies coach Randy Edsall the most dangerous one-two backfield tandem in the Big East this season.
"We're fortunate that we have two guys that can go out there and contribute," Edsall said. "The big thing is who were playing and what they're doing will dictate who gets the ball and how we use them."
Caulley combines speed and power out of the backfield and is also a major receiving option, as he caught 25 passes to go along with his 1,247 rushing yards as a freshman in 2002. The 6-foot, 203-pound Brockington has the ability to break tackles before breaking away from defenders.
That combo, which will behind an unproven offensive line and a new quarterback, should be the Huskies best offensive weapon.
"I've noticed when we go against our No. 1 defense we're wearing them out," Brockington said.
Caulley echoed Brockington wear-and-tear theory against opposing
defenses. He also said he'd prefer to begin the season Sept. 1 against
"Obviously (he wants to start) but I'm going to have to work. I know that," Caulley said. "Brock has done some big things since I've been out and I know I have to earn the job back. If I don't I'll have to come back every week and compete every play, every practice.
"I want to start but it's a progressional thing where every day will determine whether someone edged up or someone took a step back."
Edsall said there will be enough carries to satisfy both backs.
"I don't think you can ever go through one season with just having one guy," Edsall said. "There's plenty of enough things we can do where both of them stay fresh."
Caulley promises he will take advantage of each carry he will get.
"I'm thankful that I'm out here again," Caulley said. "I'm able to run, cut and jump. To go through I went through is all worthwhile. I think it was a lesson from God to not take the game for granted. Not playing every play like my last was a way of taking advantage of the game."
Still, that first carry and that first game against
"It will determine whether everything I have worked on has paid off,"
Caulley said. "I could be rusty in that first game (Sept. 1 against