UConn's Second Team Gets a Look

STORRS -- UConn football coach Randy Edsall already has a good idea what he has in his team. With almost 20 players who have started a game returning, it's not hard to figure out who the starters are going to be.

There are still jobs to be won and with two key scrimmages coming up in the next week Edsall wants to get almost everyone a look.

He knows what Tyler Lorenzen, D.J. Hernandez and Donald Brown bring to the table. On Tuesday he was trying to figure out where the backups fit in.

So perhaps the only time this season, quarterback Cody Endres was with the first team offense while wide receiver Marcus Easley and running back Jordan Todman got plenty of carries and action.

The key for this veteran UConn team now is to build depth at every position possible. Tuesday was just a way for Edsall to get a look at various players in different settings.

Endres and second teamer Zach Frazer split snaps on the first team while true freshman Casey Turner also saw some action. The results were a mixed bag, but each made some impressive throws.

"I wanted to see the other guys at quarterback and get them some work," Edsall said. "We just want a chance to see people.

"They understand the offense, they have command in the huddle and understand the offense. Some of the mistakes they made can be corrected. They need to get in those situations where they are with the first group and reacting and going against that first defense. I would rather see it here than if they have to go into a game and play for us."

Endres showed vast improvement mechanically from last season. The Pennsylvania native was able to get the ball deep and has improved his mechanics, which helps his accuracy.

Frazer has already showed improvement from the spring and true freshman Turner from Chesapeake Va. throws a very nice ball.

The Huskies desperately want to develop depth at the quarterback position. DJ Hernandez is the only other quarterback on the roster who has taken a snap in college. Of course, Hernandez spent two years at the position before moving to wide receiver last year. It looks like a repeat of Hernandez as an emergency back-up is a thing of the past.

"Those guys are battling," Edsall said. "I am trying to get them both ready to play. I don't want to get caught short at some point this season."

The Huskies will scrimmage on Wednesday and will also hold an open practice on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium on campus. The final preseason scrimmage will be Monday. That will be the first team vs. the first team.

Practice Notes

Injury report: Wide receiver Brad Kanuch still hasn't practiced and is day-to-day with a hamstring pull; defensive end Lindsay Witten was held out of practice but should be ready to go for Wednesday's scrimmage; linebackers Greg Robinson (ankle) and Lawrence Wilson also missed practice. Freshman defensive back Jerome Junior was sporting crutches and a bulky brace on his left knee.

Robinson rules: Edsall doesn't want to make it a habit, but it looks like Robinson, the backup Husky backer, is going to be limited in practice all year. It's just something the Huskies have to live with because he is going to play regardless how much he practices. Edsall gave Robinson the nickname of Plaxico after the Giants' Plaxico Burress.

"Plaxico. That's his new nickname," Edsall said. "He just comes out and plays on game day. We have to keep him healthy and get him to the games. He is our backup husky backer, in short line and goal packages, he won't play special teams. We have to keep him healthy. Some guys, who fit into your package, you have to do that. But, I don't want everyone to think they have a chronic ankle injury."

Howard ahead: Jasper Howard appears to inching ahead of Robert McClain for the starting cornerback spot. Howard is the superior cover guy and has improved his strength. Both players will see heavy action.

Quote of the day: "We are alternating (tackles Mike Hicks and Dan Ryan) everyday, they know they are competing. It's a healthy competition. One does one thing good, and the other does one thing good. If we could combine them we would get exactly what we want."

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