Zach Frazer Ready for Starting Turn

STORRS – It has been a long wait for Zach Frazer. The junior quarterback from Mechanicsburg, Pa. was one of the most heralded quarterback recruits in the country coming out of high school and spent one season at Notre Dame. He transferred to UConn after a season in South Bend sitting out a season and sat out another year as an understudy a year ago to Tyler Lorenzen.

After getting his feet wet in five games last year, Frazer, is ready to jump into the ocean as he leads the Huskies against MAC member Ohio University on Saturday in Athens, Ohio. 

The Huskies have made two straight bowl games and are coming off an International Bowl win over Buffalo, also a MAC school, last January.

A road game to open the season isn't a soft start for the Huskies, but it's a start nonetheless. Frazer isn't concerned about that and is anxious to get out there and run the Huskies new no-huddle offense.

"It's been up and down," Frazer said about his career. "You don't end up thinking about it all that much because it's practicing and lifting and keeping busy, but it's nice to know that I get my shot and my chance."

What Frazer will provide for the Huskies this season is something they haven't had since current Houston Texans backup Dan Orlovsky was over center in 2004 – a strong-armed classic quarterback.

Frazer, who has slimmed down to 223 pounds, tossed for 536 yards and two touchdowns in five games, two starts. 

He had mediocre first two weeks of camp but came on strong at the end of the camp. He was never threatened by backup Cody Endres, who he beat out for the job in the spring.

"Zach throws the football well," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "He is a good passer and he has a strong arm. He is tough, he's a competitor and he understands things. (In the huddle), he is confident and reassuring. He has a strong arm and can make all the throws."

Frazer is anxious to give the no-huddle offense a spin. The Huskies have revamped the passing game after being among the least productive passing games in the country a season ago. 

They hired former Akron offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead to install a no-huddle multiple formation offense. Frazer has immersed himself in the offense since Moorhead too over for Rob Ambrose (now head coach at Towson University) in January. 

"I like the upbeat Tempo," Frazer said. It keeps the defense on its heels. Other that, we can run anything. Most people think it will be all throwing, if we need to do that we can do that. If it is running every play, we can do that too. It's a lot of variables."

As Frazer begins his first season as the full-time starter Edsall wants to remind his quarterback that he doesn't have to make the big play on every pass. It's about consistency and making the routine plays that wins games. 

"He is completely ready to run the show and the offense and be a leader," Edsall said. "In game week, he is very focused and very intent on going out and doing what we want him to do. They have to go out and execute the plan we have. If Zach does that we will be fine. Zach needs to take what the defense gives him." 

Steady and consistent is all the Huskies are asking of right now. 

HUSKY NOTES

The Huskies will start a pair of freshmen on defense in the opener at Ohio.

At defensive end, true freshman Jesse Joseph beat out fellow freshman Trevardo Williams for the starting spot opposite Lindsey Witten and redshirt freshman Jerome Junior is set to start at strong safety. 

Joseph, who enrolled in UConn in spring out of Vanier Prep just outside Montreal, is 6-foot-4 240 pounds and looks to be good against the run.

"He has progressed nicely since joining the team in January," Edsall said. "He just works and he has a knack for the game and a pretty good savvy and gotten stronger. He has the innate ability to understand the game and has good leverage."

Williams is a speed rusher from Bridgeport and figures to be used in passing situations. 

Junior beat out sophomore Jon Jean-Louis for the starting spot. Junior is a 6-foot-1 214 pound safety out of Archbishop Carroll in Baltimore. 

Zach Frazer


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