Scouting the Big East: Connecticut

After spending the first few seasons in Division I-A as an independent, Connecticut now moves into league play with a potent offense. The Husky's hope to right the wrong from 2003 when they were unceremoniously left out of the post season. And they have a very good chance of accomplishing it with one of the nation's top passers behind center.

Quarterback Dan Orlovsky has proven to be a signal caller that can carry a team on his shoulders.  More importantly Orlovsky possesses both the physical and mental skills to be a successful quarterback in the NFL.  Orlovsky displays great poise and focus in the pocket, calmly reads defenses then quickly finds the open wide out on the field.  He throws with solid mechanics and is accurate in both the long and short field.  While he does not possess a huge arm it is strong enough to be a starter at the next level.  A good senior campaign coupled with solid showings at both the Senior Bowl and combine could place him in the late reaches of round one next April.  Connecticut has several solid prospects on the offensive line starting with Ryan Krug.  A top pass protector as well as the run blocker, Krug controls defenders at point of attack and does a good job blocking his quarterback's blind side.  A little shorter than most want in a left tackle, Krug is a solid middle round choice that could eventually end up at guard.  Likewise junior Grant Preston does a terrific job on the strong side and is an excellent run blocker that holds his own in pass protection.  Possessing better size and growth potential than his teammate, Preston is one to watch over the next two seasons.  Center Billy Irwin is an explosive blocker on the pivot that quickly gets off the snap and into defenders.  An intelligent prospect, Irwin shows good adjustment but has limited size as well as strength at the point of attack and just marginal upside for the next level.  Finally guard Brian Markowski is a powerful run blocker but a small area lineman best in confined quarters.  He could be a hidden gem that slips through the cracks next April due to poor workout numbers.  Running back Chris Bellamy is a solid ball carrier on the college level yet not a prospect that stands out in any single aspect.  His lack of speed makes him free-agent fodder next summer.

Defensively Tyler King is a hard working lineman with adequate size as well as growth potential and a prospect that will be brought into a camp 12-months from now. Outside linebacker Maurice Lloyd is undersized yet explosive and a defender that runs sideline-to-sideline making plays.  Lloyd could very well be one of the better "unknown" prospects in the Big East.

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