Friday, January 23, 2009

Speedy tidings

If credentials, history, track record and pedigree mean anything, Dwayne Difton is going to leave his mark on the UConn football program in a short amount of time.

The 5-foot-11 wideout became the highest-rated recruit to commit to UConn, when the four-star Floridian gave his verbal Friday. He'll arrive as the 39th ranked player at his position and leaving a St. Thomas Aquinas High School squad that ESPN and USA Today considered the best in the nation.

Difton told me that his mind was made up after researching new UConn offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead's track record. But when I spoke with Difton's father, he said that running backs coach Terry Richardson came to him "man-to-man" and assured him that playing doesn't matter if the younger Difton doesn't take care of priority No. 1 — grades.

Difton never saw snow before his official visit on Jan. 16, but said he knows that the coaching staff has in place an environment that will help him as he deals with the changes that college, football and Connecticut present.

The kid seems genuinely nice and he knows that he's going to start next season, alongside Kashif Moore and Brad Kanuch. If there's one thing the Huskies will have at wide receiver is speed. Now, if they can get the ball to the WRs — and they can catch the ball — there's a lot of potential.

And let's not overlook that if UConn can improve its passing attack (it'll be hard not to), it takes pressure of Jordan Todman, who should start in the place left by Donald Brown.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New OC

The Huskies named former Akron offensive coordinator and QB coach Joe Moorhead to the same position. Clearly, this is a step up for Moorhead who leaves the MAC for the Big East.

What I like: Moorhead has a multi-set no-huddle offense that he will be implementing. He's a 50/50 kind of guy, so seasons such as the one Donald Brown just had should become a thing of the past once a reliable passing attack is in place. He should also make UConn more attractive to high school WRs looking for a place to play.

What I don't like: Rankings-wise, Akron was much better than UConn. Statistically, Akron wasn't much better. The Zips averaged 10 yards and three points more than the Huskies per game. If the Huskies had that tacked on to this season's games, they would have won one more game and maybe would have played in a different bowl, but not likely. Give me six points and we're getting somewhere. I'll admit, having what should be -- I emphasize should be -- better talent in Storrs than in tire country may more than make up for that gap and then some. However, two new o-linemen, a new tight end, a new QB and a new tailback not named Donald Brown means this could be a very bumpy first year for Moorhead.