Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jazz, Huskies honored

I'll start with word of the team being nominated for the 2009 FedEx Orange Bowl Courage Award for the strength and determination it has showed in light of Jasper Howard's murder.

Each week, the Football Writers Association of America nominate a team or player who best exemplifies courage. The winner will be announced at the end of the college football season.

Also, this from the university regarding Saturday's game:
The University of Connecticut and its Division of Athletics will honor the memory of Jasper Howard as the team returns to Rentschler Field on Saturday for the first time since Howard passed away on October 18. UConn will take on Rutgers at noon in a BIG EAST Conference game.

All fans who attend Saturday’s game will receive a “6” card in honor of Jasper Howard’s jersey number.  In addition, the first 15,000 fans who enter the gates will receive “Jazz Live 365” wristbands.

UConn students who attend the game will receive the same “eye-black” that the Husky team is wearing – one with a “6” and the other with a “JH”. All UConn students will also receive a “6” button.

Prior to the contest, the UConn Marching Band will come onto the field all wearing No. 6 jerseys and will display the formation of a “6” in the word “UCONN” during its pregame program.

Following the entrance of both teams on to the field for the game, there will be a “Moment of Respect” in honor of Howard with both teams lining up on their respective sidelines.

“We encourage all Husky fans to arrive at their seats in Rentschler Field by 11:30 a.m. on Saturday in order to see the pregame band show and to be present for the Moment of Respect,” says UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall. “There are a number of pregame activities and we would like to see every seat occupied as a sign of respect for Jazz.”

The Connecticut team will once again wear a “JH” sticker on its helmet while Rutgers will wear a “6”.

As fans enter Rentschler Field, they will have the opportunity to donate to both of the funds that have been set up in his memory. 

"The Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship" will be annually awarded to a UConn football student-athlete who plays at the cornerback position and who best displays the outstanding leadership qualities which Jasper embodied.

 "The Jasper Howard Fund" will assist Jasper's family with expenses such as funeral costs, travel to attend the memorial service and support for Jasper's soon-to-be-born child, in a manner consistent with NCAA guidelines.
Fans are also reminded that they will be permitted to bring signs honoring Howard into Rentschler Field. This will be a one-time exception to the regular Rentschler policy prohibiting signs.

Signs cannot be on sticks or poles --- and signs cannot impair the enjoyment of the game for other fans.

"This is one more way that our fans can make a personal tribute to Jasper Howard," says UConn Director of Athletics Jeffrey Hathaway. "We thank our friends at Rentschler Field for relaxing the 'no signs' policy for this one game only and providing fans another opportunity to honor Jasper." 

Prior to the game at approximately 9:40 a.m., the UConn football team will take part in their usual pregame “Husky Walk”. Fans can greet the Huskies from Gates D to C at Rentschler Field to welcome the team to the game.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Jasper Howard's Funeral

If you want to watch...go to and click NNBC on Demand. Click on the scrolling marquee that says Jasper Howard Funeral. A pop-up box will appear prompting you to sign up. You must do this in order to view.

Once you do this, you'll be set.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Jasper Howard vigil

From UConn:
Beginning at 6:00 on the lawn outside the student union.
Pres. Hogan, Coach Edsall, student gov. pres. Thomas Haggerty and MAYBE a representative from the West Indian group will speak. Candles will be provided.
There will be some kind of acapella song from a group on campus.
The crowd will then be led in a procession to mirror lake (in front of Monteith and Arjona) for some final words.
Candles will be left by the lake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The latest on Howard

Randy Edsall said that the team will keep Howard's locker in place until the time he would have graduated (2011). His number will not be retired, but will not be worn until after Howard would have graduated and given only to a player who shares the same character as Howard.

The funeral is expected to take place Monday in Miami and the team will travel.

UConn's game at West Virginia on Saturday will go on, but the Mountaineers will wear a No. 6 on their helmets and hold a moment of silence before kickoff.

Tuesday presser

The normal meeting place, perhaps appropriate today -- the defensive meeting room -- is standing room only as everyone and their cousin is in here to hear what Randy Edsall has to say regarding Jasper Howard's death.

There are 11 TV cameras, numerous photogs and countless scribes.

While we wait, read what former Husky Dan Davis shared:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Press conference on Howard's death

Randy Edsall said he arrived at St. Francis Hospital around 1:30 a.m., where several players and other students were present. He spoke with Howard's mother and later, was called in to identify the body around 4:30 a.m.

He addressed the students who were on present, calling the situation "not pleasant" for him and others.

Edsall, with his voice quivering, called Howard a "great young man."

"We had lost a brother, a teammate, a great person, a mentor and just somebody you love to be around," Edsall told the team at a 6 a.m. meeting.

UConn will do something to remember Howard this season with a helmet or jersey logo and will make tribute in the football complex.

The most tragic news is that Edsall spoke with Howard's girlfriend in Miami and learned that Howard was going to become a father.

Howard dies

Jasper Howard, the UConn CB, was killed in an on-campus stabbing early Sunday morning, team spokesman Mike Enright confirmed.

More details later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Big play

Kashif Moore caught a 67-yard reception, one that should have been for maybe 15 but the blocking of Ryan Griffin and Dwayne Difton sprung him deep into Louisville territory.

The drive ended with Andre Dixon's second TD.


Andre Dixon's touchdown run was impressive for a few reasons, most most notably the juke he used to get past a defender. He ran untouched into the end zone. Dixon is having a bounce-back season that has the Huskies excited and confident in handing the senior the ball.


While cold, the weather is holding up at Rentschler Field -- for now. Good crowd and a winable game. The question is can UConn not choke as it did in its two losses.

First possession is a three-and-out.

But Blidi Wreh-Wilson picked off the Cardinals' Adam Froman thanks to a Greg Lloyd tip.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sell out

Saturday's game against Louisville officially sold out today. With a forecast of rain, it will be interesteing to see how many people show up at Rentschler Field.


Randy Edsall announced that redshirt sophomore Mike Ryan will replace NFA grad Dan Ryan, and redshirt freshman Erik Kuraczea will replace Mathieu Olivier.

As we evaluated the position, we think Mike Ryan is the better football player,” Edsall said. “Mike Ryan is going to be the starter and will continue to be the starter. Dan Ryan has to be ready to back up both sides and be ready to play in case of an injury. It’s the same situation at left guard. We feel Erik Kuraczea gives us the best opportunity now and in the future for what we need at that position.

Also, Cody Endres is the starting quarterback over Zack Frazer. The numbers say it all:
Frazer is 22-of-43 for 221 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions. Endres is 55-of-83 for 663 yards, three TDs and no picks.