Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday--February 21st, 2017


UMass season tickets for 2017 go on sale today. UMass announcement.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on the season ticket changes for 2017.

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Temple's plans for a new stadium may be on hold.

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USF, the Minutemen's October 14th 2017 opponent, is coming off the best season in its program history. The Bulls may be just as good this year.

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Appalachian State, a October 28th visitor to McGuirk, will have a new co-defensive coordinator.

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Recruiting 2017--Zachary Loane II

Hudl.com image
I've blogged about Zachary Loane, a 6-0 235 pound DE from Woodlands, TX before.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on Loane with some quotes by him with his reasons for becoming involved with the Minutemen program.

Loane probably didn't get the attention he deserved because of his size. Some recruiting services had him as  shorter than six feet. However, a player's height does not measure the size of his motor. James Ihedigbo walked on to UMass and became an All-American and is still playing in the NFL.

Hopefully, Loane will be on the field making tackles against SEC teams and proving wrong all the Texas schools who didn't recruit him.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Recruiting 2018--Devin Hayes

Orlando Sentinel image. Photographer unknown
Several recruiting services report UMass has offered to Devin Hayes a 6-6 250 pound OT/DE from Orlando, FL.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

MaxPreps has some stats.

This article from the Orlando Sentinel features Hayes.

Partial quote from a 11/03/16 article from Scout.com by Corey Bender about Hayes:

"Hayes is fairly raw with limited go-to moves at his disposal, but fires off the ball with decent pad level. He holds his own and flashes the ability to shed blockers and put a hat on the football, but is still in the infantile stage of his development.

"My toughness, being physical, my speed, being a team player, and being a smart player on and off the field," Hayes said when asked about his strengths as a prospect."

Besides UMass, Hayes has offers from Bowling Green, FIU, Rutgers and USF.

Tuesday---February 21st, 2017

Saw these Instagrams both on Mike Traini's Twitter feed and Coach Joe Connolly's Instagram. Mostly Minutemen players doing some heavy squats.

BTW, I'm hoping to set the New Hampshire Master 4a squat record in the 83 kilogram weight class on April 29th in the New Hampshire State Championship Powerlifting meet.

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Boston College announced yesterday A.D. Brad bates will step down at the end of the academic year.

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University of Hawii opens Spring camp.

Coastal Carolina dismisses a potential starting QB.

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Victor Cruz visits the Carolina Panthers.

The NY Post has why Cruz's visit to Carolina makes sense.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Monday--February 20th, 2017

image credit unknown
When new UMass DC Ed Pinkham was coaching at Rutgers, he nearly recruited Denver QB Trevor Siemian for the Scarlet Knights. The article says Pinkham mainly recruited Florida for Rutgers.

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This article from December 2016 reports P.J. Fleck let his defensive coordinator handle the "X's and O's".

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This story from 2013 relates how Pinkham introduced his defensive system to the Western Michigan players.

Quote from the article:

"The Broncos are hoping Pinkham can find the magic he had at Rutgers, where he was the Scarlet Knights’ defensive coordinator from 2009-10. In 2009, Rutgers led the nation in tackles for loss and was second in turnover margin. The program was also in the top 20 in the country in rushing defense, scoring defense and total defense."

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Victor Cruz gets a mention from Denver.

Also drawing interest from the Carolina Panthers.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

UMass hires Ed Pinkham as defensive coordinator

Steph Anderson Chambers image

UPDATE: Ed Pinkham's Twitter feed lists him as "UMass defensive coordinator"

Matty Vautour reports UMass has hired former Western Michigan defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham for the same position with the Minutemen.

Kyle DeLuz has a post on the hiring at the UMass Daily Collegian.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a report on Pinkham's hiring.

Pinkham's Western Michigan bio.

Was interviewed for the head coaching job with the Broncos.

Mentioned as an assistant who could move to the SEC.

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As it happens, Mrs Blog and I were talking about the potential defensive coordinator hire on the way back from Amherst yesterday. Good thing I'm not a hockey fan, between basketball and football, there have been a lot of long drives back to New Hampshire over the the last few years.

This seems to be a good hire. Pinkham was a FBS defensive coordinator for a successful team. Mrs Blog and I were speculating about a FCS guy or an internal hire. He is a veteran coach and UMass would have to pay more than for a younger man. I assume UMass AD Ryan Bamford was willing to make the extra expenditure.

Besides X's and O's, make no mistake what moved Western Michigan from 0-11 to 13-1 and a trip to the Cotton Bowl was recruiting. Hopefully, some of T.J. Fleck's recruiting prowess rubbed off on Pinkham. I have no idea what would lure recruits to Kalamazoo could be, but Amherst should be at least equal. Pinkham needs to identify and recruit defensive players for the Minutemen. The old saw is offensive sells the tickets, but defense wins the games. Tough to sell tickets for a 2-10 team. You probably get more bang for your bucks with defense.

Western Michigan was #15 in scoring defense in 2016 allowing 277 total points and 19.8 points per game. The Broncos were #26 in total defense last year and allowed 353.4 yards a game. Western Michigan was #25 in passing yards allowed with 200.1 yards a game. UMass was #106 and allowed a 64.5% completion ratio. Pinkham's pass defense completion was 56.2 %. The Broncos gave up 17 passing TD's; UMass gave up 27.

Hiring Pinkham looks to be a positive addition to UMass football. Welcome to him and Go UMass!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Recruiting 2018--Matt Valecce

Twitter image
Matt Valecce, a 6-5 205 pound pro-style QB from the Bronx, NY has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

MaxPreps has stats---almost 6,700 passing yards with 71 TD's.

UMass is Valecce's first FBS offer. Has an offer from Brown. Drawing interest from Ivy league teams plus Syracuse and Rutgers.

Recruiting 2018--Justin Johnson III

Scout.com image
I've blogged about Justin Johnson, a 6-7 340 pound OT several times before.

Johnson just added an offer from Michigan State.

Besides UMass, Johnson has offers from BC, Temple and Syracuse from the Northeast.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Recruiting 2017--Zachary Loane

Loane #90/Jason Fouchman image
Zachary Loane, a 6-0 235 DE from the Woodlands, TX has Tweeted he'll joining UMass as a preferred walk-on.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Loane will join Michael Curtis, D'Shan Harley and Tedrick Lowery as Texas natives playing for UMass.

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Friday--February 17th, 2017

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has some news and notes about UMass football.

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Liberty University has received NCAA authorization to move to FBS. They'll be an independent like UMass. Right from the git-go, the Flames have said going FBS was a long term goal, and they've been planing for it right along. Should at least help UMass with scheduling. The more independents, the merrier.

The Washington Post has a piece that focuses on Liberty AD Ian McCaw.

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Art Stapleton joins Matty Vautour's podcast to discuss Victor Cruz and other UMass sports.

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Speaking of Victor Cruz, could he join Tajae Sharpe in Tennessee?

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The Yankees and the Red Sox go head-to-head to host the Army-Navy game.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Recruiting 2018--Marco Brewer

Hudl.com image
Marco Brewer, a 6-4 280 pound OL from Corvallis, OR has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports three-star player.

Hudl.com has some video and stats.

NCSA Recruiting has some more stats.

Partial quote from a 2/13/17 article on Scout.com by Chris McCulley:

"Which school(s) are recruiting you the hardest at this time?

MB: Oregon State, Oregon, Washington State, University of Massachusetts, Columbia, Princeton, Portland state, Eastern Washington.

Do you have spring or summer plans in regards to camps or visits? Will you try to go to the Ducks spring game?

MB: I am trying to go to some junior days and their camps. Also the Opening. I'm planning on it, I went last year"

This article from November of 2016 features Brewer.

Besides UMass, Brewer has an offer from Nevada. Drawing interest from a number of Power Five schools.

Thursday--February 16th, 2017

UMass 2017 CB recruit Brian Roberts has some serious hops. Hopefully, he'll bring us many, many INT's

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When Hawaii opens the 2017 season against UMass, both schools will have new defensive coordinators.

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Minnesota pays Western Michigan $50K to transfer P.J. Fleck's "row the boat" trademark to the Gophers.

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Talking about UMass needing another RB: Miami transfer Gus Edwards is looking for a home in the Northeast. At 6-1 230 he'd be the big back UMass has lacked since the move to FBS. Edwards' Miami bio.

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Fenway Park bids to host the Army-Navy game.

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