|1||Casey Cochran||Sophomore (RS)|
|2A||Chandler Whitmer||Senior (RS)|
|4A||Kivon Taylor||Freshman (RS)|
|4B||Michael Ecke||Sophomore (RS)|
Projected Starter: Casey Cochran, Sophomore (RS)
Cochran started UConn’s final four games – appearing in eight total – posting a 3-1 record, thus ensuring UConn didn’t go winless in a season marred by inconsistency and coaching staff overhauls. Those three, sadly crucial, wins came against opponents who finished a combined 11-26, but it’s a starting point for the redshirt-sophomore who led the Huskies in passing yards (1,293), touchdown passes (11) and yards per passing attempt (7.4).
Given his heroic ability to take UConn’s 2013 season from “wow, this is embarrassing. Should I tell people I’m a UConn fan?” to “ehh, they’re bad but not too bad”, it would appear Cochran will get first dibs under center during Bob Diaco’s inaugural campaign.
Chandler Whitmer, Senior (RS)
Whitmer’s first two seasons in Storrs are synonymous with frustration, interceptions and, well, more frustration. After starting all 12 games in 2012, Whitmer found himself on the sidelines following a Week 5 thrashing, 41-12, at the hands of the University of Buffalo Bulls. From then on the sideline became Whitmer’s best, and worst friend, as the second year transfer was officially cast into the doghouse.
There was never any discussion of playing time following Tim Boyle’s shaky stint as starter, nor was there any desire for UConn to keep Whitmer in-house following the season. At least, it seemed that way. As the Connecticut Post reported, it wasn’t until Whitmer attended a Bob Diaco press conference that he realized with Diaco came change throughout the program, and with it the opportunity to reinvent himself.
The elder of UConn’s quarterbacks, Whitmer appears to be lining up for “veteran damage control duties”, meaning that he’ll likely see time when things get out of hand, or, the seasons reached a point where neither Cochran or Boyle have proven themselves capable of producing. For someone with 3,555 yards and 56.9% completion percentage during his career, UConn could certainly be worse off as far as backups go. He’s an intelligent player, who has another year of learning under his belt, so one has to imagine things can only improve for the native of Newman, Georgia.
Backup 1B: Tim Boyle, Sophomore
When Paul Pasqualoni received his walking papers, Boyle received news as well; he would be starting UConn’s next game against Central Florida. For the true freshman out of Middlefield, Connecticut, Boyle’s rookie season mirrored what you’d expect to see if you stapled $20 to a young child’s forehead and told them to find their way from New York to California; he looked lost. Though, such growing pains should be expected from an 18-year-old jumping straight from Connecticut high school ball to the strenuous grind that is the NCAA.
There were indications of future success, going into Cincinnati and completing 22-39 passes for 310 yards, but such triumphs were overshadowed by a final statistical total that included a 44.4% completion percentage and 8 interceptions.
At this point in time, Boyle is Diaco’s prized 1970 Gran Torino that can have its engine started but is unable to be driven. It has potential, it just needs more time to be finer tuned. At least that’s my take on the situation. You may disagree, and that’s fine.
The Rest Of The Gang:
Kivon Taylor – Freshman (RS)
Taylor, who came to UConn last Fall, is transferring, according to the New Haven Register. He failed to take a snap last season, and although he still appears on the team’s roster and spent his summer in Storrs enrolled in summer session classes, it appears we won’t be hearing from Taylor anytime soon.
Michael Ecke – Sophomore (RS)
Ecke is a walk-on transfer from Central Connecticut State University, a I-AA program. With CCSU, Ecke did not receive any playing time and it would appear that the Cheshire, Connecticut native will find most of his reps with the teams taxi squad. Still though, a cool story to see a local kid walk-on at a Division I program.