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Spring Practice Primer: Connecticut

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer


Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Connecticut.


Spring Practice Starts: March 20

Spring Game: Saturday, April 21

Three things to look for:

1. Another wide-open quarterback competition. One of the never-ending storylines for the Huskies in season one under Paul Pasqualoni was the rotating door at the quarterback position. Pasqualoni kept quarterback competition open through the Spring, Summer, and well into the Fall season before settling on redshirt junior Johnny McEntee as the starter and dual-threat freshman Scott McCummings for special packages. Both quarterbacks are back this spring, along with Michael Nebrich - who saw very limited action as a freshman in 2011. Throw in true freshman Casey Cochran and junior college transfer Chandler Whitmer and you have, literally, a handful of potential starting quarterbacks. The staff plans to enter spring practice with a blank slate, and each player will have a chance to earn a spot in the rotation beginning this spring.

2. Big (kicking) shoes to fill. For the last four years, the kicking Huskies' kicking duties were handled by Dave Teggart . The Northborough, Mass. native finished his career at Connecticut as a two-team All-Big East First Team selection, hitting 74 of 97 field goals and 128 of 129 extra point attempts on his career. Junior Cole Wagner, who earned All-Big East Second Team honors in 2011, will be back at punter for Connecticut, while the placekicking duties will be handled by kickoff specialist Chad Christen. Teggart set a high bar for specialists in his four years, and Wagner wasted no time following suit. When every possible point counts - as it likely will for Connecticut in 2012 - the kicking specialists can be the difference maker in your travel plans come December.

3. Some heightened competition for sophomore Lyle McCombs. The biggest offensive question heading into 2011 was how to replace Big East Player of the Year Jordan Todman. McCombs answered that question in the season opener with his first of six 100-yard games during his freshman campaign. McCombs carried the load for himself and injured USC transfer D.J. Shoemate in 2011, rushing for 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns, but will face more competition this spring and fall. First of all, Shoemate is healthy and looks to finally earn the playing time he has waited for in this lengthy transfer period. Backup running back Deshon Foxx has moved to wide receiver, but look for early enrollee Joe Williams (Palm Beach Central HS) to add his name to the mix this spring.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, CBSSports.com has you covered with thisdaily newsletter.View apreview.

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