Recently in Football Category
It's game day at Gillette Stadium as the Minutemen prepare to kick-off the season against Boston College in the "Battle Of The Bay State". Kickoff is set for 3 PM with the game available online via ESPN3.com. Fans can also listen on 105. FM WEEI in Springfield, 1440 WVEI AM in Worcester, and 1200 AM WXKS in Boston.
Here's a look at some of the headlines heading into today's game:
Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald takes a look back at the last UMass team to beat Boston College on the gridiron - the 1978 squad that advanced to the NCAA I-AA National Championship game. McGovern spoke with several former players from that team including NFLer Bruce Kimball.
John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a story focusing on Trey Dudley-Giles and this weekend's season-opener against Boston College. Connolly highlights TDG's ability to return punts, but also recognizes him as one of the top defensive players for the Minutemen.
Michael Vega of the Boston Globe has a feature story on the relationship between Mark Whipple and Don Brown. The pair worked together previously at UMass before Whipple left for the NFL and Brown left for Maryland.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has an extensive profile of UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel who will start this Saturday's season-opener against Boston College. The piece also references his twin brother Eric who is currently at Marshall.
Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a profile piece on freshman Jordan Fiske who has moved from tight end to fullback since joining the Minutemen. Coach Whipple's offense is known for using fullbacks and tight ends throughout his schemes.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a look at Jamal Wilson and the overall depth at the running back position. Wilson has been named the starter for Saturday's game and talks about how the run game hopes to have success against the Eagles' defense.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story on junior safety Joe Colton and how playing against Boston College on Saturday will be more than just a game for him. The native of Norwood grew up watching Boston College games and had hoped to one day play there. After being overlooked, Colton was able to earn a spot at UMass in 2012 and made an instant impact.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a look at why Trey Dudley-Giles is such a prolific punt returner who can change the dynamic of a game in a single play. TDG was one of the top return men in the MAC last season and is expected to be one again this season.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a preview of the UMass offense heading into Saturday's game against Boston College at Gillette Stadium.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Brandon Howard earning his first career start at tight end for the UMass football team heading into the season-opener against Boston College.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Jamal Wilson being named the starting running back earlier this week. Head coach Mark Whipple says that Wilson will start, however, several running backs including Lorenzo Woodley will be inserted into the run game this weekend.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story from earlier this week on how very few true freshmen are planned to be played early this year by Mark Whipple. On this weekend's two-deep, only freshman running back J.T. Blyden and linebacker Da'Sean Downey are listed.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the UMass offense heading into Saturday's season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium. The story features quotes from Rodney Mills who will start at full back against the Eagles - he states that Whipple's offense is impressive and fits the strengths of the players.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on what the UMass defense, in particular the defensive line, will have to do on Saturday to keep the Boston College offense at bay.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on the relationship between UMass head coach Mark Whipple and Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown. The pair worked together at UMass before Brown later returned as head coach after Whipple left for the NFL.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has the improbably story of Brian McDonald's college football journey which has taken the Bay State native around the country until his return home this year as a graduate student for the Minutemen.
Rob Harms of the Boston Globe has a feature story on UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and his return to the Minutemen. The story looks at Whipple's past tenure with the Minutemen and how is experiences then and following his stint at UMass have prepared him to come back home.
John Connolly of the Boston Herald had a feature story on UMass football nose tackle Daniel Maynes on Sunday that discussed his battle against Crohn's disease. Maynes was forced to miss the 2011 season due to the condition, but has worked to keep the disease at bay while competing for the Minutemen.
Steve Buckley has a feature in Sunday's Boston Herald where he praises the return of head coach Mark Whipple and what it means to the program as it embarks on its third year at the Football Bowl Subdivision era.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on Tom Masella and his approach as the UMass football defensive coordinator. While Masella has several key veterans, he is also tasked with working in many new comers and first-year starters into the defensive schemes.
Matt Vautour had a special edition story in the Worcester Telegram on Saturday focusing on UMass football and the impact Coach Mark Whipple and his staff will have on the program. Vautour also breaks down the roster focusing on several key players from Central Massachusetts.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the UMass football running back position which features several players who can play prominent roles for the Minutemen this season. Running backs coach Marcel Shipp says he like the groups depth and overall make-up.
Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a feature story on the return of all-time greats Liam Coen and Marcel Shipp to the UMass football sidelines as assistant coaches under Mark Whipple.
"It's really amazing" to be back, UMass running backs coach Marcel Shipp told me. "This is where my career started. I have a lot of love for UMass. To have this opportunity to come back and be a part of it, it was all hands on deck."
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican speaks with defensive end Peter Angeh as part of his "Five Questions With..." series. Angeh played in all 12 games as a freshman last year and is in the mix to be a starter in 2014.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an edition of his "Five Questions With..." series featuring freshman quarterback Ross Comis. The rookie signal caller is one the coaching staff was very excited about bringing into the program after he set nearly every West Virginia quarterback record during his prep career.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature on the UMass defense and how Kassan Messiah and Trey Seals are looking to play major roles as pass rushers in the new 3-4 scheme.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a recap of yesterday's practice at Gillette Stadium for the UMass football team. Wide receiver Alex Kenney said it was a good feeling to be in the stadium, while quarterback Blake Frohnapfel stated that seeing the sightlines and where things were like the play clocks was advantageous.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a new installment of his "Five Questions With..." series that features freshman running back J.T. Blyden.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on offensive lineman Fabian Hoeller and Josh Bruns who are both expected to play prominent roles this year for the Minutemen. The two will be key contributors on an offensive line that is replacing three starters from the 2013 campaign.
Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette in West Virginia has a story on the separation of the Frohnapfel twins, Blake and Eric, for the first time in their football playing careers. Eric is considered the starting tight end for Marshall and comments on what it will be like to cheer for his brother Blake who was recently named the starting quarterback after serving as a back-up for the last three seasons for the Herd.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his countdown of the top 25 players to watch during the 2014 season with wide receiver Tajae Sharpe coming in at No. 2 on the list. Sharpe is the Minutemen's top returning wideout and considered one of the top players in the Mid-American Conference.
Tom Layman of the Boston Herald has a story on center Matt Sparks and quarterback Blake Frohnapfel focusing on the team's return to a pro style offense and what that means for the exchange between the two. Both have been in offenses which are primarily shotgun formations, so the return to having the quarterback under center is a new wrinkle for the duo who are roommates. Frohnapfel says the two have even practiced snapping while hanging out in the living room after moving the couches around to make way.
Andrew MacDougall of the Boston Globe has a feature story on UMass running back Jamal Wilson who is in the mix to be the Minutemen's starter for next weekend's season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium. Wilson earned his way as the starting tailback last year before suffering injuries down the stretch which limited his play. The Minutemen figure to have a deep and experienced backfield this year with four different players having started games during their careers.
Jack McCluskey of ESPNBoston.com was on hand Wednesday morning as the UMass football team held a light practice at Gillette Stadium in preparation for the season-opener against Boston College next Saturday. Coach Mark Whipple said the trip was more about getting the players used to being in the environment again while giving the new players a chance to see the facility for the first time before game day.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass football's situation at tight end as several players have either suffered injuries or are still awaiting clearance to be eligible. Brandon Howard is one who has battled injury, but is expected to start the season. Junior college Jon Denton has had a strong preseason camp and is expected to excel as a blocking tight end. Both players express praise for Mark Whipple's offense which makes use of the tight end position in its scheme.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on newly named starting quarterback Blake Frohnapfel who transferred to UMass this summer from Marshall. Frohnapfel's former coach and teammates have all expressed support for him with his new team and say they will be cheering for him from afar.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on Mark Whipple and the change in culture around the UMass football program with his return. Several players are quoted in the story saying they have a renewed love of the game and feel more confident going into the season because of Coach Whipple and his staff.
Kai Stevens of ABC40 in Springfield has a special Behind The Scenes tour of the New UMass Football Performance Center as given by linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox.
The UMass Sports Network has a short video highlights some of the work the outside linebackers have been doing in drills under new position coach and former UMass standout Charles Walker.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a new edition of his Five Questions With... series - this time featuring freshman defensive lineman Jake Largay.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story on UMass wide receiver Marken Michel and his return to the program after spending the 2013 season away from the team. Michel says the time away gave him a new love for the game and his teammates.
Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com has a feature story on UMass football alum James Ihedigbo and the Detroit Lions. Rothstein says early off-season workouts between Ihedigbo and fellow safety Glover Quin give the two new teammates a chemistry which will help the Lions defense this season.
Mike Camunas of the Tampa Tribune has a feature story on Trey Dudley-Giles who was a local player in the area for Pasco High School. Dudley-Giles talk about his development on and off the field and where he thinks the program is heading in 2014. Special teams coordinator Ted Daisher is also quoted about the example TDG sets for his teammates and his importance to the team.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story which focuses on the UMass football secondary including the move of Trey Dudley-Giles from cornerback to safety during the preseason. The move has opened up an opportunity for Jackson Porter to move back to his natural safety position as well.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on quarterbacks A.J. Doyle and Blake Frohnapfel focusing on their ability to be mobile during plays. According to Malone, the UMass coaching staff has given both the green light to run the ball if a passing situation begins to break down during the season.
Today we have tons of coverage of UMass Football's annual Media Day which gave reporters from around the state an opportunity to spend time with Coach Whipple and the Minutemen. It was also a first look for many at the new UMass Football Performance Center which was officially opened this summer for the team to use.
Daniel Malone writes about the progression of UMass football training camp from generalized practice to specific position-related work with his latest post for the Springfield Republican.
After using the first week of practice to, in-part, assess the development of each individual student-athlete, the UMass staff is advancing its teaching to include repetitions specific to certain on-field situations, such as goal-line plays and the two-minute drill.
Minutemen moving towards more situational work as season nears | Springfield Republican
John Connolly put together a story for the Boston Herald covering UMass football redshirt-freshman Todd Stafford's switch from quarterback to tight end. Stafford took snaps under center while redshirting the 2013 season before the 6-foot-7, 250-pound native of Riverside, Connecticut, switched roles ahead of fall camp.
Read more below:
Todd Stafford trades QB role for TE | Boston Herald
The Daily Hampshire Gazette's Matt Vautour has coverage of UMass football junior cornerback Randall Jette, a veteran in the secondary, and his approach to serving as a teacher and student of the game. Here is one particularly telling quote from Jette contained in the story:
"I've learned something from every coaching staff," said Jette, who is on his way to becoming one of the best players ever from Martha's Vineyard. "I've gotten better, but I've got a long way to go. You're never good enough. I'm lucky. I had older guys teaching me like Darren Thellen. I'm trying to be a good leader and pass it on like it was passed to me. I try to my best play in play out to set an example."
Read the story in its entirety through the link below.
UMass junior cornerback Randall Jette is both the teacher and an eager student | Daily Hampshire Gazette
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian staff took five minutes at the end of UMass football practice this week to catch up with redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Sha-Ki Holines (pronounced: SHAH-key holy-ness). Check out Holines' thoughts on camp, the new defensive scheme and working with a young group of lineman among other topics as fall practice rolls toward the season-opener against Boston College at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 30.
Catching up with Sha-Ki Holines | Daily Collegian
The UMass Sports Network has a feature spotlight on the UMass football wide receivers and position coach Mike Cassano. The USN mic'd up Cassano recently during practice to give fans insight into how the group works at practice. Returning wideout Marken Michel and Penn State transfer Alex Kenney talk about how training camp has been after the first week and what the strengths are of the group.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on returning veteran center Matt Sparks who is a key figure in the Minutemen's transition to Mark Whipple's pro-style offense.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on head coach Mark Whipple and his thoughts on the first team scrimmage which was last Saturday night.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on Blake Frohnapfel who says he is adjusting quickly to UMass and his new teammates after transferring from Marshall. Frohnapfel says working alongside Liam Coen has helped expedite the learning process.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a brief spotlight of freshman Zeke Edmonds who has moved to playing safety after being recruited as a linebacker out of high school. Edmonds drew praise from defensive coordinator Tom Masella who likened him to a pair of UMass' best known defensive players - Anton McKenzie and James Ihedigbo.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with offensive lineman Tyrell Smith following a recent practice for a five-question Q&A series. Smith is one of UMass' top returning linemen who is projected to be capable of putting together an all-conference level performance this season.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focused on all-time great Marcel Shipp who is now coaching the running backs which is a group that could potentially be one of the deepest in terms of talent this year. Shipp gives his thoughts on Coach Whipple's offense, while Jamal Wilson and Lorenzo Woodley speak to being coached by one of the greatest players in UMass history.
Dan Malone continues his Top 25 countdown of players to watch during the 2014 season with running back Drew Harris ranking No. 3 overall. Harris was a late addition to the squad, but with a pedigree as a top-rated recruit prior to joining the Minutemen, he could be an impact player this year and in year's to come.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on UMass quarterback legend turned coach Liam Coen. Coen gives insight into the depth at quarterback between A.J. Doyle and Blake Frohnapfel fighting for the starting spot during preseason camp.
WTNH.com has a feature story on the path UMass football alum Michael Cox took in making it to the NFL as part of the New York Giants. Cox was originally a hockey player in his hometown of Dorchester before focusing on football where he played at Michigan before transferring to UMass in 2012.
Dave Bryan of SteelersDepot.com has a story on how UMass football alum Rob Blanchflower is hoping to have bounced back enough from an early ankle injury to still see action on Saturday night in Pittsburgh's preseason game against New York.
The New York Giants website Giants.com has a feature on UMass football alum Victor Cruz who has become a mentor to several undrafted players on the team.
"Victor Cruz is like a big brother to me," Corey Washington said. "He said, 'This is your chance, you go out there and show these boys what you've got and give them a hard time making a decision once cut time comes.'"
Marcus Harris is also grateful for the support he has received from Cruz.
"It's a great thing to have a guy like that because he knows exactly where we're coming from because he was us before. It's just like a big ego boost because - he's a great friend, don't get me wrong - but he's also a great person to look up to. I respect him a lot for it."
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on kicker Blake Lucas who is looking to bounce back this year after a tough 2013 season. Lucas and special teams coordinator say a few tweaks during the offseason have helped rebuild mechanics and confidence.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire has a feature on the return of UMass wide receiver Marken Michel who is back with the team after spending the 2013 campaign away from the program.
"All slates are clean. I have to prove to them that I can play," Michel said. "But most importantly I want to prove to myself and the UMass nation that I can play. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself." The year off gave him a new appreciation for playing football. "I missed it," he said. "You're always going to miss something you love. Being back is amazing."
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spoke with UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle on the change in culture surrounding the football program under head coach Mark Whipple.
"There is a lot more energy, it's a lot better energy too," Doyle said. "It's just a lot more fun to be right here. Obviously with the coaches, new systems, everyone is just excited to play football."
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian looks at how fifth-year senior linebacker Stanley Andre's leadership will be key in helping the Minutemen transition into new defensive coordinator Tom Masella's 3-4 scheme.
"He's great, he's been absolutely terrific," Masella said of his 6-foot-2, 240 pound linebacker. "He's a calming influence and a voice of reason with our kids on the team that puts them in a comfortable position. And at the same time, he's a very good football player, he's a smart football player who really works at it."
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature on transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and his transition into Mark Whipple's offensive scheme.
"To have a chance to come here and have a chance to play under him and just listen to some of the things he says about certain plays and footwork and stuff like that is where you can really tell he knows a lot about the quarterback position," Frohnapfel said.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a short Q&A with UMass cornerback and return man Trey Dudley-Giles from earlier this week as preseason camp officially began for the Minutemen.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an in-depth look at the UMass defense under new coordinator Tom Masella.
"I think at the end of day, my philosophy has been to give multiple looks and blitz from different angles with different people," said Masella, who previously coached the defense at UMass under Whipple from 2002-03. "We're not only playing 3-4. We'll play other things. For me, that allows us to be multiple. "That's the biggest difference from a year ago."
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on running back Jordan Broadnax and his return to the field this week after missing the 2013 season with a knee injury suffered in last season's preseason camp.
"It's a pleasure to be out here. I'm just happy to be playing again," Broadnax said after practice Thursday. "It's been a long, uphill climb and I'm still climbing today. Just to get back on the field, that's an enjoyment in itself."
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with new wide receiver Alex Kenney this week after practice and has short five-question Q&A posted from his interview.
Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and junior wide receiver Tajae Sharpe recently to discuss the potential for a successful downfield passing game in 2014, something Malone sees as an aspect of the game the offense missed in 2013. Malone believes a corp of speedy wide receivers, such as current Minutemen Marken Michel, Alex Kenney and Sharpe, could make the difference for UMass football in 2014.
Minutemen expecting more opportunities to throw deep | masslive.com
Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple following a Tuesday, Aug. 5 team practice and wrote that the Minutemen will not wear the black uniforms used during some games over the previous two seasons in 2014. Instead, according to Whipple, Massachusetts will mix and match its maroon and white gear each week.
UMass football training camp 2014: Back in black (uniforms)? Not this year, says coach Mark Whipple | masslive.com
Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican is nearing the completion of his UMass football top-25 players to watch in 2014 countdown. Junior cornerbacks Randall Jette and Trey Dudley-Giles hold down the No. 4 spot on the list. Malone sees the duo as the likely starting cornerbacks in 2014 and expects Jette and Dudley-Giles to cause havoc for opposing offenses in the secondary.
UMass football top 25 players to watch in 2014: Randall Jette & Trey Dudley-Giles | masslive.com
Sarah Toland of Sports Illustrated has a feature on Detroit Lions safety and UMass alum James Ihedigbo as part of the Behind The Body series. Ihedigbo talks about what it takes to build a body which can withstand an NFL season while operating at peak performance. Along with his workout schedule, Ihedigbo also talks about the nutritional aspect of preparing for the season.
Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com has a story on defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and his praise of the Lions' starting safeties which includes UMass alum James Ihedigbo.
Austin pushed hard for the team to sign Ihedigbo as a free agent this year for that very reason and he's seeing the benefits early in camp.
"I know what Dig (Ihedigbo) brings to the table," Austin said. "Not just because I know him, but I think it benefits us and that's why we brought him here."
The UMass Sports Network put together this recap of Monday's preseason camp opener for the UMass football team. Bernard Davis, Kassan Messiah and Coach Whipple each talk about how it felt to get back on the field to prep for the season.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the defensive line which is one of the youngest units on the defensive side of the ball. The group is anchored by senior nose tackle Daniel Maynes and received a boost when Sha-ki Holines transferred to UMass last fall after initially enrolling at UConn.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks offensive tackle Tyrell Smith as his No. 5 player to watch for 2014. While Smith is still a young player as a redshirt sophomore, his move to tackle will be key for UMass' success this year after losing veterans Anthony Dima and David Osei.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team wide receivers and the impact the addition of Jalen Williams and Alex Kenney will make to the group. Williams impressed during the spring, while Kenney adds raw speed and experience after playing four years at Penn State.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican continues his countdown of the top 25 UMass football players to watch for the 2014 season. At No. 6 on the list is inside linebacker Stanley Andre who is one of the key veteran leaders of the team. Malone says Andre must keep that consistency in 2014 while the defense will need to make more plays in general around the line of scrimmage.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on wide receiver Jalen Williams, who joined the program this spring after transferring from Dean College, is looking to continue his impressive play. Williams adds to a mix of what looks to be a highly talented receiving corps.
Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on UMass' change to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Tom Masella. Jovan Santos-Knox and Stanley Andre agree with Masella that this year's group will be aggressive and will utilize multiple formations within the 3-4.
The second era under head coach Mark Whipple officially kicked off on Monday afternoon as the Minutemen took to Gladchuk Field for the first practice of the 2014 campaign. Tons of news and coverage as the media were there to cover the day.
The Minutemen took to Gladchuck Field on Monday afternoon for a highly spirited 2 hour, 30 minute opening practice as preseason camp officially got underway. Check out the gallery below to see the sights of Mark Whipple's first official fall practice.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the start of this season's preseason football camp and how the change to NCAA rules has benefited returning head coach Mark Whipple and his staff. The change allowed coaches time to meet with players and to study film allowing both groups a chance to get to know each other along with preparing for the season.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with head coach Mark Whipple during the weekend to get his thoughts on starting his first preseason camp as a head coach since his last stint at UMass in 2003. Whipple says many of his experiences in the NFL and at Miami will craft his approach to the days leading up to the Boston College game.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at UMass football's special teams units heading into the start of preseason training camp on Monday. The group will largely have new faces in most positions with the exception of All-MAC returner Trey Dudley-Giles and kicker Blake Lucas.
Bill Wagner of the Baltimore Sun has a feature on Jeromy Miles who will return to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Monday for a training camp practice with the Baltimore Ravens. Miles started his collegiate career at Navy before transferring to UMass. He is the only active NFL player who attended the Naval Academy.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at some of the top story lines surrounding the UMass football team as preseason camp is set to start on Monday. A combination of new players, new schemes and new coaches will finally answer some of those questions in the upcoming weeks.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican breaks down the UMass offense prior to the start of preseason camp on Monday. The offense will see the most new faces in several key positions, but depth at wide receiver and running back should be key in 2014.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team's defensive groups with his projected two deep heading into Monday's start of preseason camp. The linebackers and defensive backs feature the most veteran faces, while the defensive line will see a lot of new players trying to make an impact.
Martin Rickman of SportsIllustrated.com sat down with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple to discuss why he came back to coach the Minutemen, what he is bringing with him from the NFL, and who he thinks will be impact players for the upcoming season.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican ranks running back Lorenzo Woodley as the No. 7 player to watch this season as part of his Top 25 countdown during the offseason. Woodley fought injury for much of 2013, but showed a flash of his ability with a monster game against Northern Illinois where he ran for 163 yards and a touchdown.
Zach Braziller of the New York Post speaks with Victor Cruz of the New York Giants about the G-Men's new offensive scheme which will be on display this Sunday against Buffalo in the Hall of Fame Game.
Dan Malone ranks junior outside linebacker Kassan Messiah as the No. 8 player to watch during his preseason countdown leading up to the UMass football season.
Messiah had a breakout campaign in 2012 as a freshman, but saw limited playing time in 2013. With a new coaching staff and new defensive scheme, Messiah is hoping to find his role as the year draws near.
UMass football alum James Ihedigbo is featured in an Associated Press story on how he and fellow Detroit Lion safety Glover Quin form one of the most experienced tandems in the NFL despite being first-year teammates.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has Blake Lucas as his No. 10 player to watch during the UMass football season. Lucas has struggled at times on field goal conversions despite showing tremendous accuracy and range in practice. The third-year kicker will enter 2014 with a clean slate, but increased competition as well.
Madison Hartman of the New York Daily News has a story on how David Wilson's injury will give UMass football alum Michael Cox the chance to make a name for himself during training camp.
"Last year it was kind of just learning everything," Cox said. "Now I just feel like I have a lot more experience and just know what's expected and what I have to do."