Nick Underhill of the Springfield Republican has a story on UMass lineman Stephane Milhim and his hopes at the NFL Combine which takes place this weekend.
Stephane Milhim's journey to the NFL Scouting Combine began during one of his daily walks to the bus stop while a freshman in high school.
Despite his size, the Haitian native was never interested in football. He was a soccer player and had never considered using his frame to protect a quarterback. But a football coach caught sight of him on the sidewalk and immediately began pleading the benefits for the sport.
Milhim decided to listen and give the game a shot.
Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston has some quick hits from the NFL Combine which has begun in Indianapolis. Reiss, a UMass alum, made sure to catch up with Minutemen lineman Stephan Milhim.
3. UMass lineman Milhim making big jump. As part of the media interviews at the combine, UMass offensive lineman Stephane Milhim noted that it was nice to be part of a process with players he watches on TV, such as those from Alabama and LSU. "It kind of hasn't hit me yet, but it's like 'I'm here too with these guys.'" Milhim said he measured at 6-3 7/8 and 314 pounds, and called tackle his best position even though some project him to move to either guard or center in the NFL. He has experience at all five positions along the line and felt his performance against Michigan defensive end Frank Clark was one of his best.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on James Ihedigbo and how success has followed him throughout his four-year NFL career. In addition to playing in back-to-back Super Bowls with different teams, Ihedigbo has been a member of four AFC Championship teams.
David Anderson of the Baltimore Sun has a profile of James Ihedigbo's mother, Rose, who talks about her son's path to the NFL and his second straight Super Bowl. Rose and her late husband, Apollos, came to the United States from Nigeria in 1979. James grew up in Amherst playing at Amherst Regional High School before coming to UMass. Rose will soon be publishing a book called "Sandals in the Snow" which describes their life and the path their family took.
James Ihedigbo of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after the Indianapolis Colts missed a field goal attempt during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at M&T Bank Stadium on Jan. 6. His mother, Rose, who lives in Abingdon says her son exemplifies the values she and his father instilled in him, the values of hard work, perseverance and faith in God.(Patrick Smith/Getty Images, Getty Images / January 5, 2013)
In a photo gallery by the Associated Press which is featured on Yahoo! Sports, James Ihedigbo is shown filming Media Day as the Baltimore Ravens are interviewed prior to the Super Bowl.
Baltimore Ravens safety James Ihedigbo shoots a video as safety Bernard Pollard, right, looks over his shoulder during media day for the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
UMass alum and Boston Herald sportswriter Jeff Howe has a piece on local connections in this year's NFL Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Included in his piece are mentions of UMass alums James Ihedigbo and Clarence Brooks.
Ihedigbo is making his second straight Super Bowl appearance albeit with a different team after helping the Patriots reach the title game last year.
Brooks played football at UMass from 1970-72 and was an assistant coach in the mid-70's for the Minutemen. He is now the Ravens' defensive line coach.
UMass alum and current New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz added yet another milestone to his NFL resume. In the annual NFL Pro Bowl, his first selection as an NFL player, Cruz set a new game record with 10 catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Cruz and quarterback Eli Manning were instrumental in the 62-35 win for the NFC.
David Driver of the Springfield Republican has a feature story on James Ihedigbo and his return to a second consecutive Super Bowl. Last season, Ihedigbo played in the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots before falling to the New York Giants and fellow UMass alum Victor Cruz.
Edward Lee of the Baltimore Sun has a story on how Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl veterans, including UMass' James Ihedigbo, have shared their experiences with teammates over the last week. Ihedigbo is only one of four players on the 54-man roster to have played in a Super Bowl and the only current Raven to have played in the big game last year.
Several news outlets reported the promotion of former UMass football standout Emil Igwenagu to Philadelphia's active 53-man roster this week. The fullback/tight end signed as a free agent with the Eagles in the preseason, but has spent the year as a member of the practice squad.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican also has a story on Rob Blanchflower being named a team captain for the 2013 season. UMass head coach Charley Molnar also stated that additional captains would be named at the team banquet.
Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature on Leominster native Rob Blanchflower who had a breakout season for the UMass football team in 2012. Stewart also notes that Blanchflower's leadership earned him the title of team captain for the upcoming season in a vote by the team.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a feature on Joe Colton being awarded a scholarship on Wednesday. Colton says that a major reason for his determined play this year was being doubted as a FBS player coming out of high school.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on Joe Colton who was awarded a scholarship on Wednesday. The true freshman walk-on from Norwood, Mass., was one of the most productive defensive players this season.
Be sure to join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill tonight for the UMass Football Coach's Radio Show with Charley Molnar. Our player guests will be quarterback Mike Wegzyn and defensive tackle Hafis Williams.
Also, please note the show will start at the special time of 6:10 PM to accomodate the men's basketball game against Providence which will follow right after.
Fans can listen on the flagship radio station of UMass football and basketball, 105.5 FM WEEI Springfield, or by using the TuneIn App for smart devices.
Jennifer Toland of the Worcester Telegram has a story on Westboro's Rob O'Connor and the unique way that UMass football head coach Charley Molnar presented him and Daniel Maynes with scholarships. The video of the presentation was a YouTube sensation over the last two weeks and garnered national attention.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of Saturday's football game at Northern Illinois. The game will pit the Minutemen against the MAC West leading Huskies starting at 3:30 PM EST.
Marc Bertrand from 98.5 FM The Sports Hub in Boston spoke with Charley Molnar in their weekly radio interview that featured a recap of the Ohio game and a preview of this Saturday's Western Michigan game.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature story on Joe Colton who has exceeded expectations with his play as a back-up and starting strong safety for the UMass football team. A Norwood, Mass., native, Colton is able to play home games just a few minutes away from his friends and family.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes a look at the impact the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen classes are making on the UMass football team. All told, 26 freshmen have played this season with 7 earning game starts.
It's Thursday night and that means another installment of the UMass Football Coach's Show With Charley Molnar at The Hangar Pub & Grill. Join us at 7 PM to talk UMass football and enjoy some of the best wings in the Pioneer Valley!
Along with Coach Molnar, player guests tonight include linebacker Perry McIntyre and wide receiver Deion Walker - both of home have been key players for the Minutemen.
If you can't make it to the Hangar, you can listen on the radio (105.5 FM WEEI), online (http://www.weei.com/umass) or on your smart phone/tablet by downloading the TuneIn app.
John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a feature on UMass wide receiver Deion Walker who transferred to Amherst as a graduate student after a four-year career at Notre Dame. Walker has become one of the top wide outs for the Minutemen especially over the course of the last two games.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of UMass' game against Ohio on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. One focus of the story is UMass' ability to convert scoring chances in the red zone.
Marc Bertrand of 98.5 The Sports Hub spoke with Charley Molnar on the positives to be taken away from the loss at Miami, the impact of Michael Cox and Kassan Messiah, and this weekend's opponent in undefeated Ohio.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at Ohio's quarterback situation with starter Tyler Tettleton's status uncertain for Saturday's game at Gillette Stadium. Tettleton missed Ohio's game against Norfolk State last weekend with an injury.
Michelle Brooks-Thompson, the wife of former UMass offensive lineman and current Amherst High School head football coach David Thompson, appeared on The Voice last night with an amazing performance. Michelle's singing caught the attention of three of the four judges in the nationally televised show.
Despite an improved showing on both sides of the ball, the UMass football team fell in its MAC opener at Miami on Saturday. The highlight of the game was Michael Cox who ran for a career-high 188 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns including an end-over-end front flip which was ESPN Sports Center's No. 5 Play of the Day. Here are the recaps of the game.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a preview of Saturday's MAC opener when UMass heads to Miami (Ohio) for a Noon kick-off. Head coach Charley Molnar announced this week that Christian Birt (defense), Alan Williams (offense) and Jordan Broadnax (special teams) will serve as team captains. This is the first time this season UMass has had three game captains (normally two representing offense and defense).
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the MAC opener between UMass and Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. In his story he says that UMass is hoping that the start of conference play will represent a new beginning for the season.
Stephen Hewitt of the Daily Collegian has a story on Christian Birt and his return to the starting line-up after being injured for the UConn game. Birt started at Michigan after being out the UConn game and seeing limited action against Indiana.
Frank Dell'Apa has a preview of tomorrow's MAC opener for UMass at Miami (Ohio). A centerpiece of the story is a focus on safety Christian Birt and his contributions this season. Birt had a 32-yard interception return for a touchdown at Michigan and will serve as a game captain this Saturday.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the Miami (Ohio) game focusing on the challenge the UMass secondary will have with Red Hawks quarterback Zac Dysert who is one of the top passers in the league.
Joe Reedy of Cincinnati.com has a story on the play of former UMass standout Jeromy Miles and his transition from a special teams player to a regular in the defensive secondary as he has played 70 of 129 possible plays this year.
John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a follow-up piece on UMass' game at Michigan last Saturday. He highlights some of the improvements made by the Minutemen in the game and the focus of this week's practice as UMass gets ready for Miami (Ohio).
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican gives out his Week Three helmet stickers following the Michigan game. Christian Birt, Hafis Williams and Michael Cox were all on Plumer's list of players who had outstanding performances.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a story today on the return home for Michael Cox and Mike Wegzyn when the Minutemen play Michigan this Saturday. Cox is a Michigan alum who is a graduate student at UMass. He played four years as a back-up tailback for the Wolverines before transferring to UMass for his fifth-year of eligibility. Wegzyn grew up in the Detroit area before moving to Tennessee prior to his senior year in college.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today on freshman Elijah Barrows, a Springfield native, whose task this week is to play the role of Denard Robinson on the scout team for UMass as the Minutemen prepare to face No. 17 Michigan this Saturday.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a notebook on the growth process of the UMass football transition. He takes a look at the win over Louisiana-Monroe over No. 8 Arkansas and how that example translates to the UMass football program.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass running back Michael Cox who will face his former team, the Michigan Wolverines, this Saturday. Cox graduated from Michigan last spring and transferred to UMass as a graduate student.
And don't forget, this Saturday is the home-opener for football. Indiana of the Big Ten Conference will mark the first FBS program to visit Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is at 3:30 with lots of activities in MinuteFan Park beforehand.
In UMass' first ever game at the FBS level, Darren Thellen's tipped pass for an interception by Tom Brandt was named the Play of the Day on ESPN's SportsCenter. Thellen dove out of bounds to tip a pass by UConn QB Chandler Whitmer back into the field of play where Brandt secured the pick in the first quarter of play. It was Brandt's first career interception.
It's finally here! After announcing the transition to the FBS level back in April 2011, the Minutemen will kick-off a new era in a storied football history tonight as UMass takes on UConn at Rentschler Field (7:30 PM).
The UMass Sports Luncheon returns for the 2012-13 season on Tuesday, August 28 in the Massachusetts Room located on the 3rd Floor of the Mullins Center. The luncheon begins at Noon and will feature Charley Molnar as the guest speaker.
The event is $11 to attend which includes a full salad-to-dessert buffet. Parking behind the Mullins Center is free. The Sports Luncheons will normally be held on Wednesday afternoons, but was moved to this Tuesday as the Minutemen head to UConn on Thursday.
Geoff Hobson, editor of Bengals.com, has a story on Cincinnati's stock of undrafted free agents and other players from small college programs who are now making an impact on the club. Included in the story is former UMass standout Jeremy Miles who is making a serious bid for a starting safety spot after being a special team standout.
Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant has a preview of Thursday's football opener between UConn and UMass with quotes from Huskies head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
"I think we're very excited about [a rivalry with UMass] and the potential of what Connecticut-UMass could be," Pasqualoni said. "[It] was great during the Yankee Conference days; it certainly was a tremendous rivalry. With conference affiliations now, we're obviously in the Big East, but playing UMass would give us a chance to have an Eastern game regardless of the location. It's exciting for fans, easy to get to and a chance to be a great game. We would be excited about it."
Kerri Fleming of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a story on all that is new this season with the UMass football program. Area players Rob Blanchflower, Brandon Potvin and Brandon Howard speak of how the changes have brought new motivation and excitement to the team.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a feature on UMass football head coach Charley Molnar with quotes from his family and other MAC coaches. The piece gives insight into Coach Molnar's daily life and his passion for all parts of his professional and personal life.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a story on how UMass football practice changed on Saturday from preseason camp mode to game-week mode with the Minutemen preparing to face UConn this Thursday night.
Paul Lazdowski of the MetroWest Daily News has a feature on twin brother linebackers Tim and Tom Brandt and how their football careers have been shaped by their family and high school football coaches.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican and Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette each have stories on the visit of Lt. Governor Tim Murray to Thursday's football practice as the Minutemen closed preseason camp.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray along with trustee chairman Henry Thomas, trustee Norm Peters, UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Athletic Director John McCutcheon addressed the UMass football team at its final practice of the 2012 preseason training camp at McGuirk Stadium.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on UMass football head coach Charley Molnar's career path that led him to UMass. Included in the profile are quotes from Molnar's high school coach and insights such as Molnar calling his father and brother from the 50-yard line before each game.
After being picked up as an undrafted free agent last spring, former UMass standout offensive lineman Josh Samuda has been earning praise during the NFL preseason. Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel lists Samuda as a key back-up center and one of the Dolphins' top eight offensive linemen.
"Josh Samuda, an undrafted rookie from UMass, spent his third week as the backup center, and performed well enough it appears he's locked down a spot on the 53-man roster. Samuda, a Hollywood Hills product, is presently one of the team's top eight offensive linemen."
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican takes a look at freshman wide receiver Tajae Sharpe and his quick acclimation to the UMass offense during training camp. Wide receivers coach Alan Suber credits Sharpe's performance to his 'FBI' or Football Intelligence.
Harry Plumer of the Springfield Republican has a feature on Stanley Andre who is having a standout camp as a defensive end. Andre was asked to switch from his natural linebacker position to defensive end and has made the transition seamlessly.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today on Michael Boland who is fighting for a starting spot on the offensive line. Boland is playing guard after playing tackle for his entire football career.