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Boston Globe: @UMassFootball center Matt Sparks in for the long haul

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a lengthy feature on UMass football center Matt Sparks who will play against several of his former high school teammates on Saturday against Colorado. The reunion is over 5,000 miles in the making as the trio are all from Hawaii.

Boston Globe: @UMassFootball center Matt Sparks in for the long haul

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a lengthy feature on UMass football center Matt Sparks who will play against several of his former high school teammates on Saturday against Colorado. The reunion is over 5,000 miles in the making as the trio are all from Hawaii.

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.







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's Players To Watch countdown continues to roll forward with his addition of center Matt Sparks at No. 18 on the list. Malone says Sparks has experience and has shown improvement over each of the last two seasons. The Hawaii native is also one of two returning offensive line starters returning this season which will make him a key leader on the team.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story looking at the UMass football offensive line which lost several key components to graduation last year in Anthony Dima, David Osei and Vincent Westcarr - each of whom started nearly every game in 2013. UMass improved its rushing average and sacks allowed total last season compared to 2012 which was the Minutemen's first season at the FBS level.

VIDEO: Football Spring Camp Spotlight On The Offensive Line

The UMass football offensive line is looking to fill the voids left by seniors Anthony Dima, David Osei, and Vincent Westcarr. Offensive line coach Shane Waldron and returning starters Matt Sparks and Tyrell Smith break down the unit's progression during spring practice following the Minutemen's workout on April 1.


Herald: Matt Sparks puts it on the line for UMass

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a look at center Matt Sparks and his journey from Hawaii to Massachusetts to be a member of the Minutemen. Sparks who played guard last year, has settled in nicely at center and helped solidify what many expect to be a much improved offensive line this year.

UMass had 59 offensive snaps Saturday, including 29 rushing attempts, and did not permit a single tackle for a loss. At center, Sparks was forced to handle Wisconsin's highly regarded nose tackle Beau Allen and Sparks limited the Badgers' star to two solo tackles. 

Collegian: UMass offensive line improved over offseason

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on the offensive line and its improvement, despite several new starters in the group, from a year ago. This was evident against Wisconsin as stated by coach Charley Molnar.

"It was a cleaner game by our offensive line. The penalties were very, very disappointing because we felt like we had more poise and that we had demonstrated that during camp," he said. "But the upside of it is though the quarterback was pressured at times, there weren't any sacks and we didn't have any TFLs, we had no TFLs in that game. So every play was zero or better, which is an improvement from where we were a year ago."

Gazette: Charley Molnar, UMass upbeat following loss to Wisconsin

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story highlighting the positive aspects from Saturday's loss at Wisconsin as noted by Coach Charley Molnar today following practice.

One of the notable positives to come from the loss was the emergence of some of the younger players of the roster. Among the standouts were sophomore center Matt Sparks and redshirt freshman running back Stacey Bedell, who made his first career start.

"Matt Sparks was up against, in my opinion, maybe the best nose guard in the country and he fought through the whole game," Molnar said. "It wasn't a bloodbath; he didn't take over the game. We were prepared to help our center out any way possible and never had to use those strategies."

Bedell amassed 70 yards on 19 carries in his first collegiate game.

Gazette: Center Matt Sparks hoping to help lead the UMass offense

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on center Matt Sparks and how he has improved from last season to now. After playing as a guard in 2012, Sparks will start at center for the Minutemen.

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