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Recaps & Coverage Of UMass Football's NFL Pro Day

UMass held its annual NFL Pro Day on Tuesday afternoon putting several Minutemen and other local football athletes through the paces in front of 21 NFL scouts.


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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Rob Blanchflower and how he has been working to recover this off-season from an injury that kept him sidelined for much of the 2013 season. Blanchflower discusses how he is working out and speaking with scouts as much as possible to earn himself a spot with a NFL team when preseason camp opens this summer.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an update on Rob Blanchflower who was at the NFL Combine this past week, but did not participate in the on-the-field drills as he is still recovering from his injury suffered during the season.

Ed Valentine of BigBlueView.com takes a look at draft eligible tight ends in this year's NFL Draft. He writes about UMass' Rob Blanchflower and the apparent connection between the New York Giants and the Minutemen with Victor Cruz, Julian Talley and Michael Cox all playing for New York.


UMass alum Jeff Howe has a notebook in the Boston Herald with updates from the NFL Combine. He caught up with UMass' Rob Blanchflower who is at the Combine this week, but will not take part in workouts on Saturday as he continues recovery from an injury he played through during the season.

Blanchflower says he will be ready for UMass' Pro Day on March 25.

Andy Hart of Patriots.com has a look at the tight ends who will be available in the upcoming NFL Draft and makes mention of UMass' Rob Blanchflower towards the end of the story.

Blanchflower, whose UMass team calls Gillette Stadium home on game days, barely practiced this past fall due to bilateral hernia, meaning his groin and abdominal muscles on both sides were torn. That caused him great pain and limitations, but he still proved his toughness but gutting through it on game day.  

Though coming off an injury that will prevent him from working out at the Combine, and coming from a lower level, the Minuteman and Massachusetts native still thinks he's got what it takes to measure up at the next level.  

"I think I'm up there with the elite in the country," Blanchflower said. "I'm looking to just get my foot in the door. If it comes in the fourth round or as an undrafted free agent, it is what it is."


NFL Draft Coverage Of UMass Football's Rob Blanchflower

The NFL Scouting Combine will take place this weekend with UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower hoping to turn in an impressive performance. Blanchflower will work out in Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 22 as the offensive lineman, tight ends and kickers are scheduled. The Combine will be aired live on the NFL Network.

Blanchflower is currently ranked as the No. 10 tight end available and as the 198th player overall according to NFLDraftScout.com. 



The Minutemen received tough news this week as Rob Blanchflower has been ruled inactive for the game at Ohio on Friday afternoon (2 PM) as announced by head coach Charley Molnar on Tuesday after practice.

Coverage of UMass Football's Loss To Akron

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Khary Bailey-Smith and Rob Blanchflower earning praise from the weekly College Football Performance Awards.

Republican: Week 9 helmet stickers for the Minutemen's top performers

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican hands out his Week 9 helmet stickers following UMass football's loss to Western Michigan last Saturday with Rob Blanchflower, Lorenzo Woodley and Khary Bailey-Smith each receiving praise for their performances.

Coverage Of UMass Football's Loss To Western Michigan

Globe: Rob Blanchflower a big weapon for UMass at tight end

Jeff Wagenheim of the Boston Globe has a feature on UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower and the national attention he has received since returning to the Minutemen's line-up during the Vanderbilt game.

"It's all about the work ethic for me," said Blanchflower, who has 15 receptions in his shortened season for 156 yards, and whose 1,007 career yards are 146 shy of Milt Morin's school record for tight ends.  

"There's always room for improvement. I had a couple of plays that stood out last weekend, and the stats looked good, but I didn't have a great game. A couple of those dropped balls haunted me."  

So much so that on Sunday morning, while many teammates and UMass fans were still in bed dreaming the sweet dreams of victory, Blanchflower was back at work.  

"I woke up early and got together with my coach at 8 a.m. to watch film," he said. "I'm making strides every day, but there's always another ball you can catch, another play you can make."  

A year from now, he might be making those plays on Sundays.  

As Kiper said of Blanchflower in his draft analysis, "Big tight ends who can run and catch the ball like wide receivers? Yeah, the NFL is buying right now."


Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature story on UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower who was named to the Mackey Award Mid-Season Watch List this week and was the organizations national Tight End of the Week. The yearly award is presented to the nation's top collegiate tight end.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a piece on Rob Blanchflower being named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week just one day after he was also named to the award's mid-season watch list for the yearly honor.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Rob Blanchflower being named to the Mackey Award Watch List - an annual award given to college football's best tight end.

Republican: Week 7 helmet stickers for the Minutemen's top performers

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican hands out his weekly helmet stickers with Khary Bailey-Smith (10 tackles, 2 INT), Jamal Wison (146 total offense), Rob Blanchflower (98 yards receiving, 1 TD) each getting recognition.

Draft guru Mel Kiper looks at several emerging NFL draft prospects in his weekly ESPN.com Insiders piece with Todd McShay. He had this to say about UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower.

Kiper: Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass
Big tight ends who can run and catch the ball like wide receivers? Yeah -- the NFL is buying right now. And while Blanchflower drove me a little crazy Saturday, dropping three passes by my count as I watched the game, he's a pretty good player and I think he has a chance to be a third-day selection next May. He's about 6-5 and around 260 pounds, runs pretty well and what I like is the way he catches the ball, using his hands and not letting it get to his body.

Blanchflower has long arms, pretty good quickness for a guy his size, and runs well when he's in space. He has been a four-year starter, and last year had 43 catches. We'll see a number of tight ends taken again this year, and Blanchflower has a shot to be one of them.


College Football - Who is the best one-loss team left? - ESPN

Coverage Of UMass Football's 17-10 Win Over Miami (Ohio)

A strong defensive effort with three interceptions alongside some timely offense lifted UMass to a 17-10 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday in front of 21,707 fans at Gillette Stadium. Check out the coverage of the win and highlights below.






Recaps & Coverage Of UMass Football's Loss To Vanderbilt

Gazette: UMass TE Rob Blachflower eager, closer to return

University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower carries the state flag as the team takes the field before a game in Foxborough last season. AP PHOTO

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Rob Blanchflower who has continued to practice this week after missing the first three games due to an injury. Blanchflower and head coach Charley Molnar both say they aren't sure about the time frame in which Blanchflower will return to game action, but both are eager to have him back in the lineup.

Molnar said whenever Blanchflower returns, it will give his struggling offense a big lift.  

"He exemplifies the toughness of a Minuteman. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough," Molnar said. "He'll play hurt. He stays in when he's tired. He never wants to come out of the game. We had some games last year that were decided well before the end of the game, but he played every snap like it was his last. His skill set is well above average. Super hands. Excellent blocker. His knowledge of the offense. He went out there Tuesday. He hasn't practiced in a long time and he's right up there with all the players who have been out there every day since the beginning of August. He's stayed very, very sharp mentally."

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on the return of Rob Blanchflower to practice on Monday. Though his work was limited, Blanchflower stated that being back on the field was a relief.

"I came out and did what they told me to do, did the work that I was allowed to by the trainers and just got as much work in as I could," he said. "It felt great to get out here and run around and finally do some football-related activities."

His status for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough is still up in the air, but Blanchflower said he feels "very close" to returning to game action.


UMass senior tight end Rob Blanchflower returned to practice on Monday after missing the first three games due to injury. Though he was limited in drills, his return is a good sign for the Minutemen.

Republican: Broadnax out, Blanchflower game-time decision vs. Maine

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Jordan Broadnax being listed as out and Rob Blanchflower being a game-time decision for the game against Maine on Saturday at Gillette Stadium (2 PM).

He also writes that Stacey Bedell and Derek Beck, who replaced Broadnax and Blanchflower respectively at Wisconsin, performed well in place of the two veterans.

Blanchflower To Miss Season-Opener At Wisconsin

Charley Molnar said Monday after practice that tight end Rob Blanchflower will miss the season-opener at Wisconsin. Michigan transfer Ricardo Miller is expected to make his first collegiate start in place of Blanchflower.

Matt Stewart of the Sentinel & Enterprise has a story on Rob Blanchflower who is being held out of practice for the remainder of training camp due to injury. It is still possible for him to play in the Wisconsin game.

"I hope to perform greater than I did last year," Blanchflower said. "It was sort of a breakthrough season for me, but I know I can perform at the level of the Central Michigan game every week. Last year I wasn't consistent every week, and I'd like to be more consistent this year."

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Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on Rob Blanchflower who was named to the 2014 Senior Bowl Watch List earlier this week. 

Should Blanchflower make the 65th-annual all-star game in Mobile, Ala., he would become just seventh player in school history to do so, joining a list that includes Milt Morin (1966), John Hulecki (1972), Ed McAleney (1976), James Files (1976), Vladimir Ducasse (2010) and Emil Igwenagu (2012).

Telegram: Rob Blanchflower has Gronk-like production

Jackson Alexander has a look at Rob Blanchflower and his popular nickname and comparison to New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Matt Stewart of the Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature on Leominster native Rob Blanchflower and his development into one of the top tight ends in the Mid-American Conference. Blanchflower was also surprised at Media Day to find his jersey will have the letter 'C' on it to denote his status as team captain.

Maroon Musket: Depth At Tight End A Boon For UMass

Bob McGovern of the Maroon Musket takes a look at the UMass tight ends and how the position has changed in terms of depth from last year - something that should help out the Minutemen on offense.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a look at the UMass offense and what can be done this year to generate more big plays to help sustain drives. Wide receiver Tajae Sharpe says a balanced run game will help the Minutemen set-up the pass better in 2013.

Republican: 10 players to watch in 2013, Part II

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican finished his 10 players to watch series in this piece. He has Rob Blanchflower as his No. 3 player to watch, while quarterback Mike Wegzyn takes the No. 1 spot.

Coverage From First Week Of Football Training Camp

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Lots of coverage from the first week of preseason training camp. The Minutemen held their first two-a-day session on Saturday with a scrimmage during the afternoon practice.

The team had Sunday off with the exception of meetings in the afternoon and evening. UMass will hold another two-a-day on Monday as the work week begins again.








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.

Fitchburg S&E: Leominster's Blanchflower voted UMass football captain

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.

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 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.

Kerri Fleming has a look at Rob Blanchflower and his impact on the UMass football offense in 2012. Blanchflower will enter the season at the team's top tight end after splitting time last season with Emil Igwenagu who is currently with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise wrote a feature story on Leominster native Rob Blanchflower and the role he will play this season as the Minutemen's top tight end.

Globe: Mind games facing UMass

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Nicole Auerbach of the Boston Globe has a feature today on UMass' transition to the FBS and the Mid-American Conference and the mindset being used by the players and coaches.

Head Coach Kevin Morris said his players will take a one-game-at-a-time approach to the season, which begins tonight at Holy Cross.  

Sophomore tight end Rob Blanchflower said he and his teammates have broken down their season into smaller goals, too.  "Even though we can't play for a CAA championship, we can play to be the best offensive [team] in the country, be the best defense in the country,'' he said. "Shut teams out, put up points, knock people out of the playoffs. We have a very competitive attitude.''
UMass All-Access catches up with UMass Football Blueshirt MVP's Darren Thellen and Rob Blanchflower from Monday's practice and Julian Talley from Wednesday's practice session.



Fitchburg S&E: Minutemen Ready For Jump To FBS

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Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise has a feature on the UMass football team previewing the 2011 season while also looking ahead to next year's move to FBS and the Mid-American Conference.

Senior tailback Jonathan Hernandez will have one of the team goals his senior season altered. Because of the move to the FBS, the 2011 season will be a transition period, in which the Minutemen will play a full FCS schedule, but will not be elligible for postseason play.  

"I'm excited for the younger kids, because they are moving on to the MAC," Hernandez said. "I'm really excited for them, but I'm just excited to play this season. I don't think that affects any of us on the team at all. We like to compete and Coach Morris stresses that all the time. We're taking every game like its our last game."

"I came here to get a natinoal championship ring," Leominster native Rob Blanchflower said. "Now that we're moving up, I don't have that opportunity but I do have the opportunity to play in a bowl game. Being in a bowl game, playing in front of bigger crowds, that's pretty incredible."

Lots Of Wednesday Birthdays!

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Five Minutemen celebrate birthdays today: Rob Blanchflower from football, Kyle Jennings from swimming, Conor Sheary and Joel Hanley from hockey, and Sean Carter from men's basketball. Happy birthday guys - hope you have a great day!

Rob BlanchflowerKyle JenningsSean Carter
Joel HanleyConor Sheary

Football Spring Practice Most Valuable Players

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Check out this interview with UMass Football Coach Kevin Morris and this week's Spring Practice Most Valuable Players. Tuesday's MVP's were defensive backs Christian Birt and Antoine Tharpe, tight end Rob Blanchflower and wide receiver Tom Gilson

Daily Collegian Football Recaps From Win Over HC

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Check out the Daily Collegian's stories on the UMass 31-7 win over Holy Cross from Saturday at McGuirk Stadium.

Gazette: Preview Of Football's Offense

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In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour takes a look at the Minutemen on offense with a breakdown of each position.

Two Feature Stories From Sentinel-Enterprise

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Here are two great features from UMass Football Media Day from the Fitchburg Sentinel-Enterprise by Nick Mallard.

  • Local Talent Fuels UMass. It has quotes from John Griffin, Rob Blanchflower, Jesse Hunt and Jonathan Hernandez.

  • Also, check this sidebar, Former Oakmont stars reunite on UMass gridiron about Griffin and Hunt being teammates again.

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