Coach Don Brown's Comments On The 2005 Signing Class

Feb. 2, 2005

Head coach Don Brown is thrilled with the newest class of football players which he signed on Wednesday to play at UMass. Check out what he had to say to the media on signing day.

Brown's overall thoughts:
"I am very pleased with this signing class. We have increased our depth at many positions. These new players will be given chances to compete for positions on the depth chart. We have addressed our needs and attrached great young talent. We have a solid foundation for UMass football and these players will add to our depth."

Brown on signing six players from Massachusetts:
"We have a local class as six of the players are from Massachusetts. Scott Woodward is a raw talent who has been a good quarterback. He has a live arm and is very athletic. His dad is a coach and with him being local, he can work with our current players this summer.

"In the kicking game, Armando Cuko has great potential. He has soccer roots, as he came to this country from Albania. He has ability to kick (field goals) from 50-yards and in.

"Theluxon Pierre has great straight-line ability and could be one of the top pass rushers in the Atlantic 10 before the end of his career. Brian Frederick is a big player who will see time at tight end and could be used as an H-Back in our system. Matt Silver -- who is from New York -- will also be used in a similar fashion as Frederick.

"Chris Dijak is a defensive end who will come in and compete while tailback Chris Zardas has piled up big rushing numbers at St. John's."

Brown on his offensive line:
"One area we are always looking at is the offensive line. We have created depth. We have five players returning -- losing only Rob Kane -- and Matt Austin can play all five positions. Sean Calicchio will be in the mix as will transfers Brent Caldwell, Jon Carnes and signee Stephen Babinski. Babinski has the chance to help us and be along the line of the type of player Rob Kane was."

Brown on the defensive line: "Brandon Collier adds depth along with Lateef Taylor, coming in from Cincinnati. Collier is the first player from Ohio which we have signed. John Hatchell has a chance to be an impact player after sitting out last season. We will be more athletic and bigger as everyone returns on the defensive line from last season. We surely have created depth on defense."

Brown on some other signees:
"Tony Nelson is great tailback. Clemson had targeted him and things didn't work out. We are happy to sign him. He was a player we were looking at for a while coming out of Maryland. Sean Smalls is a very highly-rated safety and Penn State was in on him, but that didn't work out either. He can play all four defensive back positions which will allow us to be versatile.

"George Byrd was the fourth-highest rated linebacker to sign with a Divsion I-AA school according to, so that speaks to his talent. Michael Hanson comes from New Jersey and Josh Jennings comes in from Connecticut. Both have great talent and will add to the depth on defense."

Brown on the academic piece of recruiting and how the players will help the program:
"We have set up academic plans for success for each of our recruits. On the field, competition breeds success. Each year we try to create competition for each position and we have done that. We are in good shape overall. It's a fun time for us as we have evaluated our needs and addressed them.

"There are 210 days to the game at Richmond."




    Event Calendar

    July 25
    vs Gridiron Club Golf Event, Pine Hills G.C. TBA
    September 3
    at Florida TBA
    September 10
    vs Boston College 12:00 PM
    September 17
    vs Florida International TBA
    September 24
    vs Mississippi State TBA
    October 1
    vs Tulane TBA
    October 8
    at Old Dominion TBA
    October 15
    vs Louisiana Tech TBA
    October 22
    at South Carolina TBA
    October 29
    vs Wagner TBA
    November 5
    at Troy TBA
    November 19
    at BYU TBA
    November 26
    at Hawai'i TBA
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