Just a couple of days after telling the assembled reporters in that stood in front of his table at the preseason Big East football media day that the four healthy quarterbacks on the UConn roster would split the snaps equally to get a good look at each one heading into fall practice, head coach Paul Pasqualoni has scrapped that idea.
The Huskies initial two-deep depth chart was released Thursday afternoon and redshirt sophomore Chandler Whitmer, who had a solid performance in the Blue-White spring game, was listed as the No. 1 quarterback.
The Huskies, coming off a 5-7 season, officially start practice today.
“(With competitions), you can’t look at the guy next to you,” Whitmer told the Connecticut Post in March. “You can only put the blinders on and do the best that you can. If you try to make the same throws that somebody else makes, you end up tensing up and not playing to the best of your abilities.”
Redshirt senior Johnny McEntee who started all 12 games for the Huskies last season, was listed as the co-No. 2 quarterback, along with sophomore Michael Nebrich, redshirt sophomore Scott McCummings and freshman Casey Cochran. Cochran will miss nearly all of fall practice, however, while recovering from a broken wrist suffered on July 17.
Whitmer, a junior college transfer from Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., was the star of the spring show back in April. He threw for two touchdowns, completed 18 of 27 passes for 187 yards and showed every sign that he was ready to grab the starting job and run with it.
Apparently, after a summer of thought on the subject, Pasqualoni did too.
“You just go out and try to execute each play that’s called,” Whitmer said after the spring game in April. “Our line did a great job. We had some great receivers make plays. It was fun doing that.”
Whitmer had originally committed to Illinois in 2010 but was the odd-man out in a three-man race. He was redshirted and left Illinois after one season. In 2011, Whitmer passed for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns for Butler Community College, completing 180 of 316 (57 percent) of his passes. He was named to the All-Kansas Junior College Conference first team and earned National Junior College Athletic Association All-American honorable mention.
Last season, McEntee threw for 2,110 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 172 of 335 passes. Behind him, McCummings threw just 10 passes, completing five, for 157 yards. But McCummings was primarily an option/wildcat runner, posting 285 yards on 74 carries. Nebrich saw very limited action, with just five completions for 69 yards.
Cochran is the only quarterback in Connecticut high school history to throw for over 10,000 yards (10,804) and 100 touchdowns (112). In 43 career starts, he went 39-4 and won two state titles — the 2008 Class SS crown as a freshman with New London and the 2010 Class L crown with Masuk as a junior. As a senior, he passed for 3,067 yards and 37 touchdowns, completing 150-of-219 passes as a senior (68.5 percent) as Masuk went 11-1, losing to Hand in the Class L semifinals.
The university also announced that McCummings will miss the beginning of preseason camp due to excused personal reasons.