RB Donald Brown

2006 Statistics

Coach: Randy Edsall
41-51, 8 years
2006 Record: 4-8
at Indiana WON 14-7
at South Florida LOST 16-38
at Rutgers LOST 13-24
at Syracuse LOST 14-20
at Louisville LOST 17-48

2006 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2007 Outlook

In his eight years as top Huskie (41-51 in his only head coaching job ever), Randy Edsall has seen the ups and downs of this program as it slowly build momentum in a BCS-aligned conference. After three consecutive years of finishing at .500 or better (went 23-13 from 2002-04), UConn has fallen on two straight losing seasons. And the difference between going 5-6 in 2005 and 4-8 last time was primarily defense – the Huskies went from allowing a measly 211 total points in ’05 to allowing 324 in ’06. That doesn’t let the offense off the hook, for they, too, could have been a little better here and there last year to buoy their sagging result. But the good news for their 49-year old head coach is that (what was) his team’s 13th-ranked running game gets promising all-conference (second team) sophomore RB Donald Brown to help break in the new QB(s). Connecticut is smart to utilize the multiple-receiver sets the spread look offers, but they will have to keep it between the tackles for the most part due to the big backs and not-so-mobile QBs. That shouldn’t limit production, and watch out for former-QB D.J. Hernandez as an X-factor lining up at WR to stretch plays both laterally and downfield (with his viable arm). The 82nd-ranked defense has to get it done up front – the talent is there, and with a strong set of LBs, that area should improve. The secondary – Edsall’s focus – is a work-in-progress since the new look of the safety two-deep offers no answers until real game reps tell all. The corners are decent, and they will have to be, especially with so many top 25 teams dotting the Big East (we count four as of preseason). It all adds up to equal a decent shot for UConn to reach .500 or beyond. Three of those four top 25 teams come into noisy Rentschler Field (Louisville, South Florida and Rutgers, all in a row in that order), and with a total of seven games at home, the Huskie’s 18-8 all-time record there should mean much. Especially strong is their 13-3 record against non-conference foes, and the non-con lineup this year (including longtime rival I-AA Maine) looks like Edsall’s guys could go 4-1, with wins against all but possibly Virginia. That means he would only need to lead his team to a 2-5 Big East result to become bowl eligible, and since we can’t see this team beating too many favored foes, beating up on those little guys is the only way this team likely plays in the postseason. In an up-and-coming league like this, UConn will still make everyone look good by being a bottom-feeder with a strong team and a decent record. And when everything changes in 2008, the Huskies will be in great position to leapfrog into a better finish.

Projected 2007 record: 5-7
LB Danny Lansanah
QB - 3 DL - 2.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 3 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: D.J. Hernandez, 86-147-9, 849 yds., 9 TD

Rushing: Donald Brown, 161 att., 896 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Larry Taylor, 29 rec., 261 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Donald Brown, 9 TD, 54 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Tony Ciaravino, 2-2 FG, 12-13 PAT, 18 pts.

Tackles: Danny Lansanah, 99 tot., 45 solo

Sacks: Cody Brown, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Danny Lansanah, 4 for 64 yds., 1 TD; Darius Butler, 4 for 37 yds.

Kickoff returns: Robert McClain, 13 ret., 19.0 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Larry Taylor, 20 ret., 12.8 avg., 1 TD


OFFENSE: Matt Bonislawski-QB, Deon Anderson-FB, Terry Caulley-RB, Brandon Young-WR, Matt Applebaum-OG, Immanuel Hutcherson-OG, Matt Nuzie-K
DEFENSE: Rhema Fuller-DT, Ray Blagman-DT, Donta Moore-SLB, Dahna Deleston-DB, Chris Pavasaris-P

The ho-hum results of 2006 will be forgotten quickly with two new quarterback candidates vying for the start. What was the 110th-ranked passing game will improve, and how much it does so will dictate how far UConn can go. Three- and four-WR sets are coming into vogue here, but neither Tyler Lorenzen nor Dennis Brown has yet to grab the mantle and prove he can make the Huskie aerial assault his. Lorenzen is a hulking 6’5 to stand tall and firm when in the pocket. Miami (Central) product Dennis Brown actually saw action in his true freshman season after both QBs in front of him got hurt and he was thrust out of his redshirt (did OK versus Rutgers and WVU). Brown got his redshirt in last year, and now his raw talents, like Lorenzen’s, just have to be honed. The Huskie’s No.13 running game is the most assured dimension with Donald Brown back. The solid hits he puts on potential tacklers is why he averages 5.6 yards per try. Lou Allen is the same big, downhill runner who can push LBs backwards when he knocks helmets. Brown’s freshman showing earned him all-conference honors, so all that needs to be found is the right fullback (two freshman candidates) for the ground game to remain dominant. The other ostensible factor is the OL, which should be fine after losing a few guards. Alex LaMagdelaine filled in at center for Keith Gray admirably as a freshman; LaMagdelaine bumps back over to right guard since Gray, the starter at center before a shoulder injury made him sit out the rest of 2006, is back at full strength. Like Gray, soph Lawrence Green has been pulled over from the defensive side to bolster the OL’s ranks. His progress has been good enough to earn the start, so oft-seen senior Donald Thomas will have to use his reserve role to earn playing time. 6’9 soph Dan Ryan, along with classmate Mike Hicks, were somewhat impressive as starting freshmen, so their returns are a huge boost to make it five worthy starters on this big line. How marginal these big men are in the mobility department should pose a limitation for the play-calling that requires such, but that can still work with big RBs/QBs who won’t go outside too much. If that’s true, then allowing so many sacks (31) just won’t help to get the Huskies more wins. The receivers get Gatorade Player of the Year (in-state 2003) D.J. Hernandez to bump over from QB, since his athletic potential evidently outweighs his ability under center. Big things will come from Hernandez in the flat, possibly fakes where he still uses his arm to inflict damage. Larry Taylor gets open underneath at will, so these two can offer steady targets for those tough times the new QBs are sure to have. Stretching the field will be Brad Kanuch, who led the team in reception yards as a freshman last year. The other targets (Jeffers, McLean) make the corps a decided strength. Factor in Steve Brouse, their huge TE who finished T-2nd in team receptions, and you see why either new QB should have plenty downfield targets who can be trusted with the rock. One thing the UConn passing game got right last time was that they spread the ball around evenly to all targets, and there are just too many viable snarlers to think this won’t happen again. The imbalance on this side of the ball (not enough pass production) was a major reason Connecticut only broke the 20-point barrier four times in 2006 (one time was against I-AA Rhode Island and one was versus Army). Only one of those four times resulted in a loss, so you can see that converting drives into points is a major key for the Huskies to get back in tune with where they were just a few seasons ago.


WR/PR Larry Taylor


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Tyler Lorenzen-Jr (6-5, 223) Dennis Brown-So (6-3, 196)
RB Donald Brown-So (5-11, 214) Lou Allen-Jr (6-1, 238)
WR Larry Taylor-Sr (5-6, 173) Anthony Davis-Fr (5-10, 235)
WR D.J. Hernandez-Jr (6-1, 209) Terrence Jeffers-So (6-2, 210)
WR Brad Kanuch-So (6-0, 188) Brandon McLean-Sr (5-10, 167)
TE Steve Brouse-Jr (6-4, 250) Derek Rich-Fr (6-4, 257)
OT Dan Ryan-So (6-9, 313) William Beatty-Jr (6-6, 280)
OG Lawrence Green-So (6-3, 332) Andrew Presnell-So (6-4, 310)
C Keith Gray-Jr (6-2, 287) Trey Tonsing-Jr (6-2, 285)
OG Alex LaMagdelaine-So (6-3, 304) Donald Thomas-Sr (6-4, 290)
OT Mike Hicks-So (6-5, 335) Zach Hurd-Fr (6-6, 288)
K Dave Teggart-Fr (6-0, 205) Tony Ciaravino-Jr (6-2, 228)



Coach Edsall had a major breakdown on this side of scrimmage – in 2005, his D allowed only 297 yards per game…in ’06, it was 358; UConn allowed 19 points per game in ’05, but it went up to 27 last year; and even though they allowed a stingy 33% of opponent’s third-down tries to be converted in ’06, that number was still higher than the 24% they allowed in 2005. Four games could have arguably swung the Huskie’s way if those 2005 numbers were applied to last year’s 4-8 result. The rushing defense had the worst decline, allowing 41 more yards last year than it did two years prior. Big senior Dan Davis will see lots of double-teams – he has the speed of an end (started there last year) and the girth to clog the middle effectively. 6’4 Brandon Dillon was a strong presence the same well-rounded ways as just a freshman, so the inside looks stout with he and Rob Lunn vying for reps. Junior Cody Brown led the team in sacks and played in only six games, so his upside is expected to really lift the line’s level of play, too. Factor in Lindsey Witten and the sizable reserve upperclassmen (Mack, Williams) and you can see how the talent found here should equal more this time around. The linebacking corps has the rare opportunity to mix two experienced seniors with an over-qualified recruit and three other freshmen reserves for a seamless transition into 2008. The seniors can hand off experience as the entire group still gets great results this year. Danny Lansanah and Ryan Henegan finished first and second, respectively, in team tackles, with Henegan getting five more solo tackles from his weakside slot. Lansanah is strong in covering both offensive aspects - he tied for the team lead in INTs. All of this is being passed on to true freshman Jarrell Miller, a four-star recruit who green shirted (got into school early) and is now the starter on the strongside after a fabulous spring. If he stays healthy, Miller will be all-conference, just maybe not this year. MLB reserve Greg Lloyd, Jr. is the biggest name of the three budding LB reserves, and the trio of freshmen are, along with Miller, the future of this defense (Scott Lutrus had three INTs in the spring game). As is true on many teams that have trouble stopping the run, like UConn did last year, foes didn’t need to pass it much to produce results. This led to a 25th ranking in pass defense, but more telling was their No.72 ranking for (pass) efficiency defense…in other words, when foes did pass, they achieved (and at a 57% completion rate). The safeties are both new – senior SS Donnell Ford has played mainly on special teams, but soph FS Robert Vaughn is an ex-hurdler/high jumper/RB who earned eight tackles versus WVU to make his case and relax coaches’ minds. Like Vaughn, Glen Mourning has the smarts (especially from his experiences as a prep QB) to grow into a major contributor and leader. More experienced are the corners – Darius Butler has become a shutdown type and can be left alone with any sized WR, while Tyvon Branch seals his outside area on runs as well as he covers (third in team tackles). Reserves at CB are also promising, with Wisconsin-transfer Jameson Davis and oft-used Terry Baltimore ready for duty in four- and five-receiver sets. The secondary has shown itself to be a viable weapon during offseason practices. Coach Edsall has hung his hat, until now, on his teams being defensively superior, and when they aren’t – like in 2006 – we see how poorly these Huskies can do. Without a rebound from their recent marginal performance(s), it will be another long year in Storrs.


CB Darius Butler


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Lindsey Witten-So (6-4, 218) Gary Mack-Sr (6-3, 236)
DT Dan Davis-Sr (6-1, 287) Alex Polito-Fr (6-5, 266)
DT Brandon Dillon-So (6-4, 284) Rob Lunn-Jr (6-3, 280)
DE Cody Brown-Jr (6-4, 240) Julius Williams-Jr (6-2, 262)
SLB Jarrell Miller-Fr (6-2, 259) Lawrence Wilson-Fr (6-1, 227)
MLB Danny Lansanah-Sr (6-0, 248) Greg Lloyd-Fr (6-1, 220)
WLB Ryan Henegan-Sr (6-1, 234) Scott Lutrus-Fr (6-2, 227)
CB Tyvon Branch-Sr (6-0, 199) Jameson Davis-Jr (5-11, 195)
CB Darius Butler-Jr (5-11, 186) Terry Baltimore-So (5-10, 170)
SS Donnell Ford-Sr (6-1, 192) Aaron Bagsby-Fr (6-0, 179)
FS Robert Vaughn-So (6-0, 192) Glen Mourning-So (6-0, 208)
P Dave Teggert-Fr (6-0, 205) Desi Cullen-So (6-1, 201)




True freshman Dave Teggert has been tapped for both kicking jobs…a gamble, sure, but not too big of one with his talents and toughness as an ex-linebacker (anyone seems better than now-departed PK Nuzie). Net punting results could use a boost, and the emergence of new DBs, LBs and hungry reserves should help fix the troubles. Larry Taylor is a threat from both return slots, but he will have to keep his edge to hold of Donald Brown’s speedy ways.