Caught up with UMass coach Mark Whipple after Thursday's practice, and he hit on a few topics from the past week, including Monday's scrimmage, the team's improved depth, and what young players might see the field early.
(On the scrimmage from Monday)
"I thought the ones on both sides looked good and confident. I thought there was great communication. I thought it was the best first scrimmage since I've been here. I really thought that this week of practice after that, the young guys, the twos and threes, where we finally practiced a lot more threes than we ever have. Really learned a lot from that kind of experience in the first week and made some strides the second week. That's been a real positive. I expect some more things from this Saturday morning. Gotta do some more situation stuff from this scrimmage on Saturday."
(On the improved depth)
Yeah, I mean, you can never have enough good players. You know you're going to have injuries. The quality behind the first groups are deeper. We're pending more time with those younger guys, which is a good thing. It's starting to pay off. I can see those guys getting better and better. So we're competing, and making practice a little better than we used to. Any time you have more good players, that's a good thing."
(On any young players that have stood out)
(True freshman safety) JoJo Norwood, we won't redshirt him. He's flashed a lot. (True freshman defensive tackle) Dennis Osageide from Houston is a guy that will get some snaps, and I don't think we'll redshirt him. Those two guys have taken a big step, those couple guys. The rest of them, we'll see how this four days plays out. Suddenly, we're halfway through and we'll have a better idea. Come Saturday, but those two guys, I would say in their freshman class have made an impact.