June 22, 2011 3 Comments
The UFL is finished the draft and pre-season tryout sessions for 2011. One team has completed mini-camp and we are now 56 day’s from the first kickoff of the 2011 season. This is the first of five issues going over the UFL rosters before the start of training camps in the first two weeks of July. After training camps we will issue another series of articles going over final rosters and season predictions for the 2011 season.
In this first issue we will introduce you to the current players on the Hartford Colonials roster.
First we will introduce the Offensive Unit.
Adam Terry 6’8″ 330lbs Syracuse
Kurt Quarterman 6’5″ 348lbs Louisville
Ricky Henry 6’4″ 305lbs Nebraska
Ryan Cave 6’4″ 340lbs Hampton
Orrin Thompson 6’6″ 337lbs Duke
Kyle Calloway 6’6″ 323lbs Iowa
Cecil Newton 6’2″ 310lbs Tennessee State
Michael Ola 6’3″ 302lbs Hampton
Sergio Render 6’3″ 313lbs Virginia Tech
Jarrod Shaw 6’4″ 331lbs Tennessee
Brad Thorson 6’5″ 310lbs Kansas
Greg Isdaner 6’4″ 325lbs West Virginia
Rueben Riley 6’4″ 320lbs Michigan
Howard Barbieri 6’5″ 305lbs Rutgers
Kyle Burkhart 6’4″ 295lbs Southern Miss
Peter Clifford 6’7″ 312lbs Michigan State
Just look at the offensive line talent coach Jerry Glanville has stocked in Hartford. Do you see the same message I do? All of the lineman are over 6’2″ and 300 pounds. It looks like the Colonials are looking to control the line of scrimmage. The quarterback should have the time in the pocket to throw the ball and the running backs should have lanes the size of an interstate to run through. As an old school style football fan I can’t wait to see this line in action!
Jerrod Johnson 6’5″ 250lbs Texas A&M
Colt Brennan 6’3″ 212lbs Hawaii
Josh McCown 6’4″ 208lbs Sam Houston State
This quarterback competition is the one I am most excited about in the entire UFL pre-season. Jerrod Johnson was a top 5 rated quarterback in the nation prior to his injury. In an earlier interview with Jerrod he stated he is 100% and ready to show he is at the form he was prior to the injury. With his arm strength and his athletic ability to make the throws from awkward positions he is exciting to watch. Colt Brennan is an experienced NFL quarterback who should give both of his other competitors a run for their money. With his electric style of play and the ability to hit the long ball throw with accuracy Colt is a very exciting quarterback to watch play. After reading about these two we come to last years starter Josh McNown. Josh is not ready to give up the starting job without a fight. Coach Glanville has his hands full in this training camp at this position. If you’re a fan and can get to the Colonials training camp this is the battle to watch this pre-season.
Andre Dixon 6’1″ 209lbs Connecticut
Phillip Tanner 6’0″ 208lbs Middle Tennessee State
Jason Davis 5’10″ 242lbs Illinois
Tory Harrison 6’1″ 203lbs Southern Miss
Kevin Jones 6’0″ 225lbs Virginia Tech
This running back group is exciting. When you look at Phillip Tanner the electric QB from Middle Tennessee State that can make play’s with his feet as well as being able to throw the ball it gives the offensive coordinator of the Colonials all kinds of options with him in the backfield. I am not sure in the ‘Wildcat’ is in the playbook of the Colonials but watch out for a few packages geared specifically for Phillip Tanner. I watched him play in college and he is ‘off the chart’! You have Dixon and Davis both good-sized backs running behind the size of the O-Line. Look for some ground and pound coming from the Colonials to open up the passing game.
Asaph Schwapp 6’0″ 252lbs Notre Dame
Looks like the Colonials have a ‘linebacker’ cracking skulls in the offensive backfield. With his size if he has the hands he could be a force to reckon with on third down passing and short yardage situations. With the TE’s on the roster there are a few players who could fill in here.
Greg Smith 6’4″ 258lbs Texas
Charles Davis 6’6″ 278lbs Purdue
Ronnie Ghent 6’2″ 250lbs Louisville
Jeff Cottam 6’6″ 262lbs Tennessee
If you have not gotten the message by now its been made clear the Colonials want size on the line. These TE’s are big and can block well. What we need to see is if the Colonials have a play maker at the position. With two TE’s at 6’6″ do they have the hands and speed to go over the middle and give the quarterbacks a huge target as a passing option? Do the TE’s on the roster have the speed, route running skills, and hands to beat any given linebacker or safety in the league? A lot of questions for the fans at this position to be answered.
Ryan Grice-Mullen 5’11″ 180lbs Hawaii
Kenny Moore 5’11″ 195lbs Wake Forest
Aaron Valentin 6’1″ 205lbs Purdue
Syndric Steptoe 5’9″ 200lbs Arizona
Roren Thomas 5’11″ 172lbs Lindenwood
Shaheer McBride 6’2″ 195lbs Delaware State
Jason Chery 5’10″ 185lbs Louisiana-Lafayette
The Colonials seem to have depth at this position. I am not sure they have the ‘play maker’ required to be a top-tier passing program. Although they have a lot of players at the position only two are over 6′. It is hard to make a living in the passing game with undersized wide receivers. Lets hope they have speed and the hands to compensate for their size. Shaheer McBride on paper looks more like a TE. I am interested to see his vertical leap and speed. With his size he could be the ‘play maker’ the Colonials desperately need.
Now lets introduce the defensive unit.
Chris Richards 5’11″ 182lbs Stony Brook
Ryan Palmer 5’10″ 177lbs Texas
Ben Hannula 6’2″ 205lbs San Diego
Terrell Skinner 6’3″ 214lbs Maryland
Tra Battle 5’11″ 181lbs Georgia
Manny Collins 5’10″ 191lbs Rutgers
Kyle Whitehurst 6’2″ 184lbs Hampton
Geoffrey Pope 5’11″ 190lbs Howard
Ahmad Carrol 5’9″ 195lbs Arkansas
Brannon Condren 6’1″ 208lbs Troy
Chad Nkang 5’11″ 215lbs Elon
Jacob Patek 6’0″ 207lbs Hawaii
Antwain Spann 5’10″ 195lbs Louisana-Lafayette
John Busing 6’2″ 231lbs Miami (OH)
The defensive backfield is another position the Colonials have a lot of depth at. I have never seen an official roster listed like the Colonials have their defensive backfield listed on their website. I am not sure if it is listed the way it is to confuse the other teams in the league or if the Colonials themselves are just not sure where these players are going to play. The one thing certain is that the Colonials have great size in their defensive backfield. If the speed and ball skills equal their size it is definitely a force to reckon with in the UFL. I would not want to be a receiver or a quarterback facing this crew as it sits on paper. I am not sure whats in the water in Hartford but its clear they like their players big!
Ervin Baldwin 6’2″ 260lbs Michigan State
Maurice Fountain 6’3″ 262lbs Clemson
Keith Grennan 6’4″ 298lbs Eastern Washington
Craig Marshall 6’4″ 262lbs South Florida
Chris Walker 6’3″ 245lbs Tennessee
Michale Spicer 6’3″ 285lbs Western Carolina
If you were looking at this crew with their helmets on and no names on the back of the jerseys you would think you were seeing double. They are all basically the same height and weight. It appears the Colonials have an athletic crew of defensive ends with long arms to get around the corners with speed. On paper they seem to be a quick nimble line. Look for a lot of sacks off the edges for the Colonial defense.
Jonas Seawright 6’6″ 321lbs North Carolina
So the Colonials have this player listed as a ‘defensive lineman’. There is no doubt in my mind this player is the nose tackle in the middle of the line. With his size the Colonials have a real gap stuffer here! This player is not going to be moved off the line easily by most centers in any league. If he can cause penetration up the middle look out for the Colonials to have a break out season as a defensive line. With the speed on the corners it going to be hard for any quarterback to escape the size and pressure of this line.
Orien Harris 6’3″ 308lbs Miami
Jonathan Lewis 6’0″ 304lbs Virginia Tech
Greg Peterson 6’5″ 290lbs North Carolina Central
Colby Whitlock 6’3″ 294lbs Texas Tech
The Colonials don’t seem to have the depth at the defensive tackle position they do as the others on the team. The players they do have on the roster follow the format we have talked about during this whole review. They are tall and big! The Colonials are going to be a very hard team to run against. If the Colonials perform as good as they look on paper you might be looking at the number one run stopping and sack defense in the UFL. They definitely have a lot of upside.
Joe Mortensen 6’1″ 265lbs Kansas
Harry Coleman 6’2″ 206lbs LSU
Erik Pederson 6’0″ 221lbs Hawaii
Clint McPeek 6’2″ 220lbs New Mexico
Frantz Joseph 6’2″ 240lbs Florida Atlantic
Andy Schantz 6’1″ 223lbs Portland State
Danny Lansanah 6’1″ 259lbs Connecticut
The Colonials once again stick with their pattern of size in the linebacker position as well. There is no doubt that the linebackers will be a help in the run and pass rush schemes of the defensive coordinator of the Colonials. The question is can these big boys cover a TE in pass coverage? Do they have the hands and ball skills for pass coverage schemes? If not the Colonials have a few players at safety that have the size and speed to cover in selected packages.
Last but not least we have the special teams skilled players. A lot of writers and reporters covering teams kind of let these players fall on the wayside. I would argue that the players I am about to introduce you are some of the most important players on the team. These players are hardly ever recognized for their plays unless they make a mistake. These players have to on point 100% of the time. There is no room for errors in these positions!
The skilled special teams positions.
Jared Retkofsky 6’5″ 268lbs TCU
This player fits right in on the offensive line with his size. He has the size to not get pushed around in the blocking schemes for the punt and field goal units.
Jy Bond 6’3″ 216lbs No College
Jy is a punter who played in Australian Rules Football. He is a very athletic punter who is not scared to hit a player on a punt return. He played in 2010 for the Colonials and has been on a few NFL teams roster. He is on the ‘protected’ roster list for the Colonials in 2011. I am excited to see this young man play!
Sam Swank 6’0″ 193lbs Wake Forest
Being a fan of the ACC in college football I have seen this player kick a few times. In college he was a great special teams player. He has some NFL experience and should be a great asset to the Colonials at this key position.
Overall I would rate the skilled players on the special teams with a B rating. The only question that sticks out in my mind is the uncertainty of the punting position. In training camp maybe another punter will be brought in for some competition and the position will be proven to be secure.
I am excited to see the product Coach Glanville puts on the field August 13th, 2011 in the first game of the season against the Virginia Destroyers.
Below is a list of the coaching and training staff of the Hartford Colonials.
Jerry Glanville Head Coach
Kurt Beathard Running Backs Coach
Bill Bradley Safeties
Jeff Burris Cornerbacks
John Hastings Strength and Conditioning
Harold Jackson Wide Receivers
Tim Krumrie Defensive Line
John Lovett Special Teams
Ben Norton Offensive Line/Special Teams Assistant/Quality Control
Turk Schonert Quarterbacks
Jesse Thompson Tight Ends/Special Teams Assistant
James Willis Linebackers
Larry Zierlein Offensive Line
Jesse Geffon Head Athletic Trainer
The head coach always gets the immediate recognition on a team. It is important to highlight the supporting staff that work hard everyday to make the team champions on the field and off. It is behind the scenes where true champions are made!