Williams improving as wide receiver for UConn football

Published on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 20:32
Written by Neill Ostrout

Journal Inquirer

STORRS - Donovan Williams says he’s a real wide receiver now. He’s been in the position more than a year after switching from the quarterback position, and he’s hoping to contribute to UConn in the coming season.

“I don’t even think about QB anymore. But when I first (switched) I had a love for the position, quarterback. It was a tough transition,” Williams said after practice Tuesday. “But the more you get acclimated to it (wide receiver), it’s just natural. I love to play football. And I feel like I can be a very productive receiver on this team.”

The 6-foot-4, 218-pound Williams was largely thrown into the fire at quarterback under former UConn coach Bob Diaco in 2016, and admits he considered transferring on a couple of occasions.

“I was battling. It was a discussion me and my family had,” Williams said. “I still had love for the position, even at the end of last season. But ultimately I thought UConn was the best place for me.”

Williams will certainly play on special teams for the Huskies in the fall and is battling for playing time among a rather deep corps of wide receivers.

Edsall praised Williams’ work ethic when asked about the junior from Dumfries, Virginia, and says he’s a pleasure to be around.

“He’s improved dramatically from when he first started as a wide receiver. And I think he’ll continue to get better,” Edsall said.

Mayala sidelined

Hergy Mayala, UConn’s leading receiver last season and perhaps its best offensive player, did not practice with his teammates Tuesday and will miss the remainder of the spring with a left knee injury.

“Hergy sprained his MCL the other day in the scrimmage. We don’t think it’s too bad. We did an MRI,” Edsall said of the senior from Montreal. “He should be fine.”

Mayala caught 43 passes for 615 yards as junior.

Mensah has company

Running back Kevin Mensah, who had already missed a week’s worth of practices for academic reasons, was again absent from the team’s workouts Tuesday. And he had company in coach’s proverbial dog house.

Quarterback Marvin Washington and defensive lineman James Atkins, the latter a possible starter in the fall, were also held out.

“They won’t practice Thursday. They won’t practice on Saturday,” Edsall said of the trio, and referring to the Blue White Game with the latter date. “I’m just trying to do everything I can to be proactive with those guys, to make sure there won’t be any issues there with them finishing up the semester and moving forward.”

More nicks and scrapes

Tight end Tyler Davis (concussion) was back practicing after missing more than a week of workouts.

Defensive end Connor Freeborn (knee) continues to be sidelined. Edsall said Freeborn will likely be healthy enough to participate in the team’s summer workouts when they start at the end of May.

Posted in New Britain Herald, UConn on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 20:32. Updated: Wednesday, 11 April 2018 20:34.