STORRS - Donovan Williams says heâ€™s a real wide receiver now. Heâ€™s been in the position more than a year after switching from the quarterback position, and heâ€™s hoping to contribute to UConn in the coming season.
â€śI donâ€™t even think about QB anymore. But when I first (switched) I had a love for the position, quarterback. It was a tough transition,â€ť Williams said after practice Tuesday. â€śBut the more you get acclimated to it (wide receiver), itâ€™s just natural. I love to play football. And I feel like I can be a very productive receiver on this team.â€ť
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.
â€śI was battling. It was a discussion me and my family had,â€ť Williams said. â€śI still had love for the position, even at the end of last season. But ultimately I thought UConn was the best place for me.â€ť
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 Williamsâ€™ work ethic when asked about the junior from Dumfries, Virginia, and says heâ€™s a pleasure to be around.
â€śHeâ€™s improved dramatically from when he first started as a wide receiver. And I think heâ€™ll continue to get better,â€ť Edsall said.
Hergy Mayala, UConnâ€™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.
â€śHergy sprained his MCL the other day in the scrimmage. We donâ€™t think itâ€™s too bad. We did an MRI,â€ť Edsall said of the senior from Montreal. â€śHe should be fine.â€ť
Mayala caught 43 passes for 615 yards as junior.
Mensah has company
Running back Kevin Mensah, who had already missed a weekâ€™s worth of practices for academic reasons, was again absent from the teamâ€™s workouts Tuesday. And he had company in coachâ€™s proverbial dog house.
Quarterback Marvin Washington and defensive lineman James Atkins, the latter a possible starter in the fall, were also held out.
â€śThey wonâ€™t practice Thursday. They wonâ€™t practice on Saturday,â€ť Edsall said of the trio, and referring to the Blue White Game with the latter date. â€śIâ€™m just trying to do everything I can to be proactive with those guys, to make sure there wonâ€™t be any issues there with them finishing up the semester and moving forward.â€ť
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 teamâ€™s summer workouts when they start at the end of May.