Roundtable: Which UConn athletes could help football

12/05/2019 MBB vs. Iona by Kevin Lindstrom UConn defeats Iona 80-62 Wednesday evening in Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies held the lead for 94 percent of the match; their greatest lead was 22 points. Sidney Wilson (15) and Isaiah Whaley (5) are seen in this photo.

It’s no secret: our football team needs help. Badly. They have started the season 0-3, have yet to score against an FBS team and lost to the FCS Holy Cross squad. Their former coach could not seem to regain the spark he once created here, departing from the team one day after announcing retirement. With so many holes to fill on this team, why do we have to look farther than Storrs, Connecticut for help? Our team of writers list their picks for which other UConn athletes could help out the football team: 

Stratton Stave
Campus Correspondent 

Adama Sanogo, Men’s Basketball: No one is going to question the fact that the 6’9’’, 240 pound Mali product is an absolute unit. He had a sensational freshman season with the men’s basketball squad and is primed for a breakout sophomore campaign, but I think he would also be a perfect fit with the football team. I see him playing as a killer tight end, with the ability to both block incredibly well with his size, and catch passes at a high rate with his soft paws. Once you get the ball in his hands though, how do you take him down? My calculations estimate that it would take an average of three defenders to tackle Sanogo, which would make it easy for the Huskies to get in the end zone for once. All you need to do is put him on the field, throw it high and you get an instant six points. 

Cole Stefan 
Campus Correspondent

Isaiah Whaley, Men’s Basketball: The UConn frontcourt is going to be merciless this year. So in addition to Sanogo, let’s take the co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year winner. Whaley is consistently merciless from the rim and would be an absolute stud for the football team’s defensive corps. Whaley would fit in nicely as a linebacker because his build alone would cause the opposing offensive line to tremble so hard they get penalized for a false start repeatedly. The offensive line could also back away slowly when the wrench makes his way towards the quarterback, leaving the quarterback to fend for himself and prepare for the sack of a lifetime. Put this man on the defense and the opposition goes three-and-out every time, which should create more opportunities for the defense. 

Evan Rodriguez 
Campus Correspondent 

Omar Gebril, Track and Field: With both Cam Ross and Matt Drayton out for the year, the Huskies could definitely use a speedy receiver to help pick up the slack. If Gebril is given proper instruction to catch the ball, he could be pretty dangerous since he’s proven on the track that speed is in his blood. Effective separation is important for the senior, but this shouldn’t be a problem with Gebril’s speed. Proper training should certainly make him effective and with enough playing time, I can see him being solid for the Huskies as a slot receiver.  

Jonathan Synott 
Associate Sports Editor 

Paige Bueckers, Women’s Basketball: Alright, hear me out. Out of any athlete at UConn (including the ones on the football team) who would you choose to play quarterback? How about sophomore passing phenom Paige Bueckers? Bueckers led the Huskies in assists last year with 168, and was a top 15 passer in the country while also focusing on putting the ball in the hoop, leading the team in scoring as well. Can you imagine if she just focused on the passing aspect? Bueckers has already proven she can pick apart top defenses in the country, so transitioning to lower end FBS teams should not be too much of a stretch. Her arm strength may be an issue, but with the amount of lifting I’m assuming she does with the basketball team, it wouldn’t surprise me if she could throw up some deep balls when needed to. As long as the offensive line can give her a little pass protection, she could definitely improve the football team as a whole. 

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