STORRS - There is a youth movement going on with veteran coach Randy Edsallâ€™s UConn football team.
The depth chart Edsall revealed Wednesday night to begin his second stint as the Huskiesâ€™ head coach includes 14 freshmen. And three of those, including Windsorâ€™s Tyler Coyle, are projected to start.
Coyle, a defensive back in the teamâ€™s new 3-3-5 defense, is a 6-foot-1 redshirt freshman.
â€śHe might be our best athlete,â€ť Edsall said of Coyle on WTIC-AM1080 Wednesday after announcing the two-deep.
The other freshmen slated to start Aug. 31 against Holy Cross at Pratt & Whitney Stadium are right guard Cam DeGeorge and wide receiver Quayvon Skanes.
Although players like Coyle, DeGeorge, and Skanes are redshirt freshmen, there are also five true freshmen on the depth chart. Among those who might have the biggest impact are Jordan Swann and Luke Magliozzi.
Swann is listed as a backup to Tre Bell at cornerback and also is projected as the teamâ€™s top punt and kick returner.
â€śThere might be more true freshmen than I thought would be there,â€ť Edsall said. â€śBut they deserve it. Theyâ€™ve earned it.â€ť
Magliozzi, a 23-year-old from Australia, is listed as a co-starter with Brett Graham at punter.
Although there is generally a large number of first-year players, the UConn defense features a litany of veterans. Coyle is the only freshman starter.
Fellow Windsor High product Cole Ormsby is joined by fellow seniors Folorunso Fatukasi and Luke Carrezola on the defensive line. Seniors Junior Joseph and Cam Stapelton are joined by junior Chris Britton at the linebackers. Bell, senior Jamar Summers, senior Brice McAllister, and junior Anthony Watkins will start in the defensive backfield along with Coyle.
Two of UConnâ€™s projected starting linebackers are out with knee injuries. Senior E.J. Harrison is likely out for the season, while senior Vontae Diggs will miss the opener but could return for a Week 2 game against South Florida.
As he had previously announced, Edsall chose junior college transfer David Pindell as his starting quarterback over senior Bryant Shirreffs.
Coventryâ€™s Tommy Myers is, as he was last season, listed as a co-starter along with fellow senior Alec Bloom at tight end.
Skanes, senior Hergy Mayala, and junior Tyraiq Beals are listed as the starting wide receivers. But redshirt freshman Keyion Dixon, sophomore Tyler Davis, junior Aaron McLean, redshirt freshman Mason Donaldson, and converted quarterback Donovan Williams are all in line to contribute.
Senior Arkeel Newsome, as expected, is the starting running back. Redshirt freshman Nate Hopkins and junior Jason Thompson are listed as the co-backups.
On special teams, Newsome is apparently no longer going to be used as a kick returner. Swann and Skanes are the only ones listed as returners.
Sophomore Michael Tarbutt won a training camp battle with Will Rishell, a senior from RHAM, to be the teamâ€™s starting place kicker.