During his chat on Boston.com’s College Sports Blog, UMass coach Charley Molnar answered questions from fans and shed a little light on some burning questions surrounding the program.
Regarding the offensive line, which will be a major concern for the Minutemen heading into the 2013 season, Molnar indicated that the team added a little extra depth in the form of Vincent Westcarr, who will return for his senior year. The 6’4, 304-pound athlete played in 11 games during the 2012 campaign, and will provide some much-needed size and experience to an offensive line strewn with newcomers.
“The offensive line should be better in 2013. Depth will be a concern going into summer camp. We’re hoping that 1 of the 5 new OL will be ready to step up and contribute immediately,” Molnar said. “We have received good news since the conclusion of spring practice; Vince Westcarr has decided to return to play his senior season. He should be an immediate impact player on the OL.”
Molnar also discussed the McGuirk/Gillette scheduling situation. The Maroon Musket initially broke the story regarding UMass’ intention to play three games at a revamped McGuirk Alumni Stadium during the 2014 season. Molnar didn’t give an exact number, but he indicated that homecoming and weeknight MAC games would be played in Amherst.
“We look forward to 2014 when we begin to play some games back on campus. At this time, how the games will be divided between Gillette and McGuirk is undetermined,” he said. “I do know this – we will definitely play our homecoming game and any MAC weeknight games on campus. We will play BC at Gillette and the rest of the schedule will be decided once the MAC schedule comes out next spring. We think our recipe for success will always be a combination of both venues.”
Also discussed was an interesting idea of how to increase the popularity of college football in New England. Molnar wants to play UConn and Boston College every year while simultaneously scheduling one FCS team from the area.
“I have a very doable plan in place,” Molnar wrote. “All 3 1A teams (UMass, UConn, BC) should play each other on an annual basis and each one of us should play 1of the 3 New England based 1AA teams (Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island). Not only will our fans in New England love to see who the New England champion is every year, we would certainly help elevate the 1AA programs in the region.”
Also of note, Molnar said that he hopes to bring UMass to Austin, Texas to play the Longhorns.
“I’ve been fortunate to coach in some of the best stadiums in the country. One stadium I have not coached at is the University of Texas and I hope I can bring the Minutemen to Austin one day!”
When asked about possible 2014 NFL Draft picks, Molnar pointed to Rob Blanchflower (TE), Anthony Dima (OT) and Colter Johnson (P).
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