Huskies' Cochran cleared to play

Storrs - UConn freshman quarterback Casey Cochran, who broke his left wrist during a summer bicycle accident, has finally been cleared to play, but coach Paul Pasqualoni still hopes to redshirt the former state Gatorade Player of the Year who led New London and Masuk to state titles.

Asked Monday what it would take for Cochran to play for the Huskies this season, Pasqualoni offered a one-word answer: "injuries."

Pasqualoni, however, added that Cochran will practice and prepare to ready in the event starter Chandler Whitmer or reserves Scott McCummings and Johnny McEntee aren't available.

"Casey Cochran got his cast if off," Pasqualoni said. "He's 100 percent now. We'll see how practice goes this week to see if we'll consider Casey in a backup role or not.

"He's taken 7-on-7 reps and he's taken (what we call) 'routes on air reps,' which is throwing the ball without a defense, but really hasn't taken live snaps yet."

Pasqualoni's philosophy regarding true freshmen is to evaluate each player after six games and if an individual hasn't played up to that point, he generally opts to redshirt that player.

In Cochran's case, however, Pasqualoni said the freshman will travel and stay involved in every facet of the game plan.

"When a player is in the game plan meetings, when he's getting reps in practice and when he's on the trip, his mindset is he has a responsibility of being prepared to go into the game," Pasqualoni said. "That's a lot different than flat out being redshirted and being home and not on the travel squad.

"It's critical at the quarterback position, so Casey will continue to do that regardless."

c.banning@theday.com

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