Let's take a look at the best of the best in the Big East this spring.
Best spring game performance: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. As noted in the What we learned post, Bridgewater was on point in his spring game, going 19-of-21 for 257 yards and three touchdowns. Now, I understand that his team was going against the second-team defense. But coach Charlie Strong gave the second team a 21-point lead to start the game, just to see if Bridgewater could lead his team back. He did, and had the best spring game of any quarterback in the Big East.
Best overall spring: Pitt running back Isaac Bennett. This might be a slight exaggeration, but it felt as if every time I checked a Pitt practice report, Bennett was ripping off another 50-plus yard run. In 15 practices, he had four of them, including a 51-yarder in the spring game. Bennett had 121 yards on 23 carries in that final spring performance, and proved he should be relied upon along with Ray Graham this upcoming season.
Best spring comeback: This also has to go to a Pitt player -- linebacker Dan Mason. If you love comeback stories, you have to love what Mason did this spring. His career appeared to be over after he suffered a devastating knee injury in September 2010. Not only did he tear ligaments, he suffered nerve damage as well. But Mason was back on the field this spring, running with the first team until he missed the final few practices for undisclosed reasons. If he makes it back onto the field in September, his comeback story will be an incredible tale to tell.
Best performance by a transfer: USF cornerback Fidel Montgomery. There are several transfers who have a chance at seeing significant playing time this season -- UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer, UConn receiver Shakim Phillips and Pitt safety Ray Vinopal among them. But Montgomery stood above the rest this spring with the way he immediately made plays. It seemed pretty clear from the outset that he would win the starting job, and sure enough he sits atop the depth chart at the end of spring.
Best quote: “I don’t want a guy that’s got to come out of the game. I don’t want a guy that’s saying I’m tired, take me out. I don’t want a Jaguar. Do you know what a Jaguar is? The Jaguar is always in the shop, always breaking down, so I don’t want a Jaguar. I want a durable guy, and if we put him in the game he stays in the game. We’re trying to develop the depth we have, but I’m all for one guy staying out there. Now, we’re going to use the talents and ability we have, but I want them all to be able to do it if you know what I mean.” -- UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni, on his running backs philosophy.