McCummings missed the beginning of preseason camp with an excused absence but returned to the Huskies on Saturday. Tuesday was his fifth practice.
“I’m more than happy to be back,” said McCummings, who missed the time with undisclosed personal reasons and sat out spring football with an injury. “Coach [Paul] Pasqualoni helped tons, I’m just happy everything is settled.”
And Pasqualoni is happy that McCummings reported back in good shape, ready to compete with the other quarterbacks.
“He didn’t skip a beat,” Pasqualoni said. “Obviously he is going to be further along in some areas than others because of the number of plays he plays.”
McCummings primarily has been used in the wildcat formation, which Pasqualoni is looking to use as another weapon on offense.
“We’re fortunate in the fact that we’ve got a big strong guy who can do it and can make yards and made some real big plays in big games for us last year,” Pasqualoni said.
With sophomore Mike Nebrich transferring from UConn to Fordham last week, the return of McCummings is important for depth purposes. McCummings will be behind starter Chandler Whitmer and should be even with reserve Johnny McEntee.
Last season for the Huskies, McCummings rushed for 285 yards and had five rushing touchdowns. He also completed 5 of 10 passes for 157 yards and two passing touchdowns.
“I still feel overall a lot more complete as a passer than I used to be,” McCummings said. “That’s a great thing, but at the same time I still feel like there is a lot of rust, a lot of stuff in the footwork that needs to get done so I can transition my way better and be a better player.”
McCummings rejoined the team for practice on Friday and just began wearing pads again in practice.
“It was hard. I wanted to be here so bad. It kind of stinks just being at home working on problems, but it’s just great being here. It’s great to be back.”
McCummings will also look to have a more featured role in the offense, but it will not be an easy task.
“It’s very hard trying to get back into form,” McCummings said. “I’m still in the process, so some days are better than others. Honestly I’m just happy that they’re investing so much time into me as a complete player instead of just a wildcat quarterback.”
STEPHEN MAKING PROGRESS
Although McCummings has returned to the field, the Huskies are still waiting on the return of defensive tackle Shamar Stephen, who is out with a knee injury.
“He’s making progress, so we’re optimistic,” said Pasqualoni. In 12 games last season the red shirt junior had 17 tackles. Stephen was present in practice, but did not participate.
BIG EAST REACTION
The Big East Tuesday hired Mike Aresco as the conference’s newest commissioner. Aresco, who was the former CBS executive vice president, is entering his first year at such a position.
“Mike is a tremendous guy,” said Pasqualoni, who first met Aresco while working in the NFL. “He’s been in this college football industry a very long time, so I think it is just a great hire… I’m excited about him getting started.”