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Fresh faces: Connecticut

This is the penultimate post in a series looking at three players from each team who will burst onto the scene in the Big East. It could be an incoming or redshirt freshman, a transfer or just someone stepping into a new role.

Today it's you, UConn.

D.J. Shoemate, RB: The USC transfer will be immediately eligible and said he chose UConn for a chance to play right away as a running back. He didn't do much with the Trojans while being used as a fullback and occasional receiver, but Shoemate was one of the top-rated athletes in the country coming out of high school. He could provide a nice complement to Jordan Todman in the Huskies' backfield.

Adam Masters and Jimmy Bennett, OT: Masters switched to left tackle this spring and played very well, giving him a chance to start at the crucial position. But Bennett -- who missed most of last year and this spring with knee injuries -- is expected to be healthy for fall camp and is a potentially dominant tackle at 6-foot-8, 301 pounds. One of these redshirt sophomores will hold a critical job for the Huskies this year.

Andrew Opoku, LB: The only true freshman to crack the Huskies' two-deep this spring, Opoku could help out behind current starter Jory Johnson at strongside linebacker or possibly at safety. Coach Randy Edsall rarely plays true freshmen, but the 6-foot-4 Opoku had an extra year of seasoning in prep school before coming to Storrs and got a head start by enrolling at UConn in January.

More fresh faces.