With Opening Day a week away, the Hartford Colonials cut their roster down to the league mandated 52-man limit, and have announced that Hip-hop star B.o.B will perform at halftime.
United Football League teams had up to 70 players during training camp, but are required to reduce the roster to 52, and are allowed to dress 50 for regular season games.
Quarterback is a strong position for the Colonials, with eight-year NFL veteran leading the way.
Josh McCown, who played eight seasons in the NFL. Rookie Ryan Perrilloux, who played college ball at LSU and Jacksonville State, and has been compared to Donovan McNab in terms of skill sets, is No. 2 on the depth chart.
The Colonials are also stacked at running back with UConn’s Andre Dixon taking top billing. Dixon, an All-Big East selection in 2007, will be joined in the Colonials’ backfield by Lorenzo Booker, who starred for Florida State and has spent time with the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles.
The Hartford defense will be anchored by cornerback Ryan Palmer of Texas and defensive tackle Jonas Seawright of North Carolina. Seawright was signed by the New York Giants in 2006.
“We are pleased with our roster,” said Colonials head coach and general manager Chris Palmer, who grew up in Danbury and played college ball at Southern Connecticut. Palmer, a 38-year coaching veteran who was the head coach for the Cleveland Browns in 1999-2000. “Our offensive line average weight is 319 pounds. More than half of our squad has NFL experience, so I’m pleased with that,” continued Palmer, who returns to the Nutmeg State after serving as Eli Manning’s mentor as the Giant’s quarterback coach from 2007-09. “We look forward to the season starting next Saturday.”
In addition to Dixon, the Colonials’ roster will sport several other players with local ties, including fullback Asaph Schwapp, a Hartford native who played collegiately at Notre Dame, safety Ryan Glasper of Southington who played at Boston College, and linebacker Danny Lansanah, center Keith Gray and defensive end Julius Williams, all former teammates of Dixon with the Huskies.
The Colonials will kick of their inaugural season with the first of four home games on Saturday, Sept. 18 when they entertain Daunte Culpepper and the Sacramento Mountain Lions at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m.
Halftime for the opener will be enlivened by the performance of rising hip-hop star B.o.B who shot to the top of the Billboard charts earlier this year with the No. 1 single “Nothin’ on You” from his top-selling album “The Adventures of Bobby Ray.” B.o.B, whose given name is Bobby Ray Simmons, is scheduled to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles this weekend, followed by appearances Sept. 13-14 at Yankee Stadium as an opening act to mega-star rappers Jay-Z and Eminem.