UConn Legend - Football's 1st 1,000y Receiver, Reggie Eccleston

In 1979, the Football Huskies went 3-6-2, their 6th straight losing season. Alan Arison threw for 625y and 7 TD's. His top receiver was a kid from New London, #8 Reggie Eccleston. 26 catches for 285y and 3 TD's, not to mention, he was a pretty good put returner. Changes were needed at QB and elsewhere if the 1980 season would be a success....With the help of Eccleston, this season would be a fun one....

The old/new QB was Madison's Ken Sweitzer, who played multiple positions in both his freshman and sophomore seasons due to injuries. But come 1980, he was the starting qb and his receivers, including Eccleston, made him look good. As Ken was more of a "roll out" guy. The 80's version of a sprint option passer I guess you'd say. And the Huskies thrived on Sweitzer's athleticism as the offense took off to a 3-0 start. Eccleston catching a pair of TD passes, 76 and 21 yards en route to his first 100y game at New Hampshire...Against Bucknell in the Home Opener, Eccleston broke three tackles on a 32y TD catch..then at Northeastern, 3 catches for 75y as the Huskies were 3-0 for the first time in 40 years. The annual game at Yale was the Rich Dianna Show as the Eli's handed UConn a 20-10 defeat..Eccleston 113y receiving.

Then the Cardiac Huskies went into gear, a 17pt rally to beat Colgate 24-21, where Eccleston and Sweitzer led the comeback with his 3rd 100y day...Sweitzer named NE Player of the Week....Then their first ever win at Holy Cross where they Huskies scored on the games final play, then went for two and succeeded in an 18-17 win where Eccleston had 117y catching passes, including one of two, fourth down conversions on the final drive in a rainstorm..And that rain played a role the following week against Maine where the Huskies won 14-13 as Eccleston caught 5 balls for 115y. In the process, breaking the school single season receiving yardage record...UMass ened the string of late lightning with a 39-21 win in Amherst, where Reggie was held to 3 catches for 56 yards, but setting the career receiving record in the process. Following a loss to BU, Senior Day against Rival Rhode Island was an epic day for Eccleston and Sweitzer. Reggie becoming the first UConn wideout to have a 200y receiving day with 229y and a school record 4 TD's.The 229y is still second on the all time list..Sweitzer a 312y passing day in a 56-30 win over the Rams to finish the season 7-3.

Eccleston had 6, 100y days for UConn, set records for catches (50), yards (1,081) yards per game (108.1), yards per catch (21.6) and Touchdowns (9) . Eccleston joined Sweitzer as All Yankee Conference Selections as Sweitzer accounted for a then New England Record 2,433 yds of offense and 20 TD's..And at season's end, Reggie Eccleston was named a I-AA All American. The first UConn Wideout to earn that honor as well as eclipsing the 1,000y receiving mark.

Sweitzer describes Eccleston as a big, smooth receiver. Found openings, ran perfect routes as Kenny had a talented group of skilled players that made the UConn QB look good. Reggie Eccleston was a free agent selection of the Patriots, but Reggie never played an NFL Game. Between his daughter dealing with medical issues and the fight to make an NFL Roster, Eccleston was released.

Eventually, Reggie headed west to Arizona where he lives in the Flagstaff Area holding numerous jobs. Currently a Code of Compliance Officer and Regional Advisor at Unified Progress International for UPI Education...And in his spare time, Eccleston is involved in The University of Northern Arizona's Football Broadcasts as either an analyst or sideline reporter as you see in his profile pic....

Reggie Eccleston, UConn's First 1,000y pass catcher, an All American a UConn Legend...

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