Sobering stuff today from the Hartford Courant’s Shawn Courche, and slightly shocking as well. Who knew UConn played football? (thanks to Ryan Brown for the link)

Greg Lloyd Jr. will sign a letter of intent today to play football at the University of Connecticut.

He’s one of 29 players expected to sign, but he’s the only one with a former NFL All-Pro linebacker for a father.

And while today is a joyous day, Saturday is a worrisome day.

He will turn 18, and a protective order issued by a Georgia court banning his father from having contact with him will run out.

And that is unsettling to his mother.

“I can’t protect him anymore,” Rhonda Lloyd said. “That’s a scary thought for me.”

She says it’s scary because Greg Lloyd’s father (above) was accused of sticking a gun in his son’s mouth in 2001. Two trials in 2004 ended in hung juries and a third was not pursued.

Scary because Rhonda Lloyd’s former husband was accused, and pleaded no contest in 2004, to simple battery for pointing a gun at his estranged wife’s head in 2002.

Scary because of what Rhonda and Greg Jr. say they and a younger brother and sister went through living with Greg Lloyd Sr., a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1990s.

He has not spoken to his father since 2002 and says he has no relationship with the man. According to press accounts of his testimony at the first trial, Greg Jr. said his father put the barrel of a Glock semiautomatic pistol in his mouth because he allegedly was upset about his 12-year-old son’s grades in school.

“He was like, `You’re wasting your life away and if you want to ruin it, I can end it for you right now,” Greg Jr. said at the trial.

Greg Lloyd Sr. testified at the first trial in Fayetteville, Ga., and denied the story. He did not testify at the second trial. At the time, his lawyer, Ricky Morris, said that “Greg maintains that this is basically Rhonda Lloyd’s attempt to get an upper hand in the divorce.”

Several attempts to reach Greg Sr. were unsuccessful, but Joaquin Bonilla, who co-owns two Oh Do Kwan martial arts studios in Georgia with Lloyd, says he sees another side of the former NFL player. A black belt in tae kwon do, Lloyd is listed as an instructor on the school’s website

“He’s a great role model to all the kids here,” Bonilla said. “A lot of the allegations were fabricated. They tried him twice, and they never found him guilty. He’s a good man. … The things that went on didn’t make any sense. You wouldn’t believe how badly he wants to reconnect with those kids. His wife won’t give him a chance. All this was so she could get what she wanted. She was making Greg out to be O.J. Simpson, and he’s not. She’s saying, `He’s dangerous. He’s going to kill us all.’ What she did was a very planned-out strategy.”

Greg Jr. says he thinks his father will attempt to contact him at some point. It’s not something he wants.

“If he said he wanted to try again, I would say no,” said Greg Jr., a 6-foot-2, 209-pound linebacker. “It’s too late for that.”