New Hampshire Football Report

Spring in their step

With the University of New Hampshire football program scheduled to begin spring practice Tuesday, New Hampshire Football Report publisher Roger Brown asked Allen Lessels, the UNH Insider, to answer the following questions related to this year’s team:

RB: Thanks for participating Allen. Let’s start with perhaps the most obvious question. What does the quarterback battle look like entering spring practice?

AL: It should be a good one. Adam Riese, a lefty who will be a senior in the fall, goes into the spring holding a slight edge on Trevor Knight, the sophomore out of Nashua. Adam’s advantage is based on experience and having started a couple of games and running the offense well when he got the chance last season. That said, the competition for the starting job will be wide open through the spring and perhaps even into fall camp. Adam has the offense down as a four-year veteran of the program and coaches love Trevor’s running and throwing ability. The battle is between the two of them at this point at least and they’ll both gets tons of snaps with the No. 1 offensive line, receivers and running backs. Ivan Niyomugabo, who redshirted last fall out of Merrimack Valley High School, will compete in his first spring sessions. Incoming freshmanChristian Lupoli, who played at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, Conn. – the same school that just-graduated QB Sean Goldrich played for – will join the mix when the team reports back for preseason camp in early August.

RB: Outside of quarterback, what do you consider the most interesting position battles to be?

AL: One should be at defensive tackle. Julian Turner and Rashid Armand saw a bunch of time there the last couple of seasons and both have graduated and there is all plenty of playing time to be had. Sophomores Cyrus Boone and Ryan Sosnak are leading contenders along with junior Odaine Franklyn, who played at Proctor Academy, and redshirt freshman Sean Burns and freshman Jack Carroll. Coaches have also indicted they may move some people around and try others at those positions.

I’m also interested in seeing what players emerge at the receiver positions and become go-to guys. Kyon Taylor, a senior, leads the way there and sophomore Kieran Presley returns after taking last semester off. Then you have junior Aaron Lewis-Cenales, sophomores Rory Donovan and Neil O’Connor, and redshirt freshman Malik Love along with several others.

RB: Former Salem High School running back Jerickson Fedrick transferred from the University of Maine and is eligible to play this season. What type of an impact do you think he will have?

AL: It will be fun to see how Ryan Carty finds way to use Jerickson in particular, and his running backs overall. That’s a very deep position for the team with Dalton Crossan back for his senior season to lead the group with juniors Trevon Bryant and Donald Goodrich, both of whom have been productive. Fedrick is in the mix, too, with redshirt freshman Evan Gray and Brandon Gallagher. Fedrick showed some flashes of what he can do as a redshirt freshman at Maine – he was their leading rusher against UNH in the season finale in 2014 – and last year on the scout team after he transferred. Just a hunch here, but I think when he gets his chances again this spring and into the season he’s going to make it difficult for the coaches to keep him off the field.

RB: How many former New Hampshire high school players do you think have a chance to start on the offensive line?

AL: Tad McNeely, the pride of Whitehall, Pa., is back from a knee injury and will be back in his familiar home at center, so that accounts for one offensive line opening. New Hampshire guys – senior guard Alexander Morrill of Lebanon and senior tackle Andrew Lauderdale of Concord, who played at Trinity High School – are returning starters and will look to hold their positions.

That leaves two spots. One of those was held down last season by guard Curtis Nealer who is now a senior. Junior tackle Will McInerny of Bedford, who started four games last year, and junior guard Jake Kennedy of Amherst and Souhegan, who started one, will contend for playing time and push for starting jobs. They’ll be competing with guys such as sophomore Dayne Herron and redshirt freshman Nick Velte.

RB: Last season UNH finished at the bottom of the CAA in rush defense (199.3 yards per game). Do you expect significant improvement in that area this season?

AL: I do. The rush defense has been a focus of much study and discussion during theoffseason and the coaches and players are determined to improve it through various means, including by shoring up play along the defensive line and at linebacker. Seniors DeVaughn Chollette, Ryan Farrell and Kevin McNally lead the way at linebacker and the coaches are excited about young players like Quinlen Dean and Cam Brusko, who will be redshirt freshmen in the fall.

RB: Will injuries prevent any player or players from participating in spring practice?

AL: Alexander Morrill and Cam Brusko will be limited during the spring as they work their way back from injuries.

RB: How is work progressing on the new stadium?

AL: It’s coming along really well. We were just over there walking on the concourse and takingv ideos and pictures and it was pretty cool. It’s nice and wide. A lot of windows have alreadybeen installed and they’re putting down tile in the concessions work area. Material for the stands has started to arrive and seats will be going in soon. Marketing of the stadium is up and running. Should I put you down for two seats? Or four? Check it out at

UNH spring practice schedule


Read Allen Lessels at You can also follow him on Twitter: @UNHInsider.

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