New Hampshire Football Report

Crossan will be on the run

Allen Lessels
UNH Insider

Last season, running back Dalton Crossan led the University of New Hampshire in rushing and scored 13 of the 19 touchdowns collected by the UNH football team on the ground. He also caught three touchdown passes, which was the second-best total on the team.

UNH’s big-play guy on offense will look for even more production when he takes the field for his senior season in September with lofty goals in mind for himself and the Wildcats.

“I always have sky-high expectations,” Crossan said after the team practiced on Saturday. “I have my goals as an individual set sky-high and have my goals for the team set sky-high. . . . I have the highest possible expectations. CAA championship, national championship, definitely trying to make a run in the playoffs. The first goal is to win the CAA and get to the playoffs and then also to make a run. Get back to the semifinals and try to get over that hump, get to the national championship. That’s our goal as a team.”

Crossan fronts a deep and veteran running game that includes juniors Trevon Bryant and Donald Goodrich and will no doubt have a major say in what kind of a season the Wildcats have.

The 10th of 15 UNH practices of the spring was scheduled for Tuesday morning. The spring season concludes with the Blue-White game – open to all at no admission – on May 7 at noon.

Crossan made the Colonial Athletic Association All-Conference third-team as a running back and kick returner last season. His 155.3 all-purpose yards per game were second-best in the league.

“Dalton is very dynamic, very explosive,” said offensive coordinator Ryan Carty. “One of the good things about Dalton is that you can move him around a little bit. He can play receiver. He’s athletic enough to do anything you need him to do, short of playing tackle probably. He’s obviously a dynamic kick returner, punt returner, special teams guy.”

Crossan is always on the verge of breaking a play for a huge gain.

“When you give him the ball you have a chance for a really big play,” Carty said. “In our offense in particular that’s kind of our mantra. Try to get the ball in the playmakers hands and give them space to work with it. He’s proven over the years he can do that when we give him space. That’s our mission, to create some holes for him, create some mismatch problems for him and utilize him as our guy. Hopefully he stays healthy and plays the whole season for us because if he does, he’s going to have, I would say, some dynamic numbers.”

Bryant averaged 5 yards a carry last year and Goodrich was at 3.7.

“I would hope the running game would be a strength of the team, knowing the guys we have coming back,” said head coach Sean McDonnell. “Crossan obviously is a very good football player, can do it in a lot of different ways. I think Bryant and Goodrich are very, very solid and the two guys behind them who have been running with the twos and threes have done very, very well.”

Junior Jerickson Fedrick transferred in to UNH from Maine and Evan Gray is a redshirt freshman.

Jerickson Fedrick has had a really good spring,” McDonnell said. “He’s getting better every day. He’s catching the ball, which he was struggling with in the fall. Evan Gray has done nice things all camp. He had another nice run today. It’s good to have four or five running backs that can do some things. That’s a good thing for us.”

The running backs should match up well with a veteran offensive line.

“Going back two years ago we had a bunch of running backs with Nico (Steriti) and Jimmy (Owens) and those guys and Dalton was a younger guy,” said offensive line coach Alex Miller. “Now you’re flipping the script a little bit and we’ve got the older linemen again. Now you’ve got Dalton Crossan, Goodrich and Bryant and Evan Gray, Federick, all these guys. You’ve got a chunk of running backs, we feel, much like we did a couple of years ago when we were kind of clicking, that you can just plug a guy in there and we’re going to get what we need to get done.”

Having Crossan, Bryant and Goodrich to carry the ball is especially nice, Carty said.

“Those guys have played a lot of football and they’re all back,” he said. “That’s something you don’t have a lot in our profession, particularly at our level, to have three guys who have played a ton of football at one position all back.”


Follow Allen Lessels on Twitter: @UNHInsider

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