New Hampshire Football Report

Chollette will lead UNH linebackers

Allen Lessels
UNH Insider

Three seniors – including one of the team’s leading tacklers his first two years – will lead the linebacking crew into action for the University of New Hampshire football team in the fall.

DeVaughn Chollette, who missed almost half of last season with an arm injury, will look to get back to the production he put up as a redshirt freshman and sophomore. Chollette totaled 63 tackles his first season and 67 the next. He was out most of the second half of last season, returning to play on special teams in the FCS playoff game against Colgate.

“We’re excited to have DeVaughn back healthy,” said Garrett Gillick, the assistant coach who works with linebackers. “He’s a run-stopper in the middle, a really good blitzer. You look at him and he looks like a prototypical linebacker. He’s going to be a physical presence in the middle for us. We look for him to do big things.”

Ryan Farrell, 6-foot-1 and 225 pounds, and Kevin McNally, 6-foot-1 and 231, are the other two seniors contending for starting spots.

The linebackers and the rest of the Wildcats are in the final days of spring football. They have practices scheduled for early morning on Tuesday and Thursday. They close out the spring with the annual Blue-White game – which is free and open to the public – on Saturday at noon in Cowell Stadium.

Sophomore Jared Kuehl (6-foot-1 and 230 pounds) and redshirt freshmen Quinlen Dean (6-foot and 219) and Camero Brusko (6-foot and 198 pounds) will also vie for playing time as will freshman Tommy O’Rourke (5-10 and 203).

“We’ve got some very good depth at the position,” Gillick said.

Farrell and McNally had done much of their playing on special teams and in backup roles and were especially called on last year when Chollette and then-senior Akil Anderson were sidelined by injuries in a key game against Richmond. They helped the Wildcats to a win.

“You look at it, you’ve got Chollette coming back off his elbow injury,” UNH head coach Sean McDonnell said. “You’ve got Ryan Farrell who had a great second half of the season and made a lot of plays, very productive for us, and has gotten bigger and stronger. You’ve got Kevin McNally. You look at those three guys right there. They’ve played a lot of football for us the last two years.”

Kuehl also filled in nicely against Richmond.

“He provided some special teams depth for us last year,” Gillick said. “He made a big play against Richmond on fourth and 1. And he’s having a great spring.”

Dean has opened some eyes. In one scrimmage this spring he had an interception and then delivered a crushing hit that resulted in a fumble.

“He was a kid that had something like 30 sacks in high school,” Gillick said. “Really all they did was ask him to stand up and he played almost like a rush defensive end. So he was kind of a unpolished, raw type of athletic kid that we weren’t sure what we were going to get. . . . He’s done a really good job studying and learning. He makes mistakes. The good thing about him is he doesn’t make those same mistakes more than once. . . . Once he knows where he’s going and he understands what we’re asking him to do, he plays pretty violently. I think we expect big things from him in the future.”


Follow Allen Lessels on Twitter: @UNHInsider.

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