New Hampshire Football Report

McDonnell talks football

Comments following the University of New Hampshire’s Blue/White game Saturday:


General thoughts on the scrimmage:

“Well, I saw the offense hang onto the football and do a really good job of throwing and catching. I also saw us protect a little bit better for the first three quarters of the game, which helped our quarterbacks have the opportunity to throw the ball pretty well. The defense was off-balance all day, and I was surprised. I expected more of them out there today, but maybe it’s the effect of what the offense did — keeping them off-balance. It was a good day out there. Some kids did some really good things.”

On the quarterback competition:

“I was really pleased with Adam (Riese). I thought Adam did a nice job out there. Got us in the end zone a couple times. Made some good throws. Trevor  (Knight) made a couple good scrambles, a couple good runs. It’s a work in progress with both of those guys. It’s not settled. It won’t be settled until probably by the middle to the end of fall camp, but I think we have two quarterbacks who can move the team. I’m excited for them. Also very pleased with Ivan (Niyomugabo). He’s getting better all the time. He made some throws. He’s made some steps since he walked in here last September.”

General comment on spring practice as a whole: 

“The defense has probably, in my mind, been better than the offense in the three scrimmages that we had. They’ve been able to play downhill and go, and I thought what the offense did today by keeping them off-balance with some play passes, some runs, some bubble screens and stuff like that put our guys on their heels and couldn’t play the way they did before. Pleased that the offense got better as the spring went along. I think our offensive line got a little bit better toward the end of spring. Now we just have to hope we can get the defense back up to where they were.”

On linebacker Kevin McNally getting the Todd Walker Teammate Award:

“You just go through the long line of kids who got it and I couldn’t think of a better kid in our program right now to get that award. Very unselfish. Hard-working. He’s there for his other teammates. You just watch how kids engage with him in the locker room, engage with him on the field, in the weight room. It’s just really good to see him … he’s such a humble kid. Really felt it was a great fit for our program with him getting that award.”

On Adam Riese being named one of three team captains:

“I wasn’t (surprised). From the middle of last fall until now I think kids have respected how he’s played. He went in, started a couple games, did a great job. He’s earned the respect on the field, which is part of it. And then off the field, from December until now he’s been one of the three best leaders in the program, and the other two are the other captains (Casey DeAndrade and Ryan Farrell). Adam’s taken things under control. … I’m just so pleased for the kid that he got named one of the captains because in my mind he’s one of the kids who really earned it.”

On the two other captains:

“Casey is probably our best football player. He’s also one of the best people on our team. He’s also respected because he has such a level head and understanding about the way things go. That one didn’t surprise me at all. Ryan Farrell every year has gotten better in this program. Played a lot last year. The playing part was in it, but he’s another guy, like Adam, who after the season, after people graduated took the ball, ran and did a nice job with it.”

On players who stood out:

“I thought (senior wide receiver) Garette Craig did a nice job. He’s gotten better as the spring has gone along, and as a junior college kid who came in last August and didn’t know much about it he’s excelled in the spring and really done a good job as one of the receivers here.”

On how Craig ended up at UNH from Mesa Community College:

“We were looking for a receiver after a couple kids left the program. We recruited him early in the process, but never pulled the trigger. When these guys didn’t come back after last spring, found out about him, talked to his coaches out there and he ended up here at UNH.”

On whether former Pinkerton OT Noah Robison will be eligible this season:

“Noah’s a transfer from Coastal Carolina, and right now he’s not eligible to play next year because he transferred from the same level — I-AA, FCS, whatever you want to call it. There’s still possibly an appeal process. We’ve investigated that. We’ll find out more but, as a transfer he’s going to have to sit a year.”

On wide receiver Kyon Taylor:

“This kid missed about 10 practices with a hamstring pull and it disappointed all of us because you would like to see him, but he got better as this scrimmage went along. He’s a guy who had 30 catches in six games last year. We have to hope we can keep him healthy and he keeps improving and doing the right things.”

On whether or not anyone on the team has a serious injury:

“Not right now. I got nerved up when I saw (Justin) Malone-Woods go down there and they came back and said it was a sprained knee. They’re gonna check on it. (Alexander) Morrill, with the shoulder right now, he’s healthy; (Mike) Boryeskne’s healthy; (Brendan) Hill’s got a hamstring. So the guys who weren’t playing today are all going to be back for fall camp from what I’m told.”

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