New Hampshire Football Report

UNH lands seven commitments

DURHAM – Sean McDonnell, 19th-year head coach of the University of New Hampshire football program, announced Wednesday that seven student-athletes signed national letters of intent during the early signing period to commit to UNH and play football for the Wildcats beginning in Fall 2018.

“We are very excited about the young men who are signing with us in this early period of signing,” McDonnell said. “We believe that they will help us continue the standard of excellence on and off the field here at UNH. These student-athletes are very versatile players who will help us in our quest to be the best in FCS football.”

Here is a list and a synopsis of each member of the Wildcats’ signing class:

Player Position Height Weight Hometown Last School
Zachary Banks LB/RB 6-3 225 Westminster, Mass. Salisbury School
Bret Edwards QB 6-1 175 Lowell, Mass. Central Catholic
Jacob “JJ” Jerome LB/RB 5-11 205 Monroe, Wash. St. Thomas More
Niko Kvietkus DL/OL 6-3 260 Southington, Conn. Deerfield Academy
Dylan Laube RB/DB 5-10 190 Westhampton, N.Y. Westhampton Beach
Osho Omoyeni OL/DL 6-3 270 Lowell, Mass. Central Catholic
David Perry, Jr. OL/DL 6-5 290 Springfield, Va. West Springfield


Zachary Banks is a 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker/running back from Westminster, Mass. who attended the Salisbury School (Conn). A standout two-way player, Banks was selected as a two-time All-Erickson League in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, he was also selected as an All-New Englander performer and earned All-New England Honorable Mention in 2017. Banks was the 2016 recipient of the Johnathan C Boyce and Patrick Stern Award, which is given to the top defensive player at the Salisbury School. He was recently selected as the Edward Childs Award winner as the football player at Salisbury who demonstrates heart, devotion and courage.

Coach McDonnell: “Zachary is a big, physical linebacker who will be a force at stopping the run in interior part of our defense. He has a great frame to work with to get bigger and is a very good tackler who has a nose for the ball.”

Bret Edwards (Lowell, Mass.) is a 6-1, 175-pound quarterback from Central Catholic High School. The Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 MVP threw for a career total of 4,736 yards and 54 touchdown passes.  He was a three-year starter who earned Merrimack Valley All-Conference honors each of those seasons. As a senior, Edwards was selected to both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic Team.  A multi-sport athlete, Edwards is also a Merrimack Valley All-Star in in basketball and outdoor track and field, where he is a 6-foot-4 high jumper.

Coach McDonnell: “Bret is a very athletic and smooth athlete that has a huge upside for the QB position here at UNH. He has a great pocket presence and his feet and legs will give him the ability to extend plays at the college level. We are excited that this dual threat QB will be here carrying on the tradition of quarterback play at UNH.”

Jacob “JJ” Jerome (Monroe, Wash.) is a 5-11, 205-pound linebacker/running back from Monroe High School and St. Thomas More (Montville, Conn.). At Monroe High School, Jerome tallied 65 total tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss in his career. Offensively, he rushed for 3,992 yards and 66 total touchdowns. His career high of 363 rushing yards versus Mariner ranks in the top 10 in the Washington high school record books. Jerome was named All-State First Team at Monroe. During his postgraduate year at St. Thomas More, he was named team captain and tallied 60 total tackles, including 28 TFLs and six sacks; he also forced three fumbles. For his efforts this season, Jerome was named to the Class B Independent League First Team and also was an All-New England First Team selection.

Coach McDonnell: “JJ is a very versatile two-way player who will add great athleticism to our program.  Defensively he has a great nose for the football and he has the ability to go sideline to sideline to find the ball. He has great vision as a running back and he will add great depth to our program”

Niko Kvietkus (Soutington, Conn.) is a 6-3, 260-pound defensive/offensive lineman from Xavier High School and Deerfield Academy (Mass.). At Xavier, Kvietkus registered 77 career total tackles with 9.0 tackles for loss and was named CHSCA All-State defensive end. On the other side of the ball, Kvietkus was picked to the Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team as well as the USA Today All-USA Connecticut Team as an offensive lineman. At Deerfield Academy, he was named captain for the 2017 season and had a tremendous season on both the offensive and defensive lines. Kvietkus was recognized as an All-SCC defensive end and was the 2017 NEPSAC Class A Lineman of the Year.

Coach McDonnell: “Niko is a very athletic defensive lineman who has great quickness and is very explosive. We are excited about his huge upside with the opportunity to join our program at mid-year. He has an explosive first step that will help us put pressure on the QB as he develops at this level.”

Dylan Laube (Westhampton, N.Y.) is a 5-11, 190-pound running back/defensive back who had an outstanding career at Westhampton Beach High School.  In his senior season, Laube led Westhampton to a 12-0 record and the school’s first Long Island Class III championship by scoring a Long Island-record 47 touchdowns and rushing for a school-record 2,680 yards on 249 carries. In the Long Island Class III championship game, he rushed for 227 yards and school-record six touchdowns. Laube’s career numbers included 101 TDs and 6,495 rushing yards on 687 carries; he caught 64 passes for 1,234 yards and another 14 touchdowns, and also returned five kickoffs for touchdowns. Laube was co-winner of the prestigious Carl A. Hansen Award, given to the top football player on Long Island. He was selected a member of the USA Today ALL-USA New York Football Team, was picked to play in the Empire Challenge All-Star Game, and was a Newsday All-Long Island selection. Laube is also a member of the Westhampton varsity lacrosse team.

Coach McDonnell: “Dylan is a very explosive multi-threat running back/ return man who had and outstanding senior season. He has great speed and quickness and the ability to hit ‘home runs’ from any part of the field. He can score touchdowns in all three phases: running, pass receiving and returning the ball. He will help us continue the versatility at the running back position here at UNH”

Osho Omoyeni (Lowell, Mass.) is a 6-2, 270-pound offensive/defensive lineman from Central Catholic High School. The All-Merrimack Valley Conference First Team lineman led the way for the Red Raiders in their semifinalist season by spearheading a formidable running and passing attack offense. Omoyeni was recognized for his contributions with his selection to the Boston Globe All-Scholastic Team. He is a versatile athlete who has garnered honors as a Merrimack Valley All-Star in both indoor and outdoor track and field; he is currently team captain of the indoor team at Central Catholic.

Coach McDonnell: “Osho is a very talented and athletic offensive and defensive lineman. He has a very quick first step and he gets on blocks at both levels very well. He has played center and has a high upside with his athleticism and motor. We look forward to him helping us in the interior offensive line positions here at UNH.”

David Perry, Jr. (Springfield, Va.) is a 6-5, 290-pound offensive/defensive lineman from West Springfield High School. As a senior, he started at tackle and center on the O-line and at tackle on defense. His ability to play multiple positons at a high level earned the respect of his entire team, as he was the 2017 recipient of the Coaches Award. On the field, Perry finished with 30 total tackles and four sacks. He was named All-Patriot League First Team at defensive tackle and All-Patriot League Second Team on the offensive line. Perry is also a member of the wrestling team and finished fourth in the state last season in the heavyweight division.

Coach McDonnell: “David is a big, long offensive lineman who has the versatility to play all three offensive line positions for us. He is a very strong and physical run blocker who gets on and stays on blocks very well. His long wing span will help him with pass protection at this level.”


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