New Hampshire Football Report

UNH class has local flavor

DURHAM – University of New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell announced Wednesday that 10 student-athletes have signed a national letter of intent to join the UNH football program this fall, bringing the total number of commitments to 17 for the incoming freshman class of 2018.

The list includes two New Hampshire residents: Merrimack’s Joe Eichman and Goffstown’s Andrew Duval.

“I am pretty excited about the 10 players we signed to fill out the 2018 recruiting class for the University of New Hampshire,” McDonnell said. “I think we’ve added some very versatile, highly skilled players who can help us on both sides of the ball. We filled different needs at both offensive and defensive positions, and I’m looking forward to seeing these student-athletes help us continue as one of the top FCS teams in the country.”

Here is a list and synopsis of the incoming Wildcats who announced their intention to join the football program Wednesday:

Name Pos. Ht. Weight Hometown Last School
Symir Blacknall DB/WR 6-0 175 Manalapan, N.J. Manalapan
Charles Briscoe III WR/DB 6-0 190 Bowie, Md. St. John’s College
Juston Cogbill DL/OL 6-3 270 Atlanta, Ga. Pace Academy
Jordan Conn K/P 5-10 170 Woodbridge, Conn. Amity Regional
Chris Donnelly OL/DL 6-3 265 Park Ridge, N.J. Don Bosco Prep
Andrew Duval DB/WR 5-10 180 Goffstown, N.H. Goffstown
Joe Eichman DB/WR 6-0 190 Merrimack, N.H. Merrimack
Kyle Lepkowski TE/DE 6-4 230 Adamstown, Md. Tuscarora
Max Oxendine DB 6-0 200 Chester, Va. Fork Union Military
Derek Thompson DB/RB 5-10 180 Bear, Del. Appoquinimink

Symir Blacknall is a 6-foot, 175-pound standout wide receiver, defensive back and return specialist who helped Manalapan High School post an 11-1 record and reach the Central New Jersey High School Group 5 championship game last season. As a big-play threat his senior campaign, Blacknall scored four rushing touchdowns and two receiving TDs, which included a long of 85 yards. He added a 90-yard kickoff return for a score. On defense, Blacknall amassed 55 total career tackles and two interceptions as a DB for a defensive unit that yielded 11 points per game in 2017. For his defensive prowess, Blacknall was tabbed to the 2017 New Jersey All-Shore First Team.

What McDonnell says:

“Symir is a long, athletic kid who has a great upside on the football field. He is a very smooth, two-way player. We look for him to add depth to our secondary at either the corner or safety position. He has the ability to cover a lot of ground in the back half of the defense, possesses great ball skills and will add depth to our return game.”

Charles Briscoe III is a 6-foot, 190-pound WR/DB from Bowie, Md., who helped guide St. John’s College High School to a WCAC championship for the first time since 1989, and the school posted its first undefeated league record since 1976. Briscoe finished his senior year with 29 receptions for 657 receiving yards (22.7 yards/catch), six TDs and a kickoff return for a touchdown. He was named All-WCAC First Team at WR as both a junior and senior.

What McDonnell says:

“Charles is an explosive receiving threat who had a breakout senior season. He has great quickness and speed combined with sure hands. He has a great ability to make people miss in open spaces and is very good with the ball in his hands after the catch.”

Juston Cogbill is a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive lineman from Pace Academy in Atlanta, Ga., who worked to become one of that region’s most dominant forces from both the tackle and end position. Cogbill’s on-field production exploded in 2017 when he recorded 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. The multi-sport athlete also plays attack for the Pace lacrosse team.

What McDonnell says:

“Justin is a very explosive defensive line prospect for us. He has outstanding quickness and gets off the ball very well. He has a great ability to rush the quarterback and will help us pressure the QB at this level. He has a great frame and will get bigger here as he grows in our strength program.”

Jordan Conn is a 5-foot-10, 170-pound kicker/punter from Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, Conn., who was selected as a Connecticut All-State Honorable Mention his senior season. Conn was a perfect 5-for-5 on field-goal attempts as a senior and hit a long of 35 yards. As a punter, he averaged 40 yards/punt and downed 10 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Conn also plays forward on the Amity varsity hockey team.

What McDonnell says:

“Jordan has an outstanding leg and does a great job in both duties as a kicker and punter. Jordan did a great job in our summer camp as he was extremely accurate and showed great leg strength. His punting improved tremendously over the past year, and his ability to locate the kicks inside the 20 will be a big plus for our special teams.”

Chris Donnelly is a 6-foot-3, 265-pound OL/DL from Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, N.J., who started for three straight years (31 games) and was a force on the offensive line over his Iron Man career. Donnelly is an athletic two-way lineman who was named to the All-New Jersey Non-Public Group Second Team at offensive tackle last season. On defense, he tallied six tackles, including four sacks, and a fumble recovery and helped lead Don Bosco to the N.J. Group 4 Non-Public State Championship.

What McDonnell says:

“Chris is a very athletic offensive lineman who has a long wingspan that is needed for the offensive tackle position. His pass-pro ability, along with his huge athletic upside, gives him a chance to help protect the quarterback at the college level. He has an outstanding frame and in the future will give us great depth in our offensive line.”

Andrew Duval is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound WR/DB from Goffstown, who finished his outstanding career as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Last season, Duval made 27 receptions for 718 yards, averaging 26.6 yards/catch, and added five interceptions. The multi-dimensional threat accounted for 16 total touchdowns -11 receiving, two rushing, one passing, one kickoff return and one Pick-six. In addition to his Gatorade POY honors, Duval was named the USA Today N.H. Offensive Player of the Year and earned a berth on the Division I North All-Conference Team and the NHIAA All-State First Team. Duval has been selected to play for the West Team in the 2018 CHaD NH East-West High School All-Star Football, which will take place at Wildcat Stadium in June.

What Coach Mac says:

“Andrew is an outstanding, multiple position prospect for us here at UNH. He has the ability to make plays on either side of the ball. He has great vision and anticipation and his production has been off the charts. He had an outstanding high school career and has shown us his many talents and his competitiveness at many of our camps. He has a high football IQ combined with great quickness and speed.”

Joe Eichman is a 6-foot, 190-pound DB/WR from Merrimack High School who was one of the Granite State’s most versatile athletes on the gridiron. As a senior, he accumulated 1,715 all-purpose yards and 16 TDs, which gave him career totals of 4,735 all-purpose yards and 58 touchdowns. Eichman is a three-time All-Conference First Team selection, two-time USA Today First-Team member and two-time All-State performer. Eichman, a two-time team captain who is also a standout on the Merrimack basketball team, is slated to play in the CHaD East-West Game in June.

What McDonnell says:

“Joe is another highly productive, two-way player who is very explosive and dynamic. He combines outstanding speed with great vision and quickness. Joe has a great knack for making big plays on both sides of the ball, and he will add athleticism to our team in many different areas.”   

Kyle Lepkowski is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end/defensive end from Tuscarora High School in Adamstown, Md., who was a dominant force on both sides of the ball last season. As a senior, Lepkowski made 55 receptions for 786 yards and five touchdowns. On defense, he notched 50 total tackles, 16.5 TFL, four pass breakups, a forced fumble and 8.5 sacks. He was subsequently named All-Frederick County First Team and both positions and was feted as a Frederick News-Post All-Area First Team tight end. Lepkowski also plays on the basketball and lacrosse teams at Tuscarora.

What McDonnell says:

“Kyle is a big-framed tight end who has a huge upside at the college level. He has outstanding hands and uses his frame very well to catch the football. He does a great job of getting on blocks and staying on them, especially in open spaces. He will add depth to our tight end position.”

Max Oxendine is a 6-foot, 200-pound safety from Chester, Va., who competed for Thomas Dale High School and Fork Union Military Academy. As a senior at Thomas Dale in 2016, he collected 59 tackles and an interception. He was named to the All-Conference First Team, All-Region 6B First Team, and All-State First Team. In 2017, Oxendine spent a post-graduate season at Fork Union, where he became an impact player in the secondary with six INTs, two of which he returned for TDs, and 10 PBUs. He made 35 tackles, including two sacks, to earn defensive team MVP for a squad that went 8-1.

What McDonnell says:

“Max is a dynamic safety prospect for us. He is a very sure, strong tackler who plays downhill from that position. He has a great nose for the ball and has the ability to pick it and go because of his outstanding ball skills. He will be a great addition to our safety position and will also help on special teams.”

Derek Thompson is a 5-foot-10, 180-pound RB/DB who earned Delaware Flight A All-Conference honors for four straight years at Appoquinimink High School in Middletown, Del. In his career he totaled 417 carries for 3,048 yards (7.3 yards/carry) and 24 touchdowns. As a junior, Thompson earned All-State Honors as a defensive back. He was a two-time selection to the Academic All-Conference Team who, as a senior captain, was named the team’s offensive MVP. Thompson also competes on the Appoquinimink track team in the 100-meter, 200-meter and record-setting 4×1 relay team.

What McDonnell says:

“Derek is another two-way player that has great instincts and athletic ability. He has very good ball skills and is a sure tackler on the defensive side off the ball. He has great feet and quickness and that will help us in the secondary at the corner position here at UNH.”


In addition to Eichman and Duval, Timberlane Regional’s Jacob Post and Portsmouth’s Christian Peete will be joining the UNH program as walk-ons. Post, a starter since he was a freshman, missed his senior season after suffering a ACL injury in the Queen City Jamboree. Peete played slot receiver/quarterback/and defensive back for Portsmouth. He spent last season at Hebron (Maine) Academy.

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