New Hampshire Football Report

Sosnak is UNH’s inside man

DURHAM – Senior Ryan Sosnak is the main man in the middle of the defensive line for the University of New Hampshire football team.

Last year, Sosnak teamed with Rick Holt as defensive tackles for the Wildcats. Holt had a big year as a senior and the focus is on Sosnak now as the anchor of the defensive line.

“It’s a group that’s developing,” said assistant coach Peter McCarty, who is in charge of the defensive line. “Ryan’s got experience, that’s the biggest thing. He understands blocking schemes, pass protections. He supports and does a great job with the players around him.”

The players around him include sophomores Elijah Lewis and Jacob Bradshaw.

Sosnak and the Wildcats close out spring football with their annual Blue-White spring game Saturday at 11 a.m. in Wildcat Stadium.

Sosnak is a little over 6-foot-2 and played at just over 300 pounds last year and is at about 290 now. That’s a good thing, McCarty said.

“He’s improved his agility,” McCarty said. “Cut down a little bit on his weight. He’s moving around a lot better than he did. I told him you’re as strong as you need to be. You just need to be more athletic. It’s still a big man’s game inside. … I told Ryan, you can line up and play against good guys each week at 290.”

Sosnak has started all 27 Wildcat games over the last two seasons. He had 28 total tackles as a sophomore in 2016 and was up to 35, with six tackles for a loss, last season.

Sosnak had one of the defensive highlights of the 2016 season when he picked up a fumble caused by linebacker Ryan Farrell and carried it 39 yards for a touchdown to help seal a 21-7 win at Towson.

Sosnak is the only defensive tackle with starting experience.

Lewis, 6-foot-1 and 278 pounds, played in seven games as a true freshman in 2016, but was redshirted last year with an injury.

“Elijah’s had a very good spring,” McCarty said. “He’s improved. I think the most important thing going into spring practice for him was to develop an understanding of the little things. . . . He’s our best rusher inside, too. We want to harp on that. His technique in the pass rush has been very good. He’s been trying new things. I think in the pass game he’s going to be a very big force for us. Those guys, Sosnak and Ricky Holt, were power guys. Now we’ve got a guy with a little more explosiveness, too.”

Bradshaw, 6-foot-1 and 268 pounds, played in 13 games last year and had eight tackles, including a sack.

“Jacob’s an intelligent guy,” McCarty said. “He’s come a long way and he’s doing better each day. He’s still learning and understanding the game. He did a good job in the Holy Cross game and a good job in the South Dakota State game. We saw strides and those strides are still moving forward.”

Tyreak Richardson is a 6-foot-3 sophomore who is down to 305 pounds and has moved over from offensive line.

“Tyreak did a heck of a job getting his weight down,” McCarty said. “He came here at 390 pounds. He came to us on defense last fall trying to pick everything up. He’s shown signs. He just needs to understand technique.”

Others in the mix at defensive tackle include sophomore Patrick Kaplan, 5-foot-11 and 261 pounds, and freshman Niko Kvietkus, 6-foot-3 and 264.


Allen Lessels is the UNH Insider. Follow him on Twitter: @UNHInsider.


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