New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Gavin Urda

NOTE: The 2020 Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete banquet was cancelled this year because of COVID-19. Each Scholar/Athlete will be recognized with a commemorative program, a plaque and a personal profile that will appear in the program, on the New Hampshire Football Report, the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter web site ( and the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter Facebook page. This is one in a series of 39 profiles. Once published, each profile can be accessed by clicking on the athlete’s name at the bottom of the page.

Milford High School

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Milford High School quarterback Gavin Urda play last season you missed out on seeing one of the most electric high school players in the state, but you’re in luck. You may be able to watch Urda perform wearing a University of New Hampshire uniform in the near future.

Urda, who was also a defensive back for Milford, is scheduled to join the UNH program as a walk-on. Milford coach Keith Jones said Urda’s speed and athletic ability will allow him to play a number of positions in college, but added that Urda will likely begin his college career as a slot receiver/kick returner.

“You gotta be crazy to not let that kid have a chance to return punts,” Jones said. “He’s the best I’ve ever had. He does things returning punts that you can’t teach. He never looks up the field, he never drops the ball and he always knows how to make that first move. It’s almost like he can sense where the pressure is going to come from.”

Urda was a three-year starter in football for Milford, but also played basketball and lacrosse. He was a tri-captain for Milford in football, and was selected to the Division II South All-State Team. He was also picked to play in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

Urda gained 1,326 yards on 108 rushing attempts as a senior, but he also put up good numbers academically throughout his high school career. His athletic and academic achievements earned Urda the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. 

Urda was an Honor Roll student in each of his four years of high school, was ranked 33rd in a class of 223 at the time of his nomination for the Scholar/Athlete Award, scored 1,270 on his SAT and had a 3.94 GPA.

Urda was listed at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds during his senior year at Milford, but Jones said Urda has put on about 20 pounds since the football season ended.

“He looks great,” Jones said. “He understands at that level he’ll have to be about 195 to absorb the hits he’ll have to take. If anything, I think he’ll get faster, and he’s already pretty fast.

“He didn’t lose a conditioning sprint his entire career. I never saw him take a day off. When we were doing conditioning at the end of practice he was always first.”

Jones said Urda could be used in a role similar to the one former Plymouth Regional standout Mike Boyle filled at UNH. Boyle was also a receiver who had a knack for returning kicks.

“Coach Mac (UNH coach Sean McDonnell) is straight with the kids,” Jones said. “He sat Gavin down and he explained to him that right now you’re a preferred walk-on, and, at this school, this is how you earn money. These are the things you have to accomplish. If you do these things we reassess. Gavin was fine with that. He was glad Sean was honest with him and that it’s now up to him.

“Great kid, great leader, I wish I had 50 like him.”

Q and A with Gavin Urda

Q: Please describe the most memorable moment of your high school football career.

A: The most memorable moments of my football career are the memories I made at football camp every year. The relationships that I have built through sleeping, eating, practicing, and creating fun games in the cabins with my teammates is what I will remember the most. 

Q: Tell us about someone who has had a significant influence on your life.

A: My dad, Rick Urda, has always had a huge influence on my life in athletics and academics. From coaching my youth teams to coaching me through high school he has always encouraged, helped, and supported me. Not only has he influenced me athletically, but he and my mom have also kept a high standard for academics that has helped me in school. 

Q: What is your favorite subject in school and why?

A: My favorite subject this year was math. I had a good teacher, which helped a lot, but I enjoy the fact that there is usually an exact, concrete answer. It is not something that can be debated, or have tons of grey areas.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football?

A: Football has taught me that to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself it is necessary to work hard, manage your time, and stay focused. These skills that I have learned through football transfer to life, and have helped me to accomplish goals outside of football.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: To play in the NFL.


2020 Scholar/Athletes: Keith Albergo (Winnacunnet), Thatcher Allen (Exeter), Cole Ames (Lebanon)Mason Belsky (Windham), Patrick Brust (Bishop Brady)Jaedon Cliche (Exeter), Riley Desmarais (Windham)Bobby DiCicco (Windham)Jared Dyer (Merrimack)Casey Gladu (Portsmouth)Owen Gormley (Salem)Jack Grogan (Bedford)Steven Guerette (Bow)Evan Haskins (Pelham)Samson Hodges (Milford)Ethan Holt (Bishop Guertin)Jack Jones (Bedford)Charlie Kneissl-Williams (Bedford)Hunter Lassard (St. Thomas)Joseph Lupo (Bishop Guertin)Jake MacInnis (Pinkerton)Braden McDonnell (Nashua South)Will MacLean (St. Thomas), Hayden Moses (Bishop Guertin)Riley Mulvey (Salem)Kyle O’Connor (Nashua South)Nolan Pafford (Portsmouth)Wade Rainey (Lebanon)Ismael Rivera (Bishop Brady)Oceanne Skoog (Newfound)Caleb Smith (Lebanon)Rolando Sylvain-Stott (Newfound)John Thibault (Trinity), Zach Twardosky (Merrimack), Gavin Urda (Milford), Carter Vedrani (Campbell), Jacob Wenger (Trinity)Jon Willeman (Lebanon) and Devin Wood (Merrimack).

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