New Hampshire Football Report

Santos alters spring schedule

DURHAM – Rick Santos will get a head start on his first spring season as the University of New Hampshire’s head football coach.

The Wildcats will open their spring session on Monday, about three weeks ahead of when they have traditionally begun. Workouts will generally be in the early morning Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The spring game is scheduled for April 14 at 7 p.m. in Wildcat Stadium. That game has usually been played the first Saturday in May.

Santos said he tweaked the schedule for a couple of reasons: He’s looking to put a little more focus on strength and conditioning with the idea of getting the Wildcats bigger and stronger by the time they leave campus in May at the end of the school year, as well as to give the coaching staff more time on the road in an NCAA recruiting period that begins at the middle of April.

“We’re going to have a week of spring football, go on spring break and come back and have about three and a half more weeks,” Santos said.

At the back end, after the spring game, the Wildcats will get back in the weight room for three additional weeks of lifting.

“The rationale behind the whole thing was when we leave in May to have our strength gains and our overall team weight and strength equivalent to where we would have been at the end of June,” Santos said. “We’re trying to get three weeks to a month ahead in our strength totals.”

To allow more time for strength training, “mat drills” – a series of sessions designed to build team camaraderie and featuring physical competition — were cut from three weeks to a week and a half. They wrap up Friday.

“We’re going to sacrifice a little of the mental stuff to get bigger and stronger,” Santos said.

Junior Max Brosmer, the starting quarterback in the last 10 games as a freshman in 2019, is progressing well from the knee injury and subsequent surgery that kept him out all of last season, Santos said.

“He’s not going to be 100 percent for the spring,” Santos said. “But he’s right on track with where they expected him to be and hopefully he’s cleared by June 1st and he can attack the summer.”

During the spring, junior Bret Edwards, the starter through most of last season, and sophomore Brody McAndrew, who started against UAlbany in the next to last game, will get the bulk of the snaps with the first and second groups.

Sophomore Zane Olmstead will also be in the mix in the spring. Barry Kleinpeter, a touted recruit out of Savannah Country Day School in Savannah, Ga., will join the group in the summer.

Three of the team’s newcomers – all offensive linemen — enrolled in January and will not only add depth in the spring, but will make their early bids for playing time come fall.

“We did a really good job recruiting, I think, with the offensive and defensive lines,” Santos said. “We really beefed that up.”

Beau Riley, 6-foot-7 and 315 pounds out of Sebring, Fla., and Nathan Roach, 6-foot-2 and 272 pounds out of Manchester, are freshmen. Roach was a four-year starter at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols in Cambridge, Mass.

Matt Marvin is a 6-foot-5, 310-pound graduate transfer, who was an all-conference player at Division II Stonehill College. Marvin is coming off an injury and will be limited during the spring.

“Beau Riley is someone who came in and impressed us in the first few weeks,” Santos said. “Frame-wise, he’s as good a tackle prospect as we’ve recruited in years. He looks like an FBS kid. He’s huge. Light on his feet.”

On the defensive side, two of the players that Santos and his staff will be relying on come fall – senior defensive tackle Niko Kvietkus and junior linebacker Oleh Manzyk — are on the mend.  Kvietkus suffered a hip injury late in the season.

“We were nervous about Niko at first, but he’s way ahead of schedule,” Santos said. “We’ll probably give him as many reps as he wants to take. We’ll get him on a pitch count to make sure we get him to the season. He has to be the leader of the defense, a focal point. He’s one of our hardest workers and one of the most productive guys we have.”

Manzyk missed the first part of last season with an injury and then went down with a scary neck injury against Maine in the finale.

“Oleh is doing all the right things and I think he’s going to be good to go,” Santos said. “I think he was frustrated last year. He had such success as a true freshman and he was someone we expected a lot out of going into the season then he didn’t have an opportunity to play much last year. He can really play.”

Manzyk was fifth on the team in tackles, returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown and was named a third-team All American as a freshman.


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