New Hampshire Football Report

Brosmer playing return game

DURHAM – Last August, shortly before the University of New Hampshire football season was about to begin, starting quarterback Max Brosmer took an inadvertent hit during practice and went down.

The knee injury Brosmer suffered, and subsequent surgery, dealt a major blow to the team, and the team in turn suffered through a tough season. After winning its first three games, UNH lost the next eight.


Now Brosmer is back to lead the new-look Wildcats as they aim to regain their spot as one of the top teams in not only the Colonial Athletic Association, but in the nation at their level — the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, more commonly known as FCS.

“He’s the real deal,” said UNH sophomore defensive end Josiah Silver, who knows a little about quarterbacks after making a name for himself by chasing them around very effectively as a freshman last season. He led the CAA and was one of the best in the country in quarterback sacks with 12.5.

UNH will open the season against Monmouth on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. in Wildcat Stadium. The Hawks joined the CAA.

The Monmouth game marks the debut as head coach for Rick Santos. He took over the program when his former coach, Sean McDonnell, retired after 23 highly successful seasons last December.

The Wildcats also have new coordinators with Garrett Gillick, who also is the associate head coach, leading the defense as well as coaching the linebackers, and Brian Scott in charge of the offense and offensive line.

How Brosmer and Silver follow up on their freshmen seasons will likely go a long way in determining how well the Wildcats bounce back from last season and how successful they are in making a jump back toward FCS prominence.

The odd thing is that Brosmer’s last season was three years ago when he led the Wildcats to a 6-5 record.  Santos was the interim head coach that season while McDonnell was on a medical leave.

Santos is excited to see how Brosmer – 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds – picks up from there.

“I think it’s just him getting back comfortable,” Santos said. “We knew what he was going to do in the rehab process. We knew what he was going to do in the weight room. He transformed his body. He looks great. Being out that long, it just comes with reps. Every single day, he’s getting a little bit better, a little bit better, a little more comfortable. That’s what you expect from him, building off it every day.”

Brosmer directed the Wildcats to four straight wins in the middle of the 2019 season, including a 20-14 victory at No. 22 Stony Brook.  After a close loss the next week at No. 22 Delaware, UNH trailed No. 11 Villanova 20-7 at halftime at home. In maybe his best game, Brosmer rallied the Wildcats in the second half to a 28-20 win. He had a career-high three touchdown passes in that one, two to running back Dylan Laube and one to wide receiver Brian Espanet.

Espanet and Laube are two of his primary targets again this year and the Wildcats are expecting tight end Kyle Lepkowski, receivers Sean Coyne, Charles Briscoe III, Joey Corcoran, Heron Maurisseau, running back Isaac Seide and others to be productive in the pass game as well.

The goal is to establish a strong run game behind the explosive Laube and Seide to take some pressure off the passing game early.

“We’re going to have a lot of weapons this year,” Brosmer said. “I’m loving where our offense is headed right now.”

Brosmer completed 183 of his 311 (58.8 percent) passes in 2019 for 1,967 yards with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and also ran for three scores.

He’s played one game since leading the Wildcats over Maine, 28-10, in the finale of the 2019 season. That was a loss at home to Albany in what became a one-game season because of COVID-19 issues in March of 2021.

Now he’s back and leading a quarterback group that includes Bret Edwards, the starter last year, along with Brody McGowan and freshman Barry Kleinpeter.

Besides studying film and helping with the team’s other quarterbacks during his recovery from his knee injury, Brosmer spent much time in the gym.

“I did a bunch of arm stuff, arm care, arm strengthening,” he said. “The other thing I worked on was a bunch of hip mobility and hip strengthening because that’s where all quarterbacks get their power, from their hips, their lower body. I’ve improved how I throw the ball. I’m still getting used to the little more pop I have on the ball right now.”

Santos and the Wildcats are counting on all the work paying off.

“If he continues to progress, we have a shot to score a lot more points than we have been,” Santos said.

Silver likes what he has seen, too.

“Max is smart,” Silver said, “Being a defensive lineman, I don’t see the whole secondary, but we’ll be watching the film as a D-line and Max will make a throw and we’ll be like, ‘How did he fit that in there? That’s a crazy pass.’ He’s a person that studies the game and you can tell he studies the game. He sees the field. Some of the throws he makes are like, ‘Wow.’”

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