Three NH residents among UNH's 2013 football recruiting class
Of the three New Hampshire natives, two - two-way linemen Rick Holt of Portsmouth High (6 feet, 3 inches, 275 pounds) and Jake Kennedy of Souhegan High in Amherst (6-3, 285) - were New Hampshire Union Leader All-State selections last season. The third, Will McInerny of Bedford High (6-7, 290) - sat out his senior season after undergoing surgery on both knees.
The Proctor Academy product is Odaine Franklyn, a resident of White Plains. N.Y., who played tight end in linebacker during his prep-school season but is likely to stay on the defensive side of the ball at UNH.
The recruits join a program that has made nine straight appearances in the NCAA FCS playoffs, the longest such streak in the nation, and has been ranked in the subdivisison's top 25 for 126 straight weeks, also the longest run of its kind in the country.
"We are extremely excited about the athletic ability and physical size of this recruiting class, and we are particularly pleased that three local kids decided to stay home and play football in the Granite State," UNH coach Sean McDonnell said in a release. "Although it is a small class in numbers, we feel the pure athleticism and the flexibility of these recruits will allow us to fill a number of needs."
Following are capsule looks at each of the 11 recruits, compiled by UNH:
. Max Avin is a 5-foot-11, 180-pound wide receiver/defensive back from Coral Springs High School in Coral Springs, Fla. Avin finished a great career for the Colts by being selected to the Broward County Athletic Association All-Star Game, where he competed for the North Squad. During his senior year, Max recorded 25 receptions for 515 yards and 12 touchdowns to go along with five rushing scores. He was named Broward County Honorable Mention by the Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. As a junior in 2011, Avin made 32 receptions for 557 yards and five TDs and was subsequently tabbed All-Broward County Honorable Mention by both the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel. Max was also nominated on three separate occasions as the Sun-Sentinel Player of the Week in Broward County. "Max is a dynamic wide receiver who has a knack for getting into the end zone," McDonnell said. "He has very good hands and great vision and will add depth to our wide receiving corps."
. Michael Boryeskne joins the Wildcats from Sparta High School in Sparta, N.J. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound fullback/outsider linebacker was a team captain and three-year starter. In 2012, Boryeskne helped guide Sparta to a 9-2 record and state Group 3 runner-up finish. He amassed 87 tackles and ranked third in the Garden State with 14 sacks. He added two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a safety. Michael was named All-State Group 3 First Team, All-West Jersey First Team, New Jersey Herald First Team and NJAC All-Conference First Team. On offense, Boryeskne carried the ball 33 times for 306 yards (9.3 yards/carry) with two touchdowns; he tacked on nine receptions for 169 yards (18.7 yards/catch) and a pair of TDs. "Mike is an explosive outside linebacker/defensive end prospect for us. He has an innate ability to get to the quarterback and will add great depth to the defensive end position here," McDonnell said.
. Odaine Franklyn, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound tight end/linebacker, is a native of White Plains, N.Y., who played a post-grad season at Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H., last season following a successful career at White Plains High School. Franklyn led Proctor to an 8-1 record and Evergreen League Championship before his team fell short against Suffield Academy in the Norm Walker Bowl. Franklin garnered All-Evergreen First Team recognition after notching 48 tackles. Offensively, he scored three touchdowns on 17 carries, totaling 178 rushing yards. At White Plains H.S., he was a 2011 Preseason Journal News Section 1 Super Team selection and, following that campaign, was lauded as an All-Section Honorable Mention, All-State Honorable Mention and Journal News First Team member. He was the recipient of the Art Monk Character and Leadership Award and the Glen D. Loucks Memorial Award. "Odaine is a very, big, powerful inside linebacker prospect for us. He has great size, great mobility and will be able to help offset the losses of two graduating inside linebackers. We look forward to him being a big, strong, run-stopping linebacker for us," McDonnell said.
. Rick Holt comes to the UNH Football family from Portsmouth, N.H. and Portsmouth High School. He was a standout student-athlete for the Clippers over the past four years, where he played on both the offensive and defensive lines for coach Bill Murphy. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Holt was honored as a three-time New Hampshire All-State player on the way to leading his team to two straight Division III state championships. His on-field achievements led to his selection as the N.H. Notebook Defensive Player of the Year and a berth in the CHAD East-West All-Star. He uses his size extremely well as a physical blocker, a disruptive run stopper and tenacious player rushing the passer. He has the great size, flexibility and dynamic athletic ability that will be an asset on the defensive line. Holt is also a standout pitcher for the Portsmouth baseball team and excels in the classroom, where he received the 2013 NHIAA and NHADA Scholar-Athlete Award. "Ricky is an outstanding two-way offensive/defensive lineman. He is really athletic, possesses quick hands and feet, and he has the ability to change directions and run to the ball. He will help add depth to the defensive line," McDonnell said.
. Jake Kennedy is a 6-foot-3, 285-pound offensive/defensive lineman out of Souhegan High School in Amherst, N.H. Kennedy helped lead the Sabers to a 10-2 record last fall before they suffered a heartbreaking 54-53 loss to Goffstown in the Division III semifinals. The Granite State native was a dominant force on both sides of the ball in his time at Souhegan. As a junior in 2011, he had 54 pancake blocks, 37 tackles and four sacks. He bettered those numbers as a senior by registering 57 pancake blocks, 49 tackles and five sacks. Kennedy was recognized for his efforts by earning a spot on the D-III All-State First Team and the Nashua Telegraph All-Area First Team in both '11 and '12. Kennedy was also named to the 2012 New Hampshire Union Leader All-Division First Team and was a nominee for the 2012 Army All-American Bowl. Jake is also a member of the Sabers' varsity basketball team. "Jake is a big, strong, powerful offensive line prospect for us. He has great balance, stays on blocks, and he will add depth to our interior offensive line position," McDonnell said.
. Aaron Lewis-Cenales comes to UNH from Odenton, Md., and Arundel High School, the alma mater of Wildcat sophomore and All-CAA wide receiver R.J. Harris. Lewis-Cenales, a 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver/defensive back, was named All-Maryland First Team and All-Arundel County while earning an invitation to Maryland's prestigious Crab Bowl following his senior season. The Arundel team captain finished his senior campaign with 59 catches for 789 yards (13.4 yards/catch) and 15 TDs. Aaron also starts on Arundel's basketball team and averages 17 points per game. "Aaron is an outstanding outside wide receiver prospect for us. He has great quickness; he is explosive in and out of cuts; he catches the ball very well and he'll be able to fill multiple roles in our offense," McDonnell said.
. Will McInerny is a 6-foot-7, 290-pound offensive/defensive lineman who comes to Durham by way of Bedford High School in Bedford, N.H. As a junior, McInerny was a two-way starter as an offensive and defensive tackle. On offense, he paved the way for current Wildcat Jordan Garron, and he recorded 21 pancake blocks. On defense, Will tallied 15 tackles, six of them for loss, to go along with two sacks. McInerny was named to the D-III All-State First Team and led the Bulldogs to the state championship game against Portsmouth. He missed his senior season due to injury but helped guide his team through leadership and coaching back to the state finals at the Division II level. "Will is a very long, athletic offensive tackle prospect for us. He has grown into his frame in the last two years. It was unfortunate that he missed his senior year, but he was very impressive in our camps and clinics last spring, so we knew he was the right fit for us," McDonnell said.
. Patrick Mensah comes to New Hampshire from St. Joseph's Regional High School in Montvale, N.J. In his first year of football, the 6-foot, 185-pound wide receiver/cornerback recorded 73 tackles, including 39 solo stops, which led the No. 1 team in the state of New Jersey and the Northeast. Mensah also tallied an interception and a fumble recovery, which helped earn him a spot on the All-Big North First Team in addition to being named All-Bergen County. His length, size and physicality will be a great addition to the UNH secondary. The senior is averaging over 20 points per game this season as the captain of the St. Joe's basketball team, and he will run the 100-meter and 4x100 relay this spring in track. "Patrick is a very raw, explosive, athletic football player. Although he has only played for one year, he demonstrates terrific football instincts, he tackles very well and he has a nose for the ball," McDonnell said.
. Geno Miller is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound running back/cornerback from Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va. In 2012, he was one of the few bright spots on a young team. Miller finished his senior season with 48 total tackles (25 solo, 10 tackles for loss), 15 pass breakups and reeled in four interceptions. As a result, he was named to the All-Conference First Team, All-State First Team and received All-Met Honorable Mention. "Geno Miller is a very fast, quick and powerful defensive back prospect for us. He's a very physical tackler, gets to the ball quickly and possesses great ball skills for a defensive back prospect," McDonnell said.
. Antonio Natale commits to the Wildcats following a successful career at Immaculata High School in Bridgewater, N.J. On offense, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback passed for 1,746 yards and 15 touchdowns while adding 695 rushing yards and 15 TDs on the ground. Defensively, Natale collected 49 tackles, including 29 of the solo variety, to go along with two interceptions, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. His Immaculata team went 10-2 and reached the Non-Public Group 2 state finals. Antonio, a three-year starter at QB, was a 2012 team captain, team MVP and offensive player of the year who was recognized as an All-Area First Team linebacker and All-County and All-Conference First Team quarterback. During his junior season, Natale was named All-Conference First Team, All-County Second Team and All-Area Second Team on offense for the Skyland Conference champions. As a sophomore in 2010, he was All-Conference First Team, All-County Second Team and All-Area Honorable Mention as a signal caller for the Skyland Conference champs. He is also a letterwinner in basketball and lacrosse, where he was a member of the '10 state championship team. "Antonio is a dynamic football player on both sides of the ball. He was very explosive on the offensive side of the ball both throwing and running; he contributed to 30 TDs in his senior year. On defense, he is a sure tackler, extremely hard hitter and is always around the football. He will add depth to either side of the ball," McDonnell said.
. Riley Pritchett comes to UNH from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound tight end/linebacker racked up 57 tackles, including 32 solo stops, and notched seven sacks, four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries last season. Pritchett was tabbed as a Central League Second Team linebacker as a senior and garnered Central League Honorable Mention as a tight end in both his junior and senior seasons. He was selected to play in the 2013 PSFCA East-West Bowl and 2013 Valor Bowl, and he is also the starting catcher on the Conestoga H.S. baseball team. "Riley is another athletic, linebacker/defensive end prospect that can play multiple positions. Riley has a high motor, is an extremely good tackler and is always around the football," McDonnell said.