Signing day arrives for NH's high school football stars
Five New Hampshire athletes have verbally committed to Division I college football programs, and each is expected to make things official today by signing a National Letter of Intent.
Bedford High School offensive lineman Will McInerney, Souhegan of Amherst offensive lineman Jake Kennedy, Portsmouth defensive lineman Rick Holt and Proctor Academy of Andover linebacker Odaine Franklyn have committed to the University of New Hampshire. Exeter kicker Logan Laurent is headed to the University of Massachusetts.
Laurent, who helped Exeter win the Division I state title during his junior and senior seasons, said he received a full scholarship that will be spread over five years. He has been told that he will likely redshirt next season.
"Sometimes people see kickers and they see someone who's maybe not the best athlete," Exeter coach Bill Ball said. "He's extremely athletic. His upside down the road could be huge."
Laurent will sign his National Letter of Intent - a document that binds a student-athlete to a four-year institution - during a ceremony at Exeter High School that is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Today is the first day of the signing period, which ends April 1.
Kennedy, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound tackle, will have a similar ceremony at Souhegan. Kennedy committed to UNH in September. He also had offers from Massachusetts, Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, Maine and Rhode Island.
"I knew UNH was going to be a very comfortable place for me," Kennedy said shortly after making his verbal commitment. "I love the school and I know the football program is great. They win a lot of games, and staying in-state was definitely a factor for me."
McInerney, a 6-foot-7, 275-pound tackle, did not play last season because he had surgery on both knees in the fall. He also had scholarship offers from Colgate, Fordham and Wagner.
Holt committed to UNH on Sunday, after taking an overnight visit last weekend. He was also considering Stonehill and Marist.
"They gave me a partial scholarship, which is what they normally do for a freshman," Holt said. "It's great that I won't be far from home. I've been told I can play (FCS) football. This is my chance."
Franklin came to Proctor Academy after playing high school football in White Plains, N.Y. He had offers from Akron and Albany coming out of high school, and added an offer from Maine last year.
Kennedy and Holt were each selected to the 2012 Union Leader All-State Football Team.