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UNH takes 'big' haul from NH in football recruiting
Souhegan football player Jake Kennedy speaks while gathered with his teammates, family and friends before he signed a letter of intent to attend UNH on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Kennedy, 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, McInerny, 6-foot-7 and 290, and Holt 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds, signed their national letters of intent and accepted UNH scholarships on Wednesday, the first day of the signing period.
They were among 11 players who signed to play for the Wildcats.
"We have three kids with really good size from the state of New Hampshire, something we haven't had in a long time," said UNH coach Sean McDonnell. "I'm excited about those three guys, happy for them. Glad the in-state kids are staying home and going to represent their high schools and us in the state of New Hampshire."
Kennedy and McInerny are projected as offensive linemen and could conceivably be anchoring one side of the UNH line in the years ahead. Holt is targeted for the defensive line.
The Wildcat recruits represented seven states up and down the East Coast. Beside the three from New Hampshire, two each come from New York and New Jersey and there's one each from Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Another has New Hampshire ties, too.
Odaine Franklyn, a 6-foot-2 and 230-pound tight end/linebacker, comes to UNH from White Plains, N.Y, by way of Proctor Academy in Andover.
"He's a very, very good athlete," McDonnell said. "He's a big, strong kid and has got a big upside."
Franklyn was one of three linebacker/defensive end types brought into the fold, joining Michael Boryeskne, 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds out of Sparta, N.Y, and Riley Pritchett, 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds out of Berwyn, Pa., and Conestoga High School.
"They can all play defensive end or linebacker and play either inside or outside or rush the passer," McDonnell said.
Franklyn took a postgraduate year Proctor to improve his chances of getting a football scholarship and to shore up his academics. He helped the team to an 8-1 record and Evergreen League Championship.
He also had scholarship offers from Albany and Maine, UNH rivals in the Colonial Athletic Association.
He played some at running back, but prefers the defensive side of the ball.
"I like the physicality and the toughness of the position, taking on blocks and taking on those big linemen," Franklyn said. "They say I move pretty well, but that's one of the things I want to improve on. I think I have good feet and good speed."
Proctor coach Ben Rulli said UNH got a good one in Franklyn.
"I personally think he's a steal at the I-AA (Football Championship Subdivision) level," he said. They truly got an outstanding kid. He's going to surprise some people in that conference."
Boryeskne led Sparta to a 9-2 record and had 14 sacks, 87 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles and a safety as a senior.
He had a recruiting visit scheduled at James Madison, but moved UNH onto that date and liked what he saw.
He too likes playing defense.
"It's fun to go one-on-one with the tackle and it's whoever wins," Boryeskne said. "If I'm fast enough I can go around him or bullrush and go through him. It's fun and interesting to see the different kind of moves they have."
The Wildcats picked up a couple of good-sized defensive backs in Patrick Mensah, 6-foot and 185 pounds, out of St. Joseph's Regional in Montvale, N.J., and Geno Miller, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, out of Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Va.
Max Avin, a 5-foot-11 and 180-pounder out of Coral Springs High School in Coral Springs, Fla., is likely to play at wide receiver.
"What stood out on tape was how productive he was," McDonnell said.
Avin had 25 catches 515 for 12 touchdowns and also ran for five scores.
"He finds the end zone," McDonnell said. "He can run the ball and also returns kicks. He can play slot receiver for us and can also play on the outside."
The bulk of recruiting is now done, McDonnell said, and he's happy with the results.
"I thought my staff did a great job of identifying these guys and I thought when I met the kids that they're guys who can fit into with how we do things around here," McDonnell said.
UNH finished with an 8-4 record in 2012 and went to the FCS playoffs for the ninth straight year, the nation's longest streak of appearances.
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School Max Avin WR/DB 5-11 180 Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs Michael Boryeskne FB/LB 6-1 215 Sparta, N.J./Sparta Odaine Franklyn TE/LB 6-2 230 White Plains, N.Y./Proctor Rick Holt OL/DL 6-3 275 Portsmouth, N.H./Portsmouth Jake Kennedy OL/DL 6-3 285 Amherst, N.H./Souhegan Aaron Lewis-Cenales WR/DB 6-0 175 Odenton, Md./Arundel Will McInerny OL/DL 6-7 290 Bedford, N.H./Bedford Patrick Mensah WR/DB 6-0 185 New City, N.Y./St. Joseph's Reg. Geno Miller RB/DB 5-11 190 Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton Antonio Natale QB/S 6-1 200 Bridgewater, N.J./Immaculata Riley Pritchett TE/LB 6-2 215 Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga Source: UNH Sports Information