Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Offense clicking early and often
The Wildcats are just over a week into camp on the way to their Sept. 7 opener at Central Michigan and scrimmaged late in the day on Saturday.
Junior tight ends Harold Spears and Brian Ciccone help, too.
The competition remains close for the starting quarterback job between Andy Vailas, the junior out of Bedford and Bishop Guertin High School of Nashua, and sophomore Sean Goldrich, according to McDonnell.
Running backs Chris Setian and Jimmy Owens are both playing well. Nico Steriti, who led the team in rushing last season, has been slowed by a “slight concussion” and McDonnell expects him to be back soon.
But Kelly called — or texted. And Ball took another shot at the National Football League.
After that? “Who knows?” Ball said. “It was such a great opportunity and where I always felt I belonged. If it has to end now, it would be much better than the way it ended before.”
Ball said he had a feeling that if Kelly ever got to the NFL perhaps he might put in a call to a sure-handed receiver, if he had not yet turned 30, who helped Kelly and McDonnell and quarterback Ricky Santos make history and turn a program around in Durham. Ball said he kept himself in playing shape, just in case that happened.
He was nearing the end of vacation with his fiancee’s family at Moosehead Lake in Maine and was headed into town for dinner when Kelly texted.
“He sent two texts in about two minutes and asked what my status was,” Ball said. “I had a feeling he was going down a list and if you didn’t give him the right answer he would move to the next name. I told him I was healthy and in shape and ready. He told me he’d have his GM call me in five minutes.”
The next day he slashed his finger doing a release drill.
“The receivers work on getting off a jam and getting into their routes as quickly as possible,” he said. “I slashed it across a shoulder pad, a hand or a forearm, it’s still hard to tell what happened. It detached a tendon and dislocated a bone and fractured a bone in four spots.”
But it was a no go. That was it.
“It had to be dealt with immediately,” Ball said.
He had his surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center 10 days ago.