Although Nashua South’s Trevor Knight and Plymouth Regional’s Jared Kuehl have never met face to face, they do know they have at least a couple of things in common: Both are three-sport varsity athletes, and both will be playing college football at the University of New Hampshire.
Knight and Kuehl are among the New Hampshire athletes who are expected to sign a National Letter of Intent today (weather permitting), which is national signing day for high school football players throughout the country. The NLI is a binding agreement between a high school senior who has accepted an athletic scholarship, and the NCAA school that made the offer.
Knight, a quarterback, passed for 1,791 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. He also ran for 1,536 yards and 19 TDs.
“It’ll definitely be exciting to sign,” Knight said. “Kind of a weight off my shoulders. When I was younger I always watched guys do the hat thing at the (U.S. Army) All-American Bowl and the Under Armour Game. This will make things a lot easier in terms of being able to communicate with the (UNH) coaches.”
Knight, who also plays basketball and runs track for Nashua South, committed to UNH before his senior season. He also received scholarship offers from Massachusetts and Albany. UNH and Albany recruited him as a quarterback. Former UMass coach Charley Molnar preferred him as a defensive back and kick returner.
Kuehl, a running back/linebacker, helped Plymouth win the Division IV championship as a junior and the Division II title last season. He rushed for 1,049 yards last year, but said he expects to play linebacker for UNH.
“There were other schools in the picture, but being an in-state kid, UNH is where I always wanted to play,” Kuehl said.
Kuehl was a four-year starter at Plymouth, where he also plays basketball and lacrosse. He received a scholarship offer from UNH following Plymouth’s basketball game against Kennett of Conway on Jan. 17, and committed later in the month.
“Playing Division I football was always my hope,” Kuehl said. “I definitely thought it was realistic, but it was getting late.”
Knight and Kuehl are part of an incoming UNH class that currently has at least 12 commitments. The class includes D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie, a 6-foot, 205-pound defensive back who helped Central Catholic (Lawrence, Mass.) win last year’s Division I Super Bowl. ESPN ranks Drummond-Mayrie as the No. 7 prospect from Massachusetts in the Class of 2014.
“We have a lot of kids who turned down (FBS) offers,” Knight said. “Drummond-Mayrie got an offer from BC after he committed and stuck with UNH.”
Former Manchester Central wide receiver Troy Pelletier and Portsmouth quarterback/defensive back Donovan Phanor are also expected to sign today.
Pelletier, a Deerfield resident, played prep school football for Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine, last season, and has committed to Lehigh, an FBS school in Bethlehem, Pa. Phanor will attend Division II Stonehill College in North Easton, Mass., and said he expects to play defensive back in college. Phanor, who also plays basketball for Portsmouth, led the Clippers to the Division III championship as a junior, and to the Division II championship game (Portsmouth lost to Plymouth) last season.