DURHAM -- The University of New Hampshire football team on Thursday announced the hiring of Nashua native and former NFL player Kendall Reyes as an assistant coach for defensive tackles.

Reyes, who played collegiately at the University of Connecticut from 2007-11, will work alongside veteran coach Peter McCarty, who will shift to defensive ends’ coach in 2019 after five years coaching the Wildcats' defensive line.

“We are excited about having Kendall Reyes join the UNH football program,” said UNH coach Sean McDonnell. “He is a New Hampshire guy with an outstanding football background, and we are looking forward to having him mentor our defensive tackles. His experience competing at the highest level will make an impact on our players and this program.”

Reyes was drafted as a defensive end by the San Diego Chargers in 2012 (second round, pick 17, No. 49 overall) and spent five seasons (2012-16) in the NFL with the Chargers, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs. In 76 career games, he totaled 146 tackles and 14.5 sacks.

Reyes’ best professional season came in 2013 when he started all 16 games at DE for the Chargers and collected 34 tackles (25 solo) and 5.0 sacks.

At UConn, Reyes was a three-year starter, two-time captain and two-time All-Big East selection who was tabbed the Huskies’ team MVP in 2011.

Reyes graduated from Nashua North High School in 2007. The former defensive end/wide receiver was twice named all-state and all-conference and represented the Granite State in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl all-star game between New Hampshire and Vermont. The three-sport captain also lettered in basketball and track for the Titans.