Chip Kelly’s ties to New Hampshire helped him land one of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2020.
Weare resident Parker McQuarrie said as much after he committed to Kelly and the UCLA football program Wednesday. McQuarrie, a 6-foot-7, 208-pound quarterback, announced his decision on Twitter.
McQuarrie, 17, took an unofficial visit to UCLA with his parents in March.
“My whole family loved it,” McQuarrie said. “They have a lot of Northeast guys on staff — guys who have coached at UNH, BC. It felt like we were at home, almost. Coach Kelly being from New Hampshire definitely played a role. I definitely felt something special there.”
McQuarrie began his high school career at John Stark, but transferred to the St. Paul’s School in Concord before the 2018 season. He repeated his junior year at St. Paul’s and will be a senior in the fall. McQuarrie guided St. Paul’s to an unbeaten record and its first NEPSAC Bowl victory since 1989 last year.
The recruiting site 247Sports rated McQuarrie as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in his class.
Kelly, who is entering his second season as UCLA’s head coach, played at Manchester Central and then played and coached at the University of New Hampshire. He visited McQuarrie at St. Paul’s in January.
“I wanted to be the first (quarterback) to commit there before anyone else did,” McQuarrie said. “I didn’t want to miss that opportunity.
“The type of offense was also a big factor because that determines whether I’d be a fit or not. Coach Kelly said he’ll be running more of a pro-style offense like he did with the (Philadelphia) Eagles. It’s not going to be like what he did at Oregon.”
McQuarrie also has scholarship offers from Boston College, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin, UMass, Miami, Minnesota, Missouri and Rhode Island.
Drew McQuarrie, Parker’s older brother, plays defensive line at Boston College.