DURHAM, N.H.-- The University of New Hampshire football program has received 10 commitments from high school student-athletes who have signed national letters of intent to play for the Wildcat football program.
The list includes many outstanding student-athletes from across the nation who will help the Wildcats at multiple positions on the football field.
"This class will help fill many of the needs left open by our graduating seniors, said seventh-year head coach Sean McDonnell. "We feel very good about the level of skill at the running back, wide receiver and defensive back positions. Our linebacker/defensive line position needs have been met and we have added two outstanding offensive line prospects. This year's class has many players coming from winning backgrounds with four state championships that will help carry on the winning tradition here at UNH."
The list also includes one local connection as Tom Neill, will come to Durham after an outstanding career as an offensive lineman at The Tilton School.
2005 UNH FOOTBALL RECRUITS
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown (Last School)|
|Brian Bojko||FB/LB||6-3||230||Skaneateles, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.)|
|John Clements||DB/WR||5-11||170||Hammonton, N.J./St. Joseph|
|Chad Kackert||RB/DB||5-8||185||Simi Valley, Calif./Grace Brethren (Calif.)|
|Dan Larkin||OL/DL||6-4||305||Rochelle Park, N.J./Bergen Catholic|
|Travis Negron||WR/DB||5-10||175||San Diego, Calif./Clairemont|
|Tom Neill||OL/DL||6-4||290||Syracuse, N.Y./The Tilton School (N.H.)|
|Matt O'Brien||RB/DB||5-7||185||Cambridge, Mass./Cambridge Rindge & Latin|
|Dan Ruhl||LB/FB||6-1||225||Fort Meyers, Fla./Valley Forge Prep School|
|T.J. Taylor||DL/TE||6-1||260||Erie, Pa./Fairview|
|Sean Ware||DB/WR||6-2||195||Bristol, Conn./Bristol Central|
Brian Bojko, a 6-3, 230-pound FB/LB from Skaneateles, N.Y., is a two-sport standout in football and track from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. As a two-way player at fullback and linebacker, Bojko played for a perfect 13-0 Class AA state championship team under the guidance of head coach Joe Casamento. As a fullback, he scored 23 touchdowns and ran for 758 yards on 130 carries to post an average of 5.8 yards per carry. As a result of his efforts, Bojko earned All-Central New York honors as well as being named second-team All-State. As a member of the track team, he competed in the long jump, shot put and 4x100 relay. He has run the 100 meters in 11.2. Coach McDonnell on Bojko: "Brian is a big, physical football player with outstanding football instincts."
John Clements, a 5-11, 170-pound DB/WR from Hammonton, N.J., was a two-way player for St. Joseph's High School head coach Paul Sacco where he helped lead his team to its sixth consecutive state title. During his career Clements registered 15 career interceptions, while also averaging 24.0 yards per catch and 19.0 yards per punt return. As a result of his outstanding efforts on the football field, Clements was named fist-team All-Scholastic by "The Atlantic City Press" as a defensive back. He was also first-team All-South Jersey Parochial League on the defensive side of the football. As a wide receiver, he was named first-team All-Cape Atlantic League. Coach McDonnell on Clements: "John is an extremely quick and athletic football player. He will add athleticism to the UNH secondary."
Chad Kackert, a 5-8, 185-pound RB/DB from Simi Valley, Calif. comes to UNH as one of the most prolific football players in California high school history. On the way to leading his team to a perfect 13-0 record and a state title, he ran for 3,445 yards on 295 carries and scored 56 touchdowns, all in his senior season at Grace Brethren High School. He ran for over 400 yards in a game three times in 2004 with his best performance being a 476-yard effort on 27 carries. He scored seven touchdowns in that contest. As a result of his season efforts he was named the 2004 California State Player of the Year -Small Schools, first-team All-Section, Alpha League Offensive Player of the Year, CIF Division XII Offensive Player of the Year, and Ventura County Co-Player of the Year-Small Schools. Coach McDonnell on Kackert: "Chad has done it on both sides of the ball. His statistics speak for themselves. He will be a great addition to our skill positions in this program."
Dan Larkin, a 6-4, 305-pound, OL/DL, from Rochelle Park, N.J., helped lead Bergen Catholic High School to a 20-4 record with him as a starter over the past two seasons. Larkin was a crushing run-blocker for the Crusaders and an athletic pass blocker as his team finished 10-2 in 2004 and won a Parochial Group 4 state championship title. Dan is impressive in the weight room as well with a bench press of 385 pounds and a squat of over 550 pounds. He is also capable of running the 40-yard dash in 5.08 seconds. "Dan is very intense and dedicated in everything that he does. He is a great fit and will have an opportunity to make a big impact on our program," said UNH defensive coordinator Mike Dawson. Coach McDonnell on Larkin: "Dan is a very big and intense young man who is dedicated in everything that he does. He is a great fit for us and will have an opportunity to make an impact in our program."
Travis Negron, a 5-10, 175-pound WR/DB from San Diego, Calif., played on both sides of the football at Clairemont High School and he proved to be explosive whenever the football was in his hands. He compiled over 1,100 all-purpose yards and scored 11 touchdowns during his 2004 season and was a two-time all-league selection as a wide receiver and defensive back. He was also named a "San Diego Union Tribune Scholar Athlete". A three-sport letterwinner in football, basketball and baseball, Travis is one of the top baseball prospects from out of the San Diego area, was a dangerous lead-off hitter and led his team in steals as a junior. Coach McDonnel on Negron: "Travis has tremendous hands and with his speed and quickness he is a threat to score from any point on the field. In addition to being a great receiver, he is an excellent return man and defensive back."
Tom Neill, a 6-4, 290-pound OL/DL from Syracuse, N.Y., was an outstanding two-way player at Cicero North Syracuse High School and went on to play a year of prep school ball under Coach Ken Hollingsworth at the Tilton School in New Hampshire. Neill's efforts on the offensive side of the football were rewarded with a first-team All-Evergreen League selection and he was also named Evergreen League Lineman of the Year. In New England Class C football, Neill earned first-team offensive honors in addition to Class C Lineman of the Year kudos. The MVP of his team at Tilton, he also competed in track and field with a personal-best of 56 feet in the shot put. Coach McDonnell on Neill: "Tommy is another big, physical offensive lineman who will add depth and size to our line position."
Matt O'Brien, a 5-7, 185-pound RB/DB from Cambridge, Mass., threw 15 touchdown passes and ran for 12 more as the quarterback for Cambridge Rindge & Latin. O'Brien, who has good scrambling ability, rushed for 1,105 yards for the Falcons, while also passing for 927. O'Brien led his team to an 8-3 record in 2004. A Greater Boston League All-Star in baseball, Matt completed his career with over 2,000 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground, while he passed for 28 more touchdowns. Matt was selected to both the "Boston Globe" and "Boston Herald" All-Scholastic squads and he was named All-Conference, All-State, the team's MVP and he was selected to the Shriner's Bowl his senior year. McDonnell on O'Brien: "Matty is an explosive football player. His all-around athletic ability has led to a great turnaround at Cambridge Rindge & Latin. He will play in many different areas in his football career here at UNH."
Dan Ruhl, a 6-1, 225-pound LB/FB from Fort Meyers, Fla., is a very athletic linebacker and a hard-hitter when making tackles. Ruhl had a tremendous senior season at Valley Forge Prep School where he compiled 53 tackles, two fumble recoveries and 5.5 sacks. As a senior at Dunbar High School, Ruhl won several defensive player of the year honors, Including Dunbar District Player of the Year, and "The News Press" Player of the Year. He was also named first-team All-State as a linebacker and he was selected to "The Orlando Sentinel" first-team All-Scholastic squad. He was also All-District and All-Conference in a senior season where he compiled 148 total tackles and five sacks. He averaged 40.0 yards per punt and will help UNH with his experience as a long snapper. Coach McDonnell on Ruhl: "Dan is a strong, physical linebacker who has outstanding running ability. Danny's speed will be a big asset and help in continuing our improvement on defense."
T.J. Taylor, a 6-1, 260-pound DL/TE from Erie, Pa., comes to UNH highly-regarded from PIAA Region 2A champion Fairview High School, where he was a three-year starter as a tight end and defensive tackle under head coach Jerry Lightner. On offense he caught 26 passes for 602 yards and five touchdowns, while also rushing four times for 67 yards and a touchdown. On the defensive side of the football, he compiled 64 tackles (34 solo), eight sacks, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups. Taylor was selected to the first-team Associated Press All-State squad and was named first-team All-Region for his efforts as a tight end and nose guard. He was also a three-year starter in basketball and a state district qualifier in the shot put and discus. Coach McDonell on Taylor: "Taylor is an explosive player who can do it on both sides of the ball. His athletic ability will add depth on the defensive line here at UNH."
Sean Ware, a 6-2, 195-pound DB/WR from Bristol, Conn., is a versatile two-way player who comes to UNH via Bristol High School where he was named All-State as a defensive back and he was also a two-time All-League selection as a wide receiver. Ware made 51 catches for 972 yards and grabbed 16 touchdown receptions, while on defense he registered 106 tackles and grabbed six interceptions. A standout track and field performer, Ware holds the school record in both the high jump (6-6) and the long jump (21-9). He is the defending state champion in the long jump. Coach McDonnell on Ware: "Sean is an outstanding overall athlete. He will add depth in the defensive backfield and he is a very good tackler who can cover a lot of ground on he defensive side of the ball."