Dexter has come a long way in a short period of time to build up as a NEPSAC power.
The program had its first year of varsity football in 2006. Current coach Casey Day started at the Brookline school in 2010. The team reached its first NEPSAC bowl in 2013.
Now, coming off another NEPSAC bowl this fall, Dexter has one of the most highly-recruited players in the region in two-way lineman Liam Andrews.
Andrews, at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, has, according to Day, 28 scholarship offers from FBS schools. Just this week, coaches Ryan Day from Ohio State, James Franklin of Penn State, and Don Brown of UMass have stopped in at Dexter. Among others, Andrews has offers from Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma, Auburn, Penn State, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
The big question with Andrews is whether he is an offensive tackle or defensive end at the next level.
“That’s what we’re kind of working through right now,” Day said. “He came to us last year as a sophomore. He played defense for us, and he was a solid defensive player. This season he really blew up defensively, as well, as far as performance on the field was concerned. Anyone that takes a peek at his highlight film will see a lot of his top highlights are on the defensive side of the ball. . . . A lot like when we talk about skill guys get labeled ‘athletes,’ I think this kid, sure he’s a lineman, but he’s also an athlete. There have been teams that have offered him just as offense, some that have offered him as both now, one in particular came out of the woodwork and offered him just as defense recently.
“I think he’s going to have options,” Day added. “There will be a lot for hm to sort through in the next few months as far as what direction he wants to take, and what’s kind of laid out in front of him. He’s getting recruited for both, without question. There are a lot of factors that are going to play into it as far as what he ultimately decides to do. There is still a lot to be worked through for him to have more clarity on the whole thing.”
In his short time at Dexter, Andrews has progressed nicely through hard work.
“He’s a kid that, he grinds it out weight room-wise in the offseason,” Day said. “He works on his craft in the offseason. Whether it’s pass protection as an offensive lineman, or working on his hand fighting as a pass rusher, he puts a lot of time and effort into it. It showed on his game film this year for sure.”
Another lineman that should see his recruitment pick up is Dom Silvia, a 6-5, 315-pound guard. Right now, Silvia has offers from UNH, Bryant, and Penn, but Day expects more to come.
“I just think with Dom’s toughness, size, ability, and how he moves for a big man his size, it’s going to be a huge spring for a lot of our guys,” Day said. “Dom has big-time Power 5 potential.
Another player who should see things pick up is Darius Day, the coach’s son and a wide receiver and defensive back. Day is 5-11.5, 180 pounds, and ran a sub-4.5 40-yard dash at South Carolina. His offer at this point is from Bucknell.
Other 2024 players for Dexter who will be recruited are quarterback Joe McCauley (6-2, 185), wide receiver/defensive back Mike Bonsu (5-10, 175), athlete/linebacker Quinn Carver (6-0, 185), offensive lineman Riley Bloch (6-3, 280), and linebacker/long snapper Alex Saunders (5-10, 200).
The 2025 class for Dexter is also talented. Hardy Watts, a 6-5, 280-pound offensive lineman, has no offers yet, but “has the attention of Power 5 and Ivy schools,” according to Day.
Other prospects to keep an eye on in that 2025 class are defensive lineman Bryan Joseph (6-1, 280), wide receiver/defensive back Dom Wadland (5-11, 185), linebacker Chase Halfkenny (6-0, 200), and two-way lineman Matthew Harsfield (6-3, 270).
“Luckily, we’ve been able to attract some students who are great football players, great kids, and great students as well,” Day said.
Reynolds picking up steam
One player whose recruitment is picking up momentum is Cheshire Academy athlete Luke Reynolds.
This is a versatile prospect who can play quarterback, tight end, or defensive end at the next level.
Over the last week, Reynolds has picked up offers from Kentucky, URI, and Penn.
Keep an eye on Reynolds going forward.
More for Ackerman
Another player to monitor is Shrewsbury’s Cooper Ackerman. At 6-4, 235, Ackerman is a natural fit at either tight end or edge defender at the next level.
Ackerman just picked up a UMass offer this week, and also owns ones from UConn, Boston College, and Rutgers.