5 areas to watch as UNH opens spring practice

Max Brosmer returns as one of the top signal callers in the CAA and all of FCS College Football. 

The UNH Wildcats open spring practice today. Coming off of an 8-4 season and a share of the CAA title, the Wildcats return enough talent that they should once again compete for the conference title and a playoff birth.

Here are five areas to watch as the Wildcats kick off spring practice.

1. Replacing familiar faces: The Wildcats return most of the key pieces from last season’s conference title run but they must replace some big contributors in guard Patrick Flynn, wide receiver Brian Espanet, safety Pop Bush and defensive lineman Niko Kvietkus. It will not be easy but Santos and his staff have recruited well and they have built up enough depth that guys will step up and fill some of those roles.

2. Max Brosmer takes the next step: Max Brosmer returned from a knee injury and had a tremendous season. He threw for 3,154 yards and 27 touchdown passes. Brosmer is one of the top returning quarterbacks in FCS and poised to take the next step in his development.

3. The running game: Dylan Laube had one of the best seasons in program history and he is back along with back Issac Seide. The two formed one of the most potent and dynamic backfields in the country. We are excited to see them pick up where they left off last season and be even more impactful this upcoming season.

4. The offensive line: Losing Flynn hurts but the Wildcats have plenty of young talent along the offensive line that will earn valuable reps this spring and develop. The good news is, the Wildcats run the Shanahan, McVay West Coast offense so they will run the football. Sophomore Dylan Poirier, redshirt freshman Mason Davis and freshman Beau Riley, who is 6-foot-7 and 330 pounds all return this spring along with junior center Osho Omoyeni so there is plenty of talent on hand.

5. Returning talent on dedense: I think the UNH defense is one of the best in New England. Led by defensive end Josiah Silver, linebackers Oleh Manzyk, Zedane Williams, Bryce Shaw and a ball hawking secondary, this group will once generate pressure, turnovers and they’ll do it all by playing fast. The Wildcats do need to replace some key contributors on this side of the ball but thanks to strong recruiting and the transfer portal, there are plenty of capable replacements on the roster.

Building off of last season will be one of the big keys for Santos and his staff this spring. The talent is in place for the Wildcats to exceed what they did last season. A good spring will go a long way in ensuring that this program is built to once again contend in the CAA.