Merrimack’s Joe Eichman heading to UNH
MERRIMACK – The University of New Hampshire football program has certainly gone national, recruiting from all over the nation.
One of the things that makes coach Sean McDonnell’s program so special is that it continues to keep the Granite State’s top talent at home.
Wednesday on National Signing Day, the Wildcats added 10 names to the rosters, including the Granite State’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Andrew Duval of Goffstown and Merrimack sensation Joe Eichman.
The Tomahawks’ senior lists as a 6-foot, 190-pound DB/WR, according to the UNH release.
“Joe is another highly productive, two-way player who is very explosive and dynamic,” McDonnell said.
“He combines outstanding speed with great vision and quickness. Joe has a great knack for making big plays on both sides of the ball, and he will add athleticism to our team in many different areas.”
Eichman had Bryant, Merrimack and both Southern and Central Connecticut in the hunt, but the decision on UNH was a pretty easy one.
“Ever since visiting sophomore year with my team, I liked the school pretty early,” said Eichman, who is currently in the middle of hoop season at Merrimack High. “A lot of it came down to the regular campus life. If things didn’t work out (for whatever reason football-wise), I’d still be very happy there.
“I took my official (visit) there, and it was great. Then, Coach Mac offered me some (scholarship) money. I had other visits planned, but I knew that’s where I wanted to be. My options were definitely open, but the school in general is what originally struck me.”
Eichman, who earned his stripes in high school as a big-play style running back, is ready to play on either side of the ball when he gets to Durham. He’s going in open-minded, just like he is in the classroom where he’ll be undeclared to start with an eye on kinesiology in the back of his mind.
UNH is currently riding a streak of 14 straight playoff appearances in FCS, coming off a triple to the national quarterfinals this past season.
“They’re not only consistent, but it’s such a winning culture, a really good place to be,” said Eichman.
Both Duval and Eichman will play together on the CHaD All-Star team later this year before heading across Route 101 to the Seacoast in late summer.
“I know he’s a great player. I didn’t think we’d end up at the same place,” said Eichman. “We seemed to be going different ways in the recruiting process. Things just happened. I’m excited to be his teammate.”
The eight other NLI signees commiting to UNH Wednesday were: Symir Blackwell, DB/WR, Manalapan, NJ; Charles Briscoe, WR/DB, Bowie, MD; Justin Cogbill, DL/OL, Atlanta, GA; Jordan Conn, K/P, Woodbridge, CT; Chris Donnelly, OL/DL, Park Ridge, NJ; Kyle Lepkowski, TE/DE, Adamstown, MD.