Leominster High quarterback/safety Neil O'Connor, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, verbally committed to the University of New Hampshire, making him the third Class of 2014 product from the Bay State to pledge to the Wildcats.
O'Connor received an offer from the Wildcats back on Dec. 23, joining Bryant among the Division 1 programs offering a scholarship. Delaware and a smattering of Northeast-10 programs in Division 2 had also shown varying degrees of interest at the time of O'Connor's commitment.
O'Connor, who is committing to UNH as a defensive athlete, spoke to ESPNBoston.com this evening for a few more comments about his commitment:
Determining factors in his decision: "They have a very successful winning program, I like the coaches a lot, and I have heard nothing but good things about school from people I know that are up there. It's a little diff from home for me. It was a perfect fit."
On the coaching staff, and the defense: "I went to 2-3 of their games this year, and their defense played great. I've met the defensive coordinator and defensive back coach (John Lyons), I've talked to them and they're really good coaches, good guys, good to play for. Their defense was great both times I went. I went to their game against Maine [their final regular-season home game], and they shut them down, that was pretty good."
What the coaching staff likes about him: "They told me they liked my film and think I'm a great football player. One of their coaches recruiting me is a Leominster guy, Mike Ferzoco. They had heard nothing but good things about me as a person, and that’s what they said factored in."
On realizing his Division 1 dream: "I wanted to play college football since I was a kid. To play D1 at such a good program, it's a life changer. I'm really excited and looking forward to getting out there."
On if there are any regrets about not pursuing college baseball: "I had talked about trying to play both sports at a college. I'm gonna miss baseball a little bit, but football is my true love, so I can't go wrong with that."