Nashua South play maker Armond McRae is no stranger to playing in a high-powered pass-happy offense that likes to spread the field and put up a lot of points. He did in high school, and was one of the top offensive players in NH for each of the past 3 years. McRae also played DB for a Purple Panthers team that made the Division I playoffs in 2 of those 3 years.
On Wednesday McRae signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his career at Merrimack College, where he will be able to play in a similar offense under head coach John Perry. Merrimack is a Division II school in North Andover, MA that plays in the Northeast-10 Conference. They won an NE-10 championship in Perry's first year at the helm in 2009.
McRae (who also plays basketball at South) took time out of his basketball routine to sign his NLO for Merrimack today. He then did an exclusive interview with the NH Notebook to discuss his decision and look back at his high school career.
Jeremy Leveille: Talk about your decision to commit to Merrimack over the other schools you were considering playing for.
Armond McRae: After the season ended i sat down with a lot of coaches from different schools and Merrimack really stood out. Right away i could tell how much they wanted me to play for their program. My recruiter Coach Curren knew a lot about me which impressed me quite a bit. Merrimack is building a new building with a weight room and a center dedicated to exercise science, which is what i want to major in. They also run a spread offense that passes the ball a lot which is very similar to my sophomore year when we passed 80% of the time. With the coaching staff and their explosive pass offense it was an easy decision to make.
JL: What do you see your role being on the team at Merrimack?
AM: I'm going to be used for offense and special teams but I'm willing to play anywhere I'm needed to help contribute. If I could choose, because of Merrimack's ability to pass, I'd like to get a chance to play slot receiver. Merrimack's offense is very similar to South's offense my sophomore year. Both schools run a high tempo spread offense. Merrimack has quarterbacks who can really throw the ball surrounded by receivers who can catch and make plays.
JL: Thoughts on being able to play so close to home?
AM: It's close enough for my family to come watch me play and it's not close enough for me to come home every weekend.
JL: The last standout running back to come out of Nashua South and go on to play in College was only a couple years ago, with David Zocco going on to play at Rhode Island. What did you learn from playing with him at South?
AM: Watching him play with so much determination in the championship game my freshman year inspired me to try and play like him.
JL: What are some of the programs you've participated in and coaches you've had that have helped with your development as a player?
AM: All of my coaches had a huge hand in helping me mature as a person and as a player throughout my four years at South. Over this past off-season I spent a lot of time at Dynamic Strength and Conditioning. Kevin Buckley and his staff helped me a lot, especially with lateral quickness and strengthening my core.
Congratulations to Armond, and best of luck at Merrimack!