Wednesday was national signing day for college football, when high school players across the country officially sign on to play on scholarships for their schools of their choice. And although the Lebanon High boys and girls basketball teams are getting a lot of coverage right now, it is one of their football players who is really making the headlines.
Alexander Morrill is one of the most feared lineman to come out of the granite state in recent memory. He was an all-state player at Lebanon, where he helped the Raiders win the Division IV championship as a junior in 2010. And on Wednesday he signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his career at the University of New Hampshire. UNH is a Division I program that competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The Wildcats have made the FCS playoffs a nation-best 8 consecutive years.
On his big day 'Zander' took the time to do an exclusive interview with the NH Notebook. Here's what he had to say.
Jeremy Leveille: What factors led you to choose UNH over the other schools who were recruiting you?
Alexander Morrill: I choose UNH for a couple of reasons; I have been going to the UNH football camp since i was in 6th grade. Through the years i have grown a liking to the coaches. They made me feel at home every time i visited. I could always picture myself in a UNH uniform. Also they carry the majors that interest me the most.
JL: What do you see your role being on the team with UNH?
AM: Freshman year I will most likely be red shirted. They plan to play me on the offensive side of the ball at guard. I figure that freshman year I get bigger, faster, and stronger and then when my time comes to step out on the field I'll try my best to do my job and help win a championship for the team.
JL: Talk about the football tradition at UNH and being able to now be a part of it.
AM: UNH football is becoming an amazing program. Great school spirit and great competition. That’s what I was looking for. On my recruiting visit we watched a video of the team. They were all family and had such an amazing bond with Coach Mac. I am so happy to be a part of the Wildcat tradition.
JL: How is your foot doing now since the injury?
AM: I did need surgery on my foot. The injury happened during the Plymouth game this year 2nd to last game. Its 100% now but I'm easing back into the conditioning aspects of recovery. Lifting weights wasn’t a problem. I lost a little strength but I'm almost back to full. Just no running on uneven ground. The schools had no problem with the injury. They said the bone would heal. So no issues there. Rehab is going good. I have been going to cioffredis for physical therapy. Going great.
JL: What does it say about Lebanon football that the program has now had 2 kids go on to play Division I football in the last 2 years? (Cody Patch last year being the other)
AM: Just because were a small school doesn’t mean good football players can’t come out of a program. In the end I believe it’s the effort and work a player puts into his game during the season and especially during the off season will determine where that player will end up in the end. And for me personally the coaches have been amazing. Childs and Mayo have treated me like family. They pushed me to be the best player I could possibly be. Also Brandon LaHay (who also was from Lebanon and had a short football career at Sacred Heart) was the OL/DL coach for our school. He took extra time teaching me stuff that he learned in college and expected nothing less than perfection from me. It's not the school or division that matters, it’s the players.
JL: What was it like winning a Division IV state title with Lebanon in 2010?
AM: Winning the state championship last year was incredible. Words cannot describe the feeling of winning a state championship with such a great group of guys! The coaches pushed us so hard that season. Conditioning was killer but in the end it all paid off. As a team we had amazing team chemistry. We all knew each other’s weaknesses and each other’s strengths. For the town and the community it was such a big deal. Lebanon had never gone undefeated winning a state championship before (we don’t count the old division, CVL). The whole community knew about the game and attended. It felt almost like Friday Night Lights! Such an incredible feeling.
JL: What do you plan on studying at UNH?
AM: Nursing. But the coaches are saying that it would be difficult because of the time in clinical duties, so I have to think about it. It still is doable but very time consuming. If not I was thinking business.
Congratulations to Zander, and best of luck at UNH!