Monday, January 14, 2013
Laurent Commits to UMass
Laurent has also helped the Blue Hawks win back-to-back D-I I state championships. And now he has become the first local player from NH's Class of 2013 to accept a scholarship from a Division I FBS school. Laurent has committed to the University of Massachusetts, which competes in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
"UMass heated up quickly after the season and had me down for a game against Central Michigan" Laurent told the NH Notebook. "I met the closely bonded coaching staff, where I saw a bright future and lots of potential! They play at Gillette Stadium and open up with Wisconsin and play very strong competition. The FBS level of play definitely surprised me and made me want to compete at the highest level of NCAA football!"
Over the past year, Laurent emerged as one of the top recruits in New England for both kicking and punting. At the FBS level, some schools have one player to the kicking and punting while at others the same player is utilized for both. Then there are also some schools who will have one player do kickoffs and and another player kick field goals and PAT's.
"UMass recruited me as a punter" Laurent explained. "Punting has become something I have gotten strong in, but I will work to earn a starting position at all 3 duties - PK, Kickoff, and Punt. Kicking is something that I have done and loved for a lot longer time than punting. But as i progress, I feel punting is gonna be it. My longest field goal is 60 yards and my biggest punt was somewhere around 58 yards, with 5.2 seconds hang time."
Laurent's accomplishments on the gridiron are even more impressive when you consider the fact that he didn't even start kicking until high school.
"I started kicking freshmen year as I had played soccer my whole life and was eager to play running back!" Laurent continued. "We needed a kicker so Coach Brent Smith taught me the basics and I went from there. I have to attribute all my success to my parents for supporting me and giving me every opportunity available to train and go to camps. Without them I could not have gotten anywhere!"
Laurent also credits Exeter head coach Bill Ball and the rest of his staff for helping with his recruitment.
"Our coaches are outstanding at keeping special teams a big part of our game plan" said Laurent, who plans on studying Marketing and Business and UMass. "Coach Ball not only makes his guys better football players but people as well. I certainly have learned much more from him than what the average AD or football coach teaches his players. Coach Ball knows everyone in the recruiting field. D3, D2, D1, anything. You name a program, he knows a guy."
While Laurent will now be going off to bigger and better things at UMass, the memories he made at Exeter will surely stay with him for a lifetime.
"Winning two state titles, especially after our win-less season says a lot about the group of kids we had and the coaching staff as well" Laurent concluded. "We have by far the best coaches in the state, and they put outrageous amounts of time into our program, on and off the field. We had a great team bond that made us deny failure, and had outstanding chemistry."