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UNH notebook: Buzbee shows way in spring workouts
Alan Buzbee, one half of the University of New Hampshire football team’s punishing and productive pair of linebackers, has had a couple of very good seasons as a starter.
He’s looking to go out with an even better one his senior year.
Buzbee is 6-foot-3 and 238 pounds and was the first player coach Sean McDonnell cited after a physical and spirited spring workout on Friday.
“I’m pleased with the way he’s practicing,” McDonnell said. “He’s done some really good things. He had a good year last year and he wants to be much better than he was last year and he’s really concentrating and doing a nice job out there.”
Buzbee has put up consistent numbers each of the last two seasons and has been third on the team in tackles each year. He had 86 as a sophomore and last fall had 88, exactly half of them solo.
Matt Evans, Buzbee’s classmate and running mate at linebacker, led the team with 165 tackles last season and won the Buck Buchanan Award presented to the top defensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Safety Chris Beranger, who will be a junior, had 142 tackles last season.
Friday’s practice was UNH’s first time out in pads and the third of 15 practices during a spring session that leads up to the Blue-White game on May 5. Practice No. 4 is Tuesday morning at 6:45.
The main challenge this spring is finding a starting quarterback to replace Kevin Decker.
It’s a job that either senior James Brady, sophomore Andy Vailas of Bedford and Bishop Guertin or redshirt freshman Sean Goldrich will take over.
The process of sorting things out has just begun, McDonnell said.
“Everyone has done something good each day and everyone has been off in something each day,” he said. “It’s still early. It’s going to take a long time.”
Assorted Wildcats are on the sidelines for assorted reasons and varying times during the spring.
Evans has a hamstring issue and has not yet played, but may be ready to go as soon as Tuesday.
Sophomore wide receiver R.J. Harris, second on the team with 50 catches in the fall, and a couple of classmates who play defensive back have not participated.
“R.J. Harris, Tre Williams and Steven Thames have been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules,” McDonnell said.
Sophomore running back Nico Steriti is recovering from shoulder surgery and won’t play this spring. Mike MacArthur, a junior kicker and punter out of North Hampton and Winnacunnet, is rehabilitating from hip surgery and won’t kick during the spring.
The Wildcats do have a fourth quarterback on the roster, but he’s not in the mix for the starting job. Cam Seymour, 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds, is out of Hyannis, Mass., and Nauset Regional High School, and spent a year at Bryant University but did not play there.
Defensive tackle Rashid Armand, a redshirt freshman, is coming back from an ACL injury and should be ready for the fall.
By ALLEN LESSELS, New Hampshire Union Leader