UNH Insider: Edwards to start opener at QB

  • Ricky Santos (left) talks with Bret Edwards (17) and Max Brosmer (16) during a spring practice at the University of New Hampshire. Santos was named UNH’s interim head coach on Aug. 26, and on Monday he named Edwards as the starting quarterback for UNH’s season-opener on Saturday at Holy Cross. Brosmer will be Edwards’s backup. ALLEN LESSELS / UNH Athletics

  • Bret Edwards (17) waits for a snap during the University of New Hampshire’s Blue-White game on Aug. 25 in Durham. Edwards, a redshirt freshman, will be UNH’s starting quarterback in Saturday’s season-opener at Holy Cross. BEN GILBERT / UNH Athletics

UNH Insider
Published: 9/2/2019 10:37:10 PM

DURHAM – Redshirt freshman Bret Edwards gets the call.

University of New Hampshire interim head football coach Ricky Santos announced Monday morning that Edward will be the starting quarterback for the Wildcats when they open the season at Holy Cross on Saturday at 1 p.m. Edwards is from Lowell, Mass. and a former standout at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Mass.

The back-and-forth race for the No. 1 job started last winter and narrowed to two contenders – Edwards and freshman Max Brosmer – during fall camp.

“Both of those guys we feel are good enough to be starting quarterbacks in this league,” said Santos, who added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Brosmer saw playing time in the Holy Cross game as well.

After the opener, UNH plays its FBS game at Florida International in Miami on Sept. 14 and will then host the University of Rhode Island on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in Wildcat Stadium for the home opener.

The ability to scramble and keep plays alive helped Edwards (6-foot-1, 194 pounds) win the starting job. Taking care of the football also helped.

“He’s really efficient with the football,” Santos said. “Took care of it. Ultimately, he protected the ball better throughout camp. And he gives us a dynamic with his legs.”

Edwards was outstanding in UNH’s Blue-White game that wrapped up fall camp on Aug. 25, completing his first 10 passes and finishing the game 18-for-19 for 176 yards and two touchdowns to sophomore receiver Brian Espanet (who also caught a scoring pass from Brosmer).

Edwards was a three-year starter at Central Catholic and was the Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 MVP. For his high school career, he passed for 4,736 yards and 54 TDs. He worked with the scout team and as a backup last year and did not see any game action with the Wildcats.

After the Blue-White scrimmage, Edwards talked about how his game has come along.

“Last year was a big learning year for me, so I was out there timid, not knowing where to put the ball sometimes,” he said. “But this year I’ve put in a lot of work. Coach Santos has helped us out a lot with reads and coverages and just making us feel comfortable back there. He’s brought a lot to the table. Mostly coverages for me and reading the defense and knowing where the ball goes and canceling out routes that aren’t going to be there with those coverages.”

Last year at this time, Brosmer, who’s from Roswell, Ga., was starting his final season of high school football at Centennial High. He passed for 3,459 yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior. He graduated early and enrolled at UNH in January, working with the Wildcats through the winter and spring.

In the team’s spring game, Brosmer completed 12 of his 19 passes for 151 yards and a pair of scores. In the fall game, he went 6-for-9 for 99 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

On Saturday, Edwards and the Wildcats take on a Holy Cross team that already has a game under its belt.

The Crusaders played at Navy, an FBS level opponent, and fell, 45-7, on Saturday.

UNH knocked off Holy Cross, 28-0, last year at home in Wildcat Stadium. But two years ago at Fitton Field in Worcester, the Wildcats lost to Holy Cross, 51-26. The Crusaders put up 520 yards of offense and had five passing touchdowns in that game.

(Allen Lessels is the UNH Insider and can be reached at Allen.Lessels@unh.edu or on Twitter @UNHInsider)

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