By David Willis
LAWRENCE — After months of weighing an ever-growing list of scholarship offers from Division 1-AA football programs, it simply clicked for Central Catholic star D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie Sunday night.
“I visited UNH one more time with my mother,” said Drummond-Mayrie. “I had seen the football facilities but not the whole school. They took me on the tour, and I already loved the football program, and it just sealed the deal for me.”
Last night, Drummond-Mayrie — a highly regarded defensive back — officially committed to play his college football at the University of New Hampshire on a full scholarship starting in 2014.
“I’m thrilled,” said the Lawrence resident. “I’m very happy. UNH really didn’t become my favorite until maybe two weeks ago. I really liked the coaches, especially (head coach Sean) McDonnell. I feel like I fit in well with the team and it is close enough to home that my family can watch me play.”
The recruiting process heated up a great deal for Drummond-Mayrie over the summer and into the fall. Along with UNH, he also received offers from 1-AA schools Bryant, Colgate, Lafayette, Villanova and Albany.
“At first, you are wondering if you are going to get any offers,” he said. “Then they start coming in and it feels good. But after a while it starts to get very overwhelming.
“Bryant was the first school to offer me. Then I started to go to a lot of the prospect camps, like Boston College, Villanova and Fordham and more schools contacted me.”
But eventually, UNH emerged as the favorite.
“It just felt right,” he said. “I visited a few practices and loved how coach McDonnell runs practices. He brings a special kind of energy that a lot of coaches don’t bring. I know it’s going to take a lot of work to play at this level, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.”
His connection to the Wildcats program actually dates back to his sophomore year at Central Catholic.
“The school was visiting to talk to my teammate (current Saint Anselm lineman) Ryan Barry and I met them,” said Drummond-Mayrie. “Then a year or so went by and they came during my junior year and we talked again.”
Central Catholic coach Chuck Adamopoulos feels that his defensive back, who made 47 tackles, broke up 16 passes and had an interception as a cornerback last season, will fit in perfectly at UNH.
“As a player and a student, I think it’s a great fit,” said Adamopoulos. “He has good size for a secondary kid (6-foot, 207). He has the athleticism and coverage ability to play cornerback and the size and aggressiveness to play safety. That’s a nice combo to have. And he will probably red-shirt next year so he will have another year to get better.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. He had six really good schools that all had strengths. But I think UNH is a great choice. It’s a great program and coach McDonald is a class act.”
Drummond-Mayrie said he will be playing defensive back at the next level. He is a two-way star for the Raiders, as both a safety and running back. He has rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns on just 15 carries — he carried just four times on Saturday due to the lopsided victory over Haverhill — so far this season after going for 621 yards and 10 touchdowns a season ago.
“I enjoy playing offense and defense,” he said. “But I really feel comfortable as a defensive back. I enjoy hitting and playing it. I just love football.”
With the college decision out of the way, he can now fully focus on Central Catholic, which is 2-0 heading into a pair of grueling contests the next two weeks in defending Division 1 Super Bowl champion St. John’s Prep on Friday and arch-rival Andover, which beat the Raiders for the MVC Division 1 title on Thanksgiving last fall, next week.
“It wasn’t stressing me out too much but I am really glad to have it off my back,” he said. “I can just play football now, and I think we have a good team that can compete and do some things.”
See his story
To see a preseason video interview with Central’s D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie, along with highlights of his play, visit eagletribune.com/sports.