Salem’s Jerickson Fedrick dominated the New Hampshire high school ranks, and continued to bulldoze the competition when he moved on to prep school last fall.
Now, the 2012 Eagle-Tribune Male Athlete of the Year will test his football skills against Division 1 college competition.
Fedrick announced yesterday — on National Signing Day — that he would be playing football for Division 1-AA University of Maine.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “We’ve been in contact since the start of the fall and I just felt like UMaine was the right fit for me. They are looking for running backs, and this felt like the best opportunity.”
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound speedster is coming off a monster postgrad year at Choate, where he rushed for a team-high 1,268 yards and scored 16 TDs.
He had received offers from fellow Division 1-AA schools the University of Rhode Island, Towson University and University at Albany, but ultimately decided earlier this week that Maine was the choice.
“I will be a UMaine Black Bear!” he Tweeted last night.
“My phone’s been going crazy with friends and family,” said Fedrick. “Maine offered me a full scholarship and I took it. I visited the campus three weeks ago and really liked it, their offense is pro-style which fits me, and they seemed to think I could see playing time early.”
Retired Salem High football coach Jack Gati, whose final season was Fedrick’s senior year in 2011, was thrilled to learn the news.
“I think he will do great there,” said Gati. “He has always wanted to play football at the highest level he could play, and Division 1-AA in a great conference (Colonial Athletic Association) is a great level. Maine is a really good program that played Nebraska a few years ago and Boston College last year. He will probably redshirt next season, but I think he will fit in very well.”
In four years as a starting running back at Salem High, Fedrick set the Eagle-Tribune area career rushing record with 4,568 yards, breaking the record of close friend and current Marist back Max Jacques, and scored 75 career touchdowns. As a senior he was Eagle-Tribune football offensive Player of the Year and boys track MVP, a sport where he was an 11-time state champ.
But he found the recruiting process difficult during high school.
“I wasn’t really comfortable with the recruiting process,” he said. “I talked to a lot of colleges, but was never really close to committing. I decided to contact Choate, because it seemed like a great place to improve my academics and develop as a football player.”