COLLEGE BEAT: New Hampshire’s the pick for Xavier/Southington’s Kvietkus

COLLEGE BEAT: New Hampshire’s the pick for Xavier/Southington’s Kvietkus


SOUTHINGTON — Niko Kvietkus has designs on going into business. Before we know it, he’ll be devising five-year plans.

For now, he’s got the five-year plan for his education in place.

The All-State football player from Xavier/Southington has verbally commited to the University of New Hampshire. He made his announcement via Twitter over the weekend.

The lineman will be heading up to Durham in the summer of 2018 after putting in a post-grad year at Deerfield Academy.

Kvietkus chose New Hampshire, a Division I FCS school in the Colonial Athletic Association, over Villanova and Army. Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut State had also shown interest in the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder.

“I felt at home there the most,” Kvietkus said of New Hampshire on Tuesday. “I loved the coaching staff across the board. New Hampshire is the place for me.

“I love the water — it’s a half hour from the ocean — and I snowboard in the winter,” Kvietkus continued, adding with a wry chuckle, “I’m not sure if they’re going to let me do that.”

Winter pursuits in the White Mountains are indeed TBA. Where Kvietkus stands to find steady traction is up front at tackle in New Hampshire’s 4-3 defensive front. This fall, at Deerfield, which employs a 3-4, he’ll play tackle and defensive end.

Kvietkus is a proven two-way commodity on the line. After his senior year at Xavier last fall, he was named All-SCC and All-State Class LL as a defensive end. He made the Walter Camp Second Team as an offensive lineman. He was also an All-Connecticut pick in USA Today.

Kvietkus manned multiple positions in high school. Along with playing defensive end, he moved over to left tackle after playing center his junior year. Sophomore year, Kvietkus saw time at fullback. (No word on whether Deerfield or New Hampshire will add any William “Refrigerator” Perry plays in their playbooks.)

At Deerfield, Kvietkus joins a venerable program itching for a turnaround in the wake of two straight 3-5 seasons. Big Green culminates its season going head to head with Choate in every sport (this year’s rivalry plays in Deerfield).

At New Hampshire, Kvietkus will join one of the top football programs in the Colonial Athletic Association. Led by Sean McDonnell, who’s been head coach at his alma mater for 19 seasons, the Wildcats went 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the CAA in 2016.

They fell in the postseason to league rival James Madison, which went on to win the national FCS championship. For its part, New Hampshire has gone to 13 straight FCS playoffs.

Matt Torrey of Cheshire, who attended Cheshire Academy, is a junior tight end for the Wildcats. Notre Dame-West Haven standout Christian Lupoli is heading to UNH this fall as a quarterback.


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