CHESHIRE — Area football players taking advantage of the new NCAA early signing period this week were, by and large, contained within the prep school ranks.
Some of them, such as Southington’s Niko Kvietkus and Cheshire’s Travis Ecke, confirmed where they knew they’d be going all along.
There were, however, a few surprises. Cheshire Academy defensive back Josh Jobe, who joined the Cats as a commit to his hometown University of Miami, wound up shifting in the 11th hour to Alabama. (Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban paid a visit to CA just a few weeks ago.)
Then there’s defensive lineman James Ubaike of Meriden. The one-time Maloney Spartan signed with Eastern Illinois after spending the last two years at North Dakota State College of Science.
Closer to home, Southington’s Kvietkus officially signed with the University of New Hampshire. An All-State player at Xavier, Kvietkus put in a post-grad season at Deerfield Academy this past fall. He was named the NEPSAC’s Lineman of the Year.
Repeating as NESPAC Division A champion for a fourth straight year were the Choate Wild Boars. One of the players who helped extend the run, defensive back Jeremy Lucien of Pennsylvania, is heading to UConn.
Also staying in state is Cheshire Academy’s Travis Ecke. The son of former Cheshire High football coach Mark Ecke signed with Sacred Heart University.
Ecke, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound team captain, played tight end for the Cats and is slotted to play that position for the Pioneers. He also had Division I offers from Bryant and Incarnate Word.
“I’ve been here for 4½ years watching all these guys sign to big-time Division I to Division III schools,” said Ecke. “I’m proud to be a part of the lineage here.”