Former Amherst Regional football star Kieran Presley verbally commits to New Hampshire

Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014
If all goes according to Kieran Presley’s plan, Taj-Amir Torres will be his teammate again.

Presley, the former Amherst Regional standout, verbally committed to New Hampshire on Monday.

“I can’t even explain it,” Presley said. “Right when I committed I was extremely happy. I’m done with all this recruiting stuff.”

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Presley and Torres were teammates for two seasons in Amherst. Torres, a junior, is being recruited by the University of Massachusetts, Boston College, Connecticut and a number of Championship Subdivision teams, including UNH, which reached the semifinal round of the FCS playoffs.

“Now that I’m there, I’m going to pressure him hard,” Presley said. “I love that kid. He’s like my little brother.”

Presley will make his commitment official when he signs a National Letter of Intent on Feb. 5, National Signing Day. Presley starred at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Conn., this past season.

The postgrad year “helped a lot,” Presley said. “It was the main reason why UNH was No. 1. I was talking with them last year and a prep year helped. It gave me an extra step.

“It’s completely different” from high school, he added. “It’s like freshman college football. It’s the best in New England. It’s a lot faster, kids are bigger.”

Presley said Maine, Albany and Rhode Island — all members of the Colonial Athletic Association, along with UNH — also recruited him. Presley made one official visit and was sold right away.

“When I got there, immediately all the guys on the team talked to me and got to know me,” he said. “The recruits they are bringing in are really cool. I connected with all them.”

Presley also said he connected with the coaches as well. (UNH offensive line coach Alex Miller was a teammate of Amherst Regional coach David Thompson’s at UMass.)

“They want to bring me in as an athlete, whether that means being a wide receiver, running back or if they need me on defense,” Presley said. “Whatever they need me for.”

The Northampton resident enjoyed a strong season at Loomis Chaffee. He was awarded the Ralph Erickson Award for his efforts on the football field, and was named All-Eastern Eight Conference and All-New England.

Torres, meanwhile, heard from coaches at UMass, UConn and BC within the last week. Coaching staffs from Bowl Subdivision level teams resumed contact with recruits on Wednesday.

“It’s not too much traffic,” said Torres, who is in the middle of the indoor track season. “I’ve been able to focus on track, which is good.”

Torres said he wants to compete against the best.

“I do want to play at the highest level,” he said. “I love competition and the highest competition is always the best.”

Two of the three teams knocking on Torres’ door recently had coaching changes. UMass fired Charley Molnar in December and hired Mark Whipple last week. UConn fired Paul Pasqualoni in September. Bob Diaco was hired in December. The turnover could make a difference in the recruiting process. For example, Torres said UMass was recruiting him to play receiver before the coaching change, and defensive back after it.

Torres said he preferred to play defense.

“If I end up going to one of those schools I’m going to advocate myself playing defense,” he said. “Coaches have a set position for recruits, especially younger guys. But coaches are open, especially if you are versatile.”

Torres still has a year left in the recruiting process, which gives him plenty of time to decide if he wants to joins Presley or go somewhere else.

“That also plays a nice part in recruiting — when you have guys (you know) there,” Torres said.

Mike Moran can be reached at mmoran@gazettenet.com.