Mass. College Football: Locals Invited To NFL Rookie Mini Camps

Merrimack's Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)
Merrimack’s Isaiah Voegeli signed his undrafted free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday! (Photo Credit: Merrimack College Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

As noted on our blog yesterday, Bentley University graduate student Nick Halloran was invited to this weekend’s New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp.

“Just amazing news, not a better way to start the day,” Halloran told the Boston Globe on Tuesday.

Halloran isn’t the only local college football player to earn an invite to a rookie mini camp this weekend as Framingham State’s James Muirhead will attempt to earn a spot with the St. Louis Rams, while Middlebury College’s Ryan Moores, who prepped at Governor’s Academy, will tryout with the Atlanta Falcons.

“I’m braced for it,” Muirhead told the Brockton Enterprise on Tuesday. “I understand what’s going to happen. But you know what? I’m not there to make any friends. I’m there to compete. I’m going there to get a job.”

Merrimack College’s Isaiah Voegeli became the fourth player in program history to sign with a professional team as the Hyannis native inked his name on an undrafted free agent contract Monday with the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Voegeli said in the college’s release.  “I can’t thank head coach Dan Curran enough for his help and guidance and preparation to get me to this point. This is a dream come true that I’ve dreamt about since I was 7, to just have a shot and I’ve been blessed this opportunity.”

Voegeli will leave the North Andover campus as the all-time receiver in multiple receiving categories, which includes catches (211) and yards (3,554). He also ranks second in program history with 34 touchdown receptions, too.

Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, the Boston Herald reported that Muirhead, Voegeli and Moores, along with Assumption College’s Nick Haag and Boston College’s Jim Noel worked out with the Falcons, Patriots and New Orleans Saints.

Mass. College Football: Bentley’s Halloran Invited To Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Nick Halloran, who was invited to the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Former Bentley University offensive lineman Nick Halloran (Somerville/ Buckingham, Browne & Nichols) has been invited to participate in the New England Patriots’ Rookie Mini Camp this weekend.

Halloran, a six-foot-four, 302-pounder, started at tackle for Bentley the last three years after beginning his career at Boston College. He moved to the left side this past season after playing right tackle his first two years at Bentley.

Halloran earned first-team All-Northeast-10 honors in both 2011 and 2012, and was named to the 2012 Don Hansen Football Gazette Division II All-Super Region 1 team.  He was also a Football GazetteDivision II honorable mention All-America.

In 2012, Halloran helped the Bentley offense produce 388 yards and 26.3 points a game while controlling the ball for an average of 33 minutes.

“I was obviously very happy when Nick transferred from Boston College to play tackle for us,” said Bentley football coach Thom Boerman. “He has been a dominate lineman in the NE-10 since the day he arrived and he has played both right and left tackle to protect our QB’s blind side.  He has pro size, is very smart and is strong. Nick had quite a bit of interest from a number of NFL teams and I am glad that the Patriots invited a local player to their mini-camp. He has been working hard to prepare for this opportunity.”

Bentley has one player currently in the NFL, Dallas Cowboys’ offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau. He started every game for the Cowboys during the 2012 season, his fifth year in the league. 

Bentley’s Coach Boerman: ‘It’s Time To Strap It Up And Get Busy’

By Matt Noonan 

The dog days of summer are officially over for Bentley University’s football team, as the Falcons will kick-off their 2012 campaign tomorrow evening under the lights against Pace University.

“It’s time to strap it up and get busy,” exclaimed head coach Thom Boerman.

The Falcons exploded out of the gates last season, winning three of their first four contests before the injury bug stung Steve Hopkins, Blaine Hopwood and Anthony “AC” Carter. The three various players, according to Boerman, battled through their individual injuries, while the team cruised to a 6-4 finish.

“Toward the tail end of the season, we had some injuries that caught up with us a little bit,” explained Boerman.

Yet, with 2011 in their rearview mirror, Boerman and his crew have officially turned the page to this season, and seem very excited, as well as optimistic about the upcoming year.

The Falcons will feature five fifth year seniors, which include running back Bobby Tarr, who led all rushers with 860 yard on 136 carries last season.

All-Northeast-10 Conference tackle Nick Halloran, who is also a fifth year senior, returns to the offensive line and will be responsible for protecting the team’s new signal caller, Danny Guadagnoli.

“[Danny’s] been here for a couple years and played behind Bryant Johnson,” said Boerman.

“He had a lot of pedigree as a high school player and a prep school player, but he sat, learned, watched and we changed the offense when I took over as the head coach to go to more with the spread [offense] and Danny is really suited for the spread offense because he runs really well,” added Boerman. “He’s got a good short, accurate arm, and understands the offense.”

Guadagnoli will certainly be asked to target various receivers through the air, but as Boerman noted earlier this week, he expects his offense to also lean on running backs Tarr, Lorenzo Warren, Emmitt Smith and Tyler Coppola.

On the other side of the ball, the Falcons will counter with senior John Aminti, who according to his head coach is one of the best linemen in the NE-10.

“He’s very consistent, strong, quick, and he’s improved every year,” stated Boerman.

Aminti will most likely line up next to Matt Campo and Andrew Sklar on Friday, as well as throughout the course of the season.

At linebacker, Bentley will rely on Blaine Hopwood, who according to Boerman, has had a tremendous camp and is eager to record his first tackle of the season.

Finally, the Falcons secondary should be solid once again, especially with fifth year safeties Don and Steve Hopkins leading the unit.

“I think defensively we’re pretty good,” said Boerman. “I think Scott Boyle, the defensive coordinator and Rusty McKinney,the linebackers coach, have spent a lot of time developing this unit. The thing with a complicated defense is the amount of mistakes that can occur, but I think this camp, I have been pleased that they really minimized those mistakes, so it’s not about effort because they give me a huge effort, and they’re a talented group of kids. They’re a tough bunch of kids and they’ve minimized their mistakes, so I have a lot of high expectations for our defensive unit this year.”

As for their first contest against Pace, Boerman believes his squad should not rely on their experience last year, which featured a battle against the Setters in a foot of snow or the game two years ago that was highlight by a last minute comeback.

“Everyone seems to think that Pace, [a squad] that’s had their struggles over the last few years is going to continue, I don’t buy it. I think we’re going to have our hands full,” said Boerman.

“We’re going to have to play hard, they’re going to be here to play hard and they worry me because they’re a team that could come in here and really give us trouble,” added Boerman. “We’re going to have to coach our rear ends off so that we can give them every bit of a contest that we can.”

Bentley Football Enters Season Tied 4th In NE-10 Preseason Coaches Poll

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Bentley University’s athletic departments — here is today’s press release pertaining toward the Falcons preseason ranking in the Northeast-10 Conference football coaches’ poll.

The Falcons, according to the release, will begin their season tied for fourth place in the conference with Merrimack College.

For more information on the Falcons football program — CLICK HERE.

WALTHAM, Mass. – Coming off a 6-4 season, the Bentley University Falcons are tied for fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference football preseason coaches’ poll, which was announced Monday morning.

Defending champion and 2011 NCAA Division II national quarterfinalist New Haven topped the rankings by a comfortable margin, with the Chargers receiving 63 points and seven first-place votes.  Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.

The other two first-place votes went to Southern Connecticut and American International, who finished second and third, respectively. Southern garnered 53 points, AIC followed with 50, and both Bentley and Merrimack came in with 41.

Rounding out the poll were Assumption (29), Stonehill (24), Saint Anselm (15) and Pace (8).

The preseason rankings essentially mirror last year’s final standings, which saw Bentley, AIC and Merrimack finish in a tie for third with 5-3 conference records.

Fourth-year head coach Thom Boerman has 15 starters back from last year’s club, a group that includes running back Bobby Tarr (Byfield/Bishop Fenwick HS), wide-out Bill Kiley (Quincy/Boston College HS), All-Conference tackle Nick Halloran (Somerville/BB&N) and the team’s top two tacklers, junior linebackers Blaine Hopwood (New Bedford/New Bedford HS) and Kyle Young (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial HS).

One of the biggest issues during training camp is determining a successor for three-year starter Bryant Johnson at quarterback, with the primary candidates being junior Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) and senior Luke Zahradka (Franklin Square, N.Y./H.F. Carey HS).

Bentley opens its season at home, under the Friday night lights, against Pace Aug. 31 and plays its only non-conference game of the season eight days later at West Virginia Wesleyan, the number three preseason pick in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

The schedule also includes the first-ever Northeast-10 championship weekend Nov. 10 with the top two teams squaring off for the conference title. The next six teams also be in action, with the teams finishing third, fourth and fifth hosting games.

To view the preseason coaches poll rankings and votes — HOP HERE.

Bentley Football Opens Pre-Season Camp Sunday, August 12

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of our friends from Bentley University’s athletic department — here is Wednesday’s press release pertaining toward the Falcons football pre-season camp, which is scheduled to open Sunday, August 12, 2012.

Last season, the Falcons won six of their 10 games, as well as went 5-3 in the Northeast-10 Conference, too.

For more information on Bentley’s football team or the upcoming 2012 season — CLICK HERE.

 WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University football team will return to campus for its preseason camp on Sunday with the 89-man roster including five players returning for their fifth year of eligibility, a quintet that includes first-team All-Northeast-10 Conference tackle Nick Halloran (Somerville/BB&N School).

Also back for their fifth year are defensive backs Don and Steve Hopkins (Walham/Waltham HS), tight end Jon Wilkie (Groton/Lawrence Academy) and tailback Bobby Tarr (Byfield/Bishop Fenwick HS).

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Halloran spent two years at Boston College, including one as a red-shirt, before transferring to Bentley prior to the 2010 season. For the Falcons, he’s started 19 of 20 games during his first two seasons.

The Hopkins twins have been integral parts of the Bentley secondary over the last four seasons, combining for 15 interceptions and 264 tackles. Don, a first-team All-Northeast-10 honoree in 2010, had 49 tackles and three picks last fall while Steve missed most of last season due to injury after having 68 stops in 2010.

Tarr has been one of the Northeast-10’s top rushers the last two seasons, averaging better than six yards a carry during that time. He rushed for 590 yards in 2010 and bettered that last year with 860, most by a Falcon since 2005 and a total that ranked third in the conference.

Wilkie had six catches out of the tight end position last fall while predominantly being used as a blocker.

One of the major decisions that fourth-year head coach Thom Boerman and his staff must make during camp is who will be the starting quarterback. That is a first for Boerman who started Bryant Johnson, one of the premier QBs in the program’s history, in every game during his first three seasons at the helm.

Junior Danny Guadagnoli (Framingham/Framingham HS) and senior Luke Zahradka (Franklin Square, N.Y./H.F. Carey HS) are the primary candidates, and both emerged from the spring workouts about even. Both have thrown for 78 yards in limited action during their careers with Guadagnoli six of 20 passes and Zahradka four of nine.

Bentley will open its ten-game schedule Aug. 31 with a Friday night home game against Pace University and will play its only non-conference contest of the season eight days later, at West Virginia Wesleyan.

The regular season will conclude Nov. 10 with the first Northeast-10 championship weekend. The top two teams will square off for the NE-10 title, and the third, fourth and fifth place teams will also host games.