All-Ivy: New London's Roman commits to Yale

New London High School senior J. Hunter Roman has given a commitment to attend Yale University and play football for the Bulldogs.

Oh, the offers J. Hunter Roman has received from potential college football suitors.

Boston College, UConn and Central Connecticut have all courted Roman, a New London High School senior. He and Juan, his father, both visited Miami last week, their favorite college team.

Yale was the first school to offer Roman, though, and it's hard to say no to Yale.

Roman has given a verbal commitment to the Bulldogs.

"They offered me after my sophomore year, a whole year in advance of anyone else," Roman said. "I've had a relationship with them for the longest of any school. They're in close proximity, so I've been able to be on the campus plenty of times and have gotten to know the players."

Roman is a 6-foot-5, 205-pound defensive end for the Whalers. He was selected to both The Day's All-Area Team and the Connecticut High School Coaches' Association CIAC Class L team last season.

New London coach Duane Maranda said that schools have looked at Roman as an outside linebacker/rush end who can get to the quarterback or drop back into pass coverage.

"He's got great explosiveness as far as getting off the ball," Maranda said. "Last year, one of the biggest strides he made from his junior year to his sophomore year was using his length. When he was doubled by a tight end, he learned to play with leverage; play with low pad level.

"That's one of the things that's made him so attractive to colleges. They see 6-foot-5 players all the time, but can they play with good bend in their legs? Can they play low? That's something he's gotten phenomenally good at. He has a seven-foot wing span and he's learned how to use that to his advantage."

Roman is one of the reasons why New London should be a Class M contender this season. It returns more than a dozen starters who helped the program qualify for the Class L playoffs last season.

"One of the other big things Hunter gives us, besides his athleticism, is his football savvy and intelligence," Maranda said. "He's able to control the defense. He can make calls that traditionally a safety or the inside linebacker would make. He's played football so long and he's a coach's son (Juan is New London's defensive coordinator). He's an extremely intelligent kid who just gets the whole picture."

Roman has time to decide on a major, but he's leaning toward business.

"It's a huge deal for my family and I think the whole city," Roman said. "It's not every day that someone from New London gets the Ivy League. My parents both went to state schools. My father went to Central. My grandfather didn't get past grade school. He came over from Puerto Rico. Now his grandson is going to go to Yale. I think that's a crazy thing."

n.griffen@theday.com

Twitter: @metalned

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