Westhampton's Liam McIntyre poses with the Hansen Award on Dec....

Westhampton's Liam McIntyre poses with the Hansen Award on Dec. 3, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Credit: George A. Faella

Liam McIntyre is staying home. The Westhampton linebacker/fullback who won the Carl A. Hansen Award– presented to Suffolk’s best football player – last fall announced his commitment to Long Island University on Twitter Wednesday night.

“It’s a really great opportunity and I can’t wait for it,” McIntyre said.

McIntyre had previously verbally committed to play at Brown, but financial considerations, among other things, led McIntyre to stay on Long Island.

“I didn’t really get the financial aid numbers that I was hoping for [at Brown],” McIntyre said. "It was going to leave me a lot of student loan debt and it was just going to be a lot for me and my family to handle. I’m very appreciative of the coaching staff and my [possible] teammates, they were all great.”

McIntyre continued: “For what I want to go to school for, which is business, film production, and graphic design, you don’t really need an Ivy degree to get a good job in that field. LIU has a great business school and a great film school, so that worked out perfectly.”

LIU, formerly C.W Post, will make its Division I debut next fall. They’ll play in the Division I Northeast Conference after playing in lower divisions since the program’s inception in 1957.  Long Island University announced the consolidation of its Brooklyn and Brookville athletic departments last fall.

“I’m really excited about them going Division I,” McIntyre said. “I’m excited to be part of a historic team and hopefully make a big impact….My dream has always been to play Division I football. The people at Post have always been great and it’s always been a great opportunity. But, in the beginning, it just didn’t suit that feel that I wanted of Division I. Earning a full scholarship and helping out my family was always my dream. Now that they are Division I, I can get a full ride there, and go make some history, it’s really cool.”

McIntyre’s father, Bob, played outside linebacker at C.W Post from 1986-1988. McIntyre’s mom also went to C.W Post.

“It’s in the blood,” Liam said.

McIntyre, a three-year starter at Westhampton, led his team to two undefeated regular-season titles and ended his career with a 30-3 record. Last season, he made 107 tackles, including 42 solos, six sacks, and 13 tackles for loss. At fullback, he ran for 913 yards and 15 touchdowns. Although nothing is set in stone, LIU- Post head coach Bryan Collins said that McIntyre will be used primarily, if not exclusively, as an outside linebacker.

“He has very good quickness,” Collins said. “Speed-wise, he’s a running back so he’s comfortable with the skill set he needs to have with his hands. The same skill set that made him avoid tacklers is a very good skill set that allows him to avoid blocks. I really like the way he gets away from blocks, whether it’s the separation that he gets or the dip and bend that he has, because he does have that natural instinct as a running back.”

McIntyre was also a standout wrestler at Westhampton, falling in the state Division I wrestling final at 195 pounds last month. He’s won Suffolk wrestling championships at 182 and 195 pounds. Collins said that McIntyre’s wrestling prowess gives him an advantage on the football field.

“We love wrestlers in our program because they do play with leverage,” Collins said. “They know how to use their bodies, and other people’s bodies and weight against them. They’re also tough.”

McIntyre said that, as of now, he will not wrestle at LIU, but wouldn’t rule it out as a possibility in the future.

“Wrestling is one of those things that you can’t get away from,” he said. “Could it be there in the future? Possibly. Maybe if I redshirt this year, in my fifth year I can think about it. As of right now, it’s not there. But it’s always a thought in the back of my mind.

As for redshirting, McIntyre said nothing has been determined.

“It’s a possibility,” McIntyre said. “…Coach Collins said that, coming in, I need to be ready to compete. He said there’s a good chance I could be the guy right off the bat first year, but if I’m not then I will probably redshirt. But, as of right now, I don’t know. It could go either way.  

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