Month: March 2013

Breaking down the 2013 NMSU football schedule

Home games:

  • Minnesota (September 7) – Agriculture Day
  • UTEP (September 14) – I-10 Rivalry
  • San Diego State (September 28) – Military Appreciation Day/Band Day
  • Rice (October 19) – Tough Enough to Wear Pink
  • Abilene Christian (October 26) – Homecoming/Senior Day
  • Boston College (November 9) – Student Appreciation Day
  • Idaho (November 30) – Sponsor Appreciation Day

The Aggies have a great home schedule and can use that to their advantage. UTEP, Rice, Idaho, and Abilene Christian are all very winnable games.

Away games:

  • Texas (August 31) – Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, Texas)
  • UCLA (September 21) – Rose Bowl (Pasadena, California)
  • New Mexico (October 5) – University Stadium (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • Louisiana-Lafayette (November 2) – Cajun Field (Lafayette, Louisiana)
  • Florida Atlantic (November 23) – FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Florida)

Carl Pelini (Florida Atlantic) and Bob Davie (UNM) are still rebuilding their teams into winners. Can the Aggies take advantage and pull off the upsets?
The X-factors:

  • At QB, Travaughn Colwell is an excellent athlete with a great work ethic – a coach’s dream. He’s also a much better fit for the spread offense than incumbent Andrew Manley. Now, the onus is on Colwell to improve his game and become a more vocal leader in the locker room. He showed improvement throwing the ball in the spring, and the hope is that carries on to the field in the fall.
  • Speaking of leadership, the Aggies’ seniors MUST be willing to energize the team. Coach Martin can’t pump up the enthusiasm all on his own. Team leadership will be critical for NMSU this season.
  • The defense was dreadful last season and must toughen up and develop some much needed swagger. Players like outside linebacker Trashaun Nixon and safety Davis Cazares are good building blocks. An experienced secondary and some quality pass-rushers up front are also great places to start.
  • Teams are better prepared to neutralize Austin Franklin at WR. The Aggies got five recruits who can help out at receiver and take some pressure off Franklin. Returnees Jerrel Brown, Joseph Matthews, Josh Bowen, and Adam Shapiro all enjoyed excellent spring camps.
  • One reason the Aggies were so bad on defense last year was because they couldn’t force turnovers or get any sacks. NMSU recorded only four picks and 11 sacks in 2012. Some quality D-linemen and linebackers were brought in by Martin and his staff, and they need to give the whole unit a shot in the arm.
  • Depth at running back is thin, and the Aggies also need someone to step up and provide some competition at placekicker.
  • The secondary has potential and brings back lots of experience, but was erratic in 2012 and must also jell under a new coach and an influx of recruits.
  • It remains to be seen if Martin can get the boosters to adequately fund the program. One thing that did in DeWayne Walker as a coach was his inability to get support and money for Aggie football. Martin has spoken of his desire to see the city of Las Cruces “take ownership” of the football team; he needs to show early on that he can get both good donations and quality recruits to come to Las Cruces.

If the ball bounces their way, this will be the Aggies’ end result.

L – Texas
L – Minnesota
W – UTEP
L – UCLA
L – San Diego State
W – UNM
L – Rice
W – Abilene Christian
L – UL-Lafayette
L – Boston College
W – Florida Atlantic
W – Idaho

A 5-7 record? I’ll take it! If we can sweep UTEP and UNM, that alone will be enough for fans to show up to the games.

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Martin announces new recruits

On February 6th, NMSU head football coach Doug Martin announced the 2013 signing of 22 student-athletes who had signed letters of intent (LOI) to play in Las Cruces starting in fall 2013.

I personally attended the Signing Day celebration at Buffalo Wild Wings in Las Cruces, got a chance to meet Coach Martin, and watch the recruits’ highlight videos presented by recruiting coordinator Todd Littlejohn.

The Aggies signed six transfers: four from the California JUCO system, and two other transfers from Division 1 schools. One 2012 grayshirt recruit, quarterback King Davis III from the Dallas area, is now on campus and will go through spring practice. All of the other 16 signees were from the high school ranks.

I asked Coach Martin why he chose to sign more high school recruits than JUCO players, the opposite of what former coach DeWayne Walker had done the past few years. Martin replied that while we still need junior college contributors at the skill positions, he wants more young offensive and defensive linemen in the pipeline so they can be physically stronger from the day they enter the program. Martin specifically said that it takes more than two years to develop a quality offensive lineman, and I agree.

Here’s a breakdown by position:

RB: 2

WR: 5

OL: 2

DE: 4

LB: 4

CB: 3

S: 2

 

Where they’re from:

Arizona: 1

California: 11

Hawaii: 2

Minnesota: 1

Oregon: 1

Texas: 5

 

Here’s the list of all our recruits:

Kalei Auelua, DE

  • 6’2″, 235
  • St. Louis HS (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Redshirted in 2012 at the University of Washington

Jordan Bergstrom, WR

  • 5’11”, 175
  • Clackamas HS (Portland, Oregon)
  • Santa Rosa Junior College (Santa Rosa, California)

Jerrion Burton, CB

  • 5’11”, 163
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower HS (Rialto, California)

Rodney Butler, LB

  • 6’2″, 205
  • Palm Springs HS (Palm Springs, California)

Greg Clark, WR

  • 6’0″, 172
  • Narbonne HS (Harbor City, California)

Spencer Fa’atoalia, OL

  • 6’2″, 295
  • La Mirada HS (La Mirada, California)

Brandon Hines, LB

  • 6’1″, 187
  • Justin F. Kimball HS (Dallas, Texas)

Gregory Hogan, WR

  • 6’1″, 175
  • Summer Creek HS (Houston, Texas)

Jay Fisher James, DE

  • 6’2″, 270
  • Granite Hills HS (Apple Valley, California)
  • San Bernardino Valley College (San Bernardino, California)

Kawehena Johnson, S

  • 5’9″, 170
  • Kahuku HS (Kahuku, Hawaii)

Thomas McGwire, OL

  • 6’5″, 263
  • Los Osos HS (Rancho Cucamonga, California)

Willie Mobley, DE

  • 6’2″, 270
  • Eden Prairie HS (Eden Prairie, Minnesota)
  • Redshirted at Ohio State University in 2008
  • Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, California)
  • The University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona)

Prentavious Morehead, WR

  • 6’3″, 175
  • Justin F. Kimball HS (Dallas, Texas)

James Ooten, WR

  • 6’3″. 175
  • Citrus Hill HS (Perris, California)

Dalton Rocha, LB

  • 5’11”, 215
  • St. Bonaventure HS (Ventura, California)

Winston Rose, CB

  • 6’0″, 165
  • St. Genevieve HS (Inglewood, California)
  • Los Angeles Valley College (Wilmington, California)

Frazer Taua, DE

  • 6’2″, 245
  • Leilehua HS (Wahiawa, Hawaii)
  • Riverside City College (Riverside, California)

Andre Thompson, LB

  • 6’2″, 205
  • West Mesquite HS (Mesquite, Texas)

Thomas Warren, RB

  • 5’11”, 175
  • Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix, Arizona)

Marquette Washington, RB

  • 5’11”, 213
  • Henry J. Kaiser HS (Fontana, California)

Tre Wilcoxen, S

  • 6’1″, 190
  • Inglewood HS (Inglewood, California)

Jaden Wright, CB

  • 6’0″, 175
  • Lewisville HS (Lewisville, Texas)