Month: June 2014

Players to watch (defense)

Some more players to keep an eye on, this time on the Aggie defense.

  • Rodney Butler, LB (sophomore)

QRKEZENHYPPWNPZ.20130724152529The 6’1”, 212-pound middle ‘backer got his feet wet as a true freshman, chipping in 39 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup. Coach Martin singled Butler out as the most-improved defensive player in the spring. You can expect him to lead the team in tackles this fall.

  • Kalei Auelua, DE (sophomore)

CDUDVYLCDFWBHIB.20130418193731Auelua came to NMSU after a knee injury forced him to grayshirt at the University of Washington in 2012. After contributing off the bench as a true freshman, the Honolulu native is expected to make a difference on a defensive line that recorded a mere 11 sacks last season. He has excellent strength and leverage and can be a force when he gets into the opponent’s backfield. Scout.com ranked him the fourth-best player in Hawaii coming out of high school.

 

  • Tre Wilcoxen, LB (redshirt freshman)

EPDNJJFZCQFLGQN.20130418201410An early enrollee for the Class of 2013, Wilcoxen was in line to play before an injury derailed his plans. He’s back now after a redshirt year, and looks to fill a need as a part-time starter at Will linebacker. The 6’0″, 200-pound Wilcoxen played mostly safety in high school, but he can use his speed off the edge to confuse the opposition. It’s a risky move, but Wilcoxen seems up to the task.

 

 

 

  • Kedeem Thomas-Davis, CB (junior)

JKKTAQEZQMKWFFD.20110915145801The Aggies’ secondary was short on depth and experience in the spring, and the El Paso native took advantage, recording a diving interception in the spring game. Thomas-Davis had 19 tackles coming off the bench in 2013 and looks to contribute more despite his lack of size (5’9”, 170 pounds).

 

 

 

  • Dalton Rocha, LB (redshirt freshman)

WAHRFZEXTASBRZZ.20130724152529Rocha had a good spring, making the adjustment to middle linebacker after finishing an all-county career as a defensive end at St. Bonaventure (CA) High School. Coaches like his intelligence and toughness. He should play in a reserve role.

 

 

 

  • Jaden Wright, LB (freshman)

OVKUWSGOVICPMFX.20140509010845A gifted-but-raw prospect from Lewisville, Texas, Wright elected to grayshirt the 2013 season in order to refine his skills. Now, he’s enrolled in school and shined in the spring game, where he recorded a key pass breakup as well as a handful of tackles. It’s a lot to ask for a freshman to play middle linebacker, but it’s also exciting for the future of the Aggies’ defense.

  • Samuel Oyenuga, LB (redshirt sophomore)

MYZKMVSAIROLULT.20140509010845Oyenuga has had an interesting ride since arriving at NMSU as a three-star recruit out of Rowlett, Texas. After redshirting in 2011 and showing some moxie in 2012, he missed all of 2013 due to a torn ACL. Now he’s moved from cornerback to linebacker. He’s tough, physical, and one of the defense’s fastest players, so there’s a very real chance he could excel at his new position.

 

 

 

  • Lewis Hill, CB (junior)

OCBNUQTJWKIABWM.20130724152529Hill seemingly came out of nowhere to record 33 tackles, three pass breakups, and an interception in 2013 as a part-time starter. Originally from Frisco, Texas, Hill has elite speed and could be one of the few sure options in a young secondary. He’s penciled in as a starter, despite missing the spring with shoulder surgery.

 

 

 

  • Adaryan Jones, CB (freshman)

©rexteterphotographyA two-time all-district pick, Jones played with fellow NMSU signee J.B. Copeland at Carroll Senior High in Texas. A constant presence in the secondary, Jones had three interceptions and 36 pass breakups in his two years as a starter. A smart kid with great size (6’1”, 170), Jones has all the tools to succeed in the Aggie defense.

  • J.B. Copeland, LB (freshman)

yj9sS.St.58It’s not every day that you find a linebacker who runs a 4.48, but Copeland is one of them. Jones’s teammate at Carroll is extremely agile and athletic, and he should be able to find a home at outside linebacker. Copeland said that part of the reason he chose NMSU was because he could get a chance to play right away, so he just might get his wish.

 

 

 

 

  • Jacob Nwangwa, S (freshman)

iTo say that Nwangwa has a nose for the ball would be an understatement. He forced four fumbles, picked off seven passes, and broke up 17 others in his two years as a starter. The Arlington, Texas native has a chance to challenge at a position that lacks depth.

 

 

Advertisements

Players to watch (offense)

Here are some players on the 2014 Aggies that could be poised to make a big impact:

 

  • Gregory Hogan, WR (redshirt freshman)

XANYTZCWXGXYOEN.20130724152529Hogan (6’1”, 185 pounds) could replace early NFL draft entry Austin Franklin at wide receiver after recording 59 catches for 1,165 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior at Summer Creek (TX) High School. A speedy deep threat, Hogan made some plays in the spring game and is expected to get even better. “He kind of gives you a little bit of everything,” receivers coach Todd Littlejohn said.

 

 

  • Tyler Rogers, QB (sophomore)

ZXBAWYIYTHNYVDB.20140509010845After a well-regarded prep career in Peoria, Arizona, Rogers spent the fall of 2013 at Arizona Western College, going 6-1 as a starter and throwing for over 1,800 passing yards and 14 TDs despite struggling with injuries. Rogers, who has three years of eligibility remaining, throws a very accurate ball and seems to be an ideal fit for the spread offense. He looks like the opening day starter after an outstanding spring.

 

 

 

  • Xavier Hall, RB (sophomore)

MNMDWEYWCBEDISK.20130418201410The Las Cruces native, the son of associate athletic director James Hall, came on strong last season, finishing the year with nice performances against Boston College and Louisiana-Lafayette. He could be primed for a big year after demonstrating a high level of consistency in the spring. Coach Martin singled him out as being the most reliable tailback exiting spring practice.

 

 

 

  • Teldrick Morgan, WR (redshirt sophomore)

IZVZJGXRLQJCXFZ.20140509010845Morgan is small (6’0”, 185 pounds) but has excellent speed and can make things happen after the catch. An honorable mention all-state performer in Maryland, Morgan could form a great one-two punch with Greg Hogan in the Aggie receiving corps. He recorded several catches as well as a touchdown in the spring game.

 

 

 

  • Larry Rose, RB (freshman)

 

52b1ab4459b19.preview-300In a word, Rose is sensational. After a solid junior campaign at Fairfield High School (TX), the 5’11”, 175-pound speedster exploded for over 2,900 rushing yards and 50 TDs in his senior year. Enter NMSU, who immediately offered him a scholarship; he committed the weekend before signing day. The reigning District 3A MVP will be expected to challenge for playing time behind Xavier Hall.

 

 

 

  • Abram Holland, OL (sophomore)

GEWXIXHOOIVAUHC.20140509010844An in-state product from Sue Cleveland High in Rio Rancho, Holland showed improvement in the spring after being thrown into the fire as a redshirt freshman in 2013. On an offensive line that has solid depth, Holland has made a name for himself. Look for him to start at right guard.

 

 

 

  • Thomas McGwire, OL (redshirt freshman)

UGOVAVHOCXWAVYO.20130724152529A nephew of MLB Hall of Famer Mark McGwire, the redshirt freshman stands at 6’5”, 285 pounds but is very quick on his feet. A regional all-star selection in southern California, McGwire played at a high level during spring ball, drawing praise from coaches.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last King of Scotland (2006)

thelastkingofscotland_bigposterThe year is 1970. Nicholas Garrigan, a young, pretty-boy doctor from Scotland, is bored with his monotonous life and his strict parents. Longing to leave his home, Garrigan embarks on an adventure that takes him from the marshes of Scotland to the jungles and savannas of Uganda.

Garrigan arrives in Uganda at a turbulent time. The previous president, Milton Obote, has been overthrown in a coup, and there’s an ongoing struggle for power. Emerging from the chaos is General Idi Amin, a magnetic, charming, and ruthless dictator who seizes power and installs his own government. Heralded as a man of the people, Amin pushes for governmental reform, while fighting off challenges from Obote’s defeated army, who may or may not be aided by British imperialist forces.

In the midst of turmoil, Garrigan meets up with Dr. David Merrit and his wife Sarah, who run a small clinic in rural Uganda. Garrigan is excited about his new opportunities in Africa, and immediately takes a liking to Sarah, who spurns his advances.

Garrigan first lays eyes on the newly elected Amin while the new president is speaking at a rally in a village. He is genuinely excited about the changes that Amin promises the Ugandan people, although Sarah warns him that all governments essentially promise the same thing.

Shortly thereafter, Garrigan is called to the scene of an accident that involves Amin, his car, and a stray cow that ran in front of it. After healing the president’s broken wrist, Garrigan shoots the injured cow, shocking everyone around him. Amin takes note of Garrigan’s boldness and engages him in conversation. As it turns out, Amin is a huge fan of all things Scottish, and immediately shows enthusiasm for Garrigan and his culture.

Later, Amin invites Garrigan to become his personal physician. Garrigan is excited for this opportunity, and despite initial reluctance, joins Amin as his doctor and confidant. Garrigan genuinely believes that Amin’s violent, ruthless measures will bring lasting peace to Uganda, but he is soon proved otherwise — and by then, it might be too late for him to make a graceful exit.

 

George Whitaker som Idi Amin i «The Last King of Scotland»

This film features some of the best acting I’ve ever seen. Forest Whitaker portrays Amin, and is truly electrifying in the role. Amin, the real-life dictator who enslaved his own people for almost a decade, is a truly terrifying figure to play on-screen, but Whitaker hits a grand slam with it. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with numerous other accolades, for his efforts.

I admit that I’m a sucker for historical fiction movies, and that’s what this is. The Last King of Scotland is based off the novel of the same name by Giles Foden (who has a cameo as a Scottish journalist towards the end of the film). Garrigan is a fascinating character to be thrown into a real-life universe, and the result is an intense, visceral viewing experience. Helped by some jittery camera work by cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle, Last King stands as an excellent film and one that won’t soon be forgotten.

522838.1James McAvoy is also terrific as Garrigan, the playboy doctor who has to discover who he really is — as well as Amin. McAvoy earns a medal in my book, simply because he can hold his own alongside Whitaker.

The film takes a few historical liberties, but overall, this is a realistic depiction of Amin’s reign of terror against his own people. It is very true that Amin was a big fan of Scotland; in fact, “the Last King of Scotland” was one of the many titles he bestowed upon himself. After establishing military rule, Amin began to persecute numerous minority groups and attempted to close Uganda’s borders completely and force out political opponents altogether. Eventually he lost the support of the west, and in turn, received support from East Germany, Libya, and the USSR. An ill-fated attempt to invade a disputed region of neighboring Tanzania resulted in a bloody conflict and the end of the Amin dictatorship. He fled to the Middle East, where he lived in exile until his death in August 2003.

 

 

Rating: 8.5/10

Released 2006

Directed by Kevin Macdonald

Screenplay by Peter Morgan & Jeremy Brock

Based on the novel by Giles Foden

Produced by Lisa Bryer, Andrea Calderwood & Charles Steel

Starring Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson, Simon McBurney, David Oyelowo, Adam Kotz, Louis Asea, and Apollo Okwenje Omamo

Rated R for some strong violence and gruesome images, sexual content and language.

More offseason developments

Some exciting news for NMSU football that I have neglected to mention recently.

  • A generous $800,000 donation has been provided to renovate the entire Coca-Cola Weight Training Facility. I talked to Jamin Smith (freshman offensive lineman) a couple weeks ago, and he said that the team has been training and lifting at Centennial High School in the offseason strength program until the new facility is complete. Should be only a matter of days now before it’s all done!
  • Stan Fulton, businessman and entrepreneur, was able to donate $1 million to Aggie athletics in order to put down new artificial turf at Aggie Memorial Stadium. This is expected to be a boon in recruiting, and should also help the NMSU community in their quest to hold year-round events at Aggie Memorial, such as ROTC, Greek Olympics, and band competitions. Coach Martin is very excited about this, and he sees it as a way for the Aggie football program to connect with the Las Cruces community.
  • Coach Martin is also hosting a kids’ football camp this Saturday, June 14th. It should be another great way for the city to take ownership of the program and to feel connected with the coaches and players!
  • It’s been a strange summer indeed for the offensive line. Veteran position coach Steve Marshall departed to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers shortly after spring ball. He was followed by Chris Symington, who resigned amid health issues and related family troubles. Finally, Walt Wells – who has experience both as an O-line coach and as an offensive coordinator – was brought on board. Whoever the coach is, he has a lot of good pieces in place; the offensive line could very well be the deepest and most talented group on the team.

The official schedule poster has also been released, cut in the shape of New Mexico!

YKPCMUOABCRNDBT.20140605172824

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home games:

Thursday, August 28th: Cal Poly Mustangs (Agriculture Heritage Day)

Saturday, September 20th: New Mexico Lobos (Rio Grande Rivalry/Football Alumni Reunion)

Saturday, October 4th: Georgia Southern Eagles (Tough Enough to Wear Pink)

Saturday, November 1st: Texas State Bobcats (Military Appreciation)

Saturday, November 8th: Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (Homecoming)

Saturday, November 22nd: Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (theme TBD)

 

Away games:

September 6th: Georgia State Panthers (Georgia Dome – Atlanta, Georgia)

September 13th: UTEP Miners (Sun Bowl Stadium – El Paso, Texas)

September 27th: LSU Tigers (Tiger Stadium – Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

October 11th: Troy Trojans (Veterans Memorial Stadium – Troy, Alabama)

October 18th: Idaho Vandals (Kibbie Dome – Moscow, Idaho)

November 29th: Arkansas State Red Wolves (Centennial Bank Stadium – Jonesboro, Arkansas)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

naranja mecanica poster

Meet Alex. He’s a pretty typical 17-year-old British kid – he spends time with his friends, feeds his pet snake, and listens to the lovely music of Ludwig van Beethoven. At night, he spends time with friends at the local milk bar, before heading out to commit acts of “ultraviolence” – namely robbery, murder, and rape.

Eventually, Alex is betrayed by a jealous friend and is caught by the authorities. Facing a 14-year prison sentence for murder, Alex is soon selected by the corrupt British government to be the guinea pig for a new medical treatment. Said treatment will essentially re-sensitize Alex towards the horrific crimes he has committed and make him become a pacifist. Essentially, he becomes a puppet for the government to control as it pleases, leaving him without a genuine moral compass and forcing him to be a good, productive citizen.

Set in dystopian, socialist Britain in the not-so-distant future, A Clockwork Orange is one of the most controversial films ever made. There is very little on-screen gore, but the depiction of violence is both highly psychological and highly disturbing. There have been many films about gang violence and/or sexual assault, but the difference is that A Clockwork Orange deals with violence among youth and depicts it in an unusually graphic way. Despite the enormous controversy, it is considered to be one of the best films from the late director Stanley Kubrick.

clockwork-orange-1971--large-msg-130281966791

This film (which is based off the 1962 novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess) is both very unsettling and very brilliant. All Kubrick films use music appropriately, but the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange is a classic in and of itself. Kubrick uses cheerful, optimistic music in order to offset the horrific events onscreen, and the cinematography creates a surreal, creepy aesthetic.

The violence is the film is both disturbing and stylized. The use of music is very essential to creating the atmosphere in A Clockwork Orange, in order to create ironic symbolism or deliberate contrast.

flickr-3220388358-medium

Kubrick found Anthony Burgess’s novel to be symbolic and poetic, and he decided to adapt the novel into his own film after the mammoth success of his film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Kubrick specifically remarked about the moral and political themes that were present in the book, although he didn’t particularly care for the futuristic teenage slang (Nadsat) that was pervasive in the text. In the end, Kubrick adapted his own script from the novel, using much less of the language.

Kubrick’s perfectionism and his ego eventually alienated Burgess. Burgess admitted that he loved the film, even saying that it was so brilliant it could be dangerous. But the huge controversy was too much for either Kubrick or Burgess to bare, and it caused their relationship to become strained. The controversy surrounding the film caused Kubrick to pull it from theatres in the UK, where he lived and worked. It remained banned in England until after Kubrick’s death in 1999.

The film also marked the first major role for Malcolm McDowell, the Leeds actor who portrayed Alex. McDowell brought charisma and terror to the role, and to this day, it is considered to be his finest performance. Kubrick later admitted that if McDowell hadn’t been available, he probably wouldn’t have made the film.

Kubrick, known to be a controlling director and a perfectionist, shot the film in about eight months due to a tight budget; it ended up being the film that he completed in the shortest amount of time. It went on to gross over $26 million at the US box office alone, and received four Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture).

A lot of people believe, rightfully so, that this film is “gruesome” or “disturbing” and that dilutes any positive message that the novel (and in turn, the film) intended. I admit that it can be hard to watch. The point of this film, however, is to expose violence for what it is, and to show how human beings can either be conditioned to be good or choose to be bad. A Clockwork Orange is all about free will and how we use it. Hopefully, most people are still able to see that it’s a powerful film, not just shock value for its own sake.

2013-07-25-stanley_kubrick_directing-533x299

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rating: 9.5/10

Released 1971

Written and directed by Stanley Kubrick

Based on the novel by Anthony Burgess

Produced by Stanley Kubrick and Bernard Williams

Executive Producers: Max Raab and Si Litvinoff

Starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Anthony Sharp, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke, Adrienne Corri, James Marcus, Michael Gover, Miriam Karlin, Godfrey Quigley, Philip Stone, Sheila Raynor, and Aubrey Morris

Rated R