The New Mexico State Aggies are well into fall camp. As usual, I’m compiling a list of Aggie players who are looking to take a leap forward this fall. Some are veterans and some are newcomers, but I’ve got a good inclination that these players are going to shine in the 2016 season.
Royce Caldwell, WR (Sophomore)
He’s only 5’8″, 175 pounds, but Caldwell is the fastest player on the team. The sophomore from Columbus, Texas was a delayed enrollee out of high school (academic reasons) but showed glimpses of his potential last season as a freshman. During a thrilling come-from-behind win over Idaho last October, Caldwell caught a short pass and turned it into a 61-yard touchdown reception.
“Royce sat out his first year here for academics and had a year off from football. And what I’ve noticed is those kind of guys are OK when they come back, but the next year they take a giant leap,” Aggies head coach Doug Martin said. “He was good last year but nowhere near where he is now.”
Johnthan Boone, WR (Sophomore)
After a year at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa, Boone enrolled in the spring and make a heck of an impression. At 6’3″, 180 pounds, Boone has the height, length, and speed to play immediately for the Aggies. Entering 2016, he has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Jaleel Scott, WR (Junior)
Scott is a towering, physical presence at 6’6″, 212 pounds. Like Boone, he spent 2015 at Ellsworth C.C. and was a very productive receiver. With his size and speed, Scott is an enticing option as a red-zone target.
“I bring a deep threat and an advantage over the DBs. When the quarterback is scrambling, they can look for me and throw it up and I’ll come down with it,” Scott said. “Junior college taught me effort and hard work and putting in the extra time on the side.”
Isaiah McIntyre, WR (Freshman)
McIntyre was a bit of an unknown entering fall camp. The local product was a signee in the Class of 2015 who missed most of his senior year at Las Cruces High due to a knee injury. In order to rehab, McIntyre grayshirted last fall while on full scholarship and got a head start in the classroom (he’s majoring in wildlife science). However, he’s shown great hands in fall camp and is as fast as any receiver on the roster. Although it’ll be hard for him to crack the top of the depth chart as a freshman, McIntyre can possibly help boost a sluggish punt/kick return game.
Brayton Medina, OT (Junior)
Medina was a late arrival over the summer and looks to play right tackle for the Aggies. Originally from Fountain, Colorado, he originally walked on at Wyoming out of high school, redshirting there in 2013 before landing at Glendale Community College in Arizona. With returning starter Thomas McGwire likely the miss the season due to a knee injury, Medina will be ready to answer the bell soon enough.
Sebastian Anderson, OT (Redshirt Freshman)
A 6’6″, 285-pounder from Goodyear, Arizona, Anderson is looking to replace two-year starter Houston Clemente at left tackle. That’s a lot to ask of a redshirt freshman, but Anderson has made significant weight and strength gains in the offseason and is excited to have an opportunity to start.
“It took a lot of knowledge on how to work in the offense,” Anderson said in the spring. “The speed is different, but learning from the older guys has been helpful. It’s really exciting. It’s a little pressure, but I love football and I’m having fun out here.”
Brian Trujillo, OC (Redshirt Freshman)
An Albuquerque native, Trujillo has made a lot of strides in the offseason. He played both guard and tackle in high school, but has been working with the second team as a center since the start of the spring. Coaches love his work ethic, footwork, and football IQ.