After an improved football program – both on and off the field in ’12 – 24 football players signed their NCAA National Letter of Intent on Tuesday (national signing day) to play for the University of New Mexico in 2013.
“I think the words out, you know, I kind of felt this way last year, but this year confirmed it: New Mexico and Albuquerque are kind of hidden gems,” Davie said on Tuesday. “I’m not sure what they (the recruits) perceive New Mexico to be, but when they get here, they’re amazed.”
The Lobos landed 15 defensive players, seven offensive players and two athletes, who can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball. As with any team that plans to succeed in the southwest region of the country, New Mexico hit the state of Texas hard in its recruiting trail, as 11 incoming freshman travel west by way of the Lone Star State.
“Last year I think we signed 12 players from Texas and this year it was 11. So that's 23 players in two years, and with that I saw the level of competition of people we were recruiting against go up,” Davie said. "When you look at (what schools) we beat to get some of these players, and ... who beat us to get some of those players we didn't get. I think we've raised that bar, and I think that's only going to get better.”
Former Cleveland High School running back, and class 5A Player of the Year, Romell Jordan, is the lone scholarship player from the state of New Mexico. Jordan looks to get playing time as running back in Davie’s triple option offense, along with some time as a slot receiver.
"Romell Jordan has been over here on our campus in camps, watching us play, and is a guy we felt very strongly is a great fit for us. He's a great kid, and we're really excited to have him,” Davie said. “You put his tape on and it matches up with anybody we signed in this class. I'm really glad to have Romell Jordan."
Jordan’s former teammate at Cleveland and current Lobo quarterback, Cole Gautsche, will be competing for the starting job with three incoming quarterbacks. All three are dual-threat guys that fit well into Davie’s offense. The quarterback competition will, without question, be the most intriguing storyline all spring.
The Lobos lost 23 seniors from one of the most improved teams in the country in 2012. This, like last year, is a situation where young guys are going to need to step in from day one and make an impact, in order for this team to be successful.
“There's no question we're light years ahead of where we were a year ago in every phase,” Davie said. “It's just we're going to be a young football team. There's no way around that."
The list of recruits (per UNM)
Ricky Bennett DB 6-1 205 Fr-HS Huntsville, Texas (Huntsville HS)
Jadon Boatright DB 5-10 170 Fr-HS Liberty Hill, Texas (Liberty Hill HS)
Brett Bowers DE 6-3 265 Jr-TR Ukiah, Calif. (Mendocino College)
Isaiah Brown CB 5-11 175 Fr-HS Katy, Texas (Katy HS)
Markel Byrd Ath 6-0 180 Fr-HS San Diego, Calif. (Horizon Christian Academy)
Kimmie Carson LB 6-1 210 Fr-HS Tulsa, Okla. (East Central HS)
Dakota Cox LB 6-0 230 Fr-HS Draper, Utah (Juan Diego Catholic HS)
Nik D'Avanzo DL 6-3 295 Fr-HS Baltimore, Md. (Archbishop Curley HS)
Dameon Gamblin WR 5-10 160 Fr-HS Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite HS)
Teriyon Gipson Ath 5-9 165 Fr-HS Dallas, Texas (Kimball HS)
David Guthrie DB 5-10 198 Jr-TR Winston, Ore. (College of the Siskiyous)
Reno Henderson OL 6-4 260 So-TR Ocala, Fla. (New Mexico Military Institute)
Lamar Jordan QB 5-11 180 Fr-HS Frisco, Texas (Centennial HS)
Romell Jordan Ath 5-9 170 Fr-HS Rio Rancho, N.M. (Cleveland HS)
Jalyn Judkins WR 6-3 210 Fr-HS Angleton, Texas (Angleton HS)
Caleb Kimbro QB 6-0 185 Fr-HS Buda, Texas (Hays HS)
Sam Mabany DE 6-6 250 Fr-HS Denver, Colo. (Denver South HS)
Clayton Mitchem QB 6-1 180 Jr-HS Fort Smith, Ark. (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College)
Solomon Normore OL 6-4 310 Jr-Tr Wichita, Kan. (Hutchinson Community College)
Bijon Parker CB 6-0 165 Fr-HS Los Angeles, Calif. (Fairfax HS)
Trevon Roy LB 6-1 200 Fr-HS Dallas, Texas (Pinkston HS)
Draven Taylor OL 6-2 300 Fr-HS Dallas, Texas (Adamson HS)
William Udeh DE 6-1 249 Fr-HS Coppell, Texas (Coppell HS)
Donnie White DE 6-2 230 Fr-HS St. Louis, Mo. (De Smet HS)
*Highlight videos of each of the signees is available on GoLobos.Com
I watched each of them and came away very impressed. Quarterback Lamar Jordan, defensive end Donnie White (the Lobos’ highest ranked recruit) and linebacker Kimmie Carson really stood out to me on tape.