2015 Lobo Football Spring Practice

"You enjoying practice being open," asked Associate Athletic Director Tim Cass? "Hey glad you could make it," said Director of Football Operations Brian DeSpain. "It was a group idea," said SID Frank Mercagliano. "Just like Coach Davie said if it gets one more person excited for Lobo football, sells one more ticket it is well worth it."

Yes folks for the first time since 2009 the University of New Mexico has opened up football practices to the media and fans. Practice was semi open the past few years. A guy could go in and watch the Lobos stretch then be whisked out before anything exciting happened, but really it wasn't enough time to really get a look at what is going on and in my opinion that may have hurt attendance and really a bonding with this team as all fans and media could see was what went on when the lights went on. I also believe that it led to some unfair criticism of Coach Davie and his staff as all anyone really was able to see or report on was what went on during game time and UNM hasn't produced the greatest of seasons.
With that being said I shook the rust off and headed out to the practice fields this Friday. Crazy as I had to grab a roster immediately not really knowing many of the players on the field or their numbers. Like a rookie I didn't bring my camera instead relied on my iPad (bad mistake, my Canon will be rolling with me Monday.) so I have a few pics but not as good as the old days (Sometimes old school is still the best!)
Since the NCAA limits the days with actual pads on and the first two not being days you can wear pads the Lobos opened up Friday helmets only obviously no tackling or taking anyone to the ground. On days like this I gravitate towards the QB's, WR's and RB's and UNM for the first time since I can remember has a solid stable at all three positions. I know UNM has had one maybe two QB's, a couple of RB's, and two to three receivers but this upcoming season I think Davie and co have done an outstanding job of rebuilding a depleted roster. The patience of coaches and fans could really be repaid this upcoming season.

The men in black shirts! Black mean STOP! Do not hit or touch these guys I wanted to check these guys out. We know a little of what returning starter Lamar Jordan brings to the table but I was dying to see the Austin Apodaca and the guys that were kept under wraps last year (JaJuan Lawson, Patrick Reed, and Caleb Kimbro)
I've seen many Lobo QB's in the past throwing in practice and while UNM has had one or two that looked solid I can say that all 5 have strong arms. I know most think the starting job comes down to Apodaca and Jordan, however, if Lawson can pick up the offense I wouldn't count him out of the running. He has that look of being able to zip the rock as well as have some wheels. Apodaca has a nice touch, he can get the ball there no problem, he also showed that when called upon he can and will run the ball as well. I didn't get a good enough feel for Reed and Kimbro on Friday but in the time I as watching they look capable. Jordan could and should be feeling some pressure to keep his starting job as these young wolves are looking to take the rock out of his hands.

All QB's need wide receivers and the Lobos have receivers in all size, shape, and style. Big and strong like Marquis Bundy and Matt Quarrells or speedy merchants like Carlos Wiggins, Ridge Jones. Some of the big gains and neccessary yard plays during "scrimmage" time was a quick screen pass to Dameon Gamblin with Bundy leading the blocking down the field. Gamblin is shifty but really seemed to have a strong chemistry with Bundy as he was able to follow his blocker and make the proper read to et to the sticks and the much needed first down.

No doubt Lobo receivers the past couple of years haven't seen many balls tossed their way as let's face it the Lobos didn't throw much. I'm not saying that we turn into "Air DeBesse" but don't be surprised to see the pigskin in the air a bit more this year. Not to mention seeing multiple formations and plays of receivers in motion getting the ball. There is no way that Bob DeBesse will not use the speed weapons he has at his disposal.
After practice ended I watched Bundy and Gamblin do work with he JUGGS machine getting extra work. I had the chance to speak with Senior WR Marquis Bundy about his upcoming senior season, being one of the leaders of this team and what is goals are for upcoming season.

Click here to see our interview with Marquis Bundy

When others are in the locker room. Bundy and Gamblin are doing work!
Monday the fellas will be wearing pads, there will be hitting but the NCAA says no taking players to the ground. I will have my camera out and see what is in the offering that day. Stay tuned to our twitter account @NMRedMenace for pics and updates. Or, if you get the opportunity get out and check out some of the action. I know that Bob Davie is giving us the opportunity to try and create a buzz for the upcoming season. Time to do work Lobo fans!
Today's practice report is brought to you by Graphic Connection. Contact Scott Creagan at (505) 821-2777 for your uniform and sport apparel needs. Please tell him The Red Menace sent you.

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