Wendesday morning the fax machine was hooked up and running hot in the Tow Diehm facility as Rocky Long and his staff awaited their reward from the hard working recruiting effort they have put in the past couple of years.
There had to be a few nerves as there always is on this day as young men that may have committed at one time have changed their mind or perhaps in certain cases another school has lured one of UNM's recruits away at the last second, and with some changes coming at the Offensive Coordinator position as well as the recruiting coordinator position, you just never know…
I spoke with Coach Long about yesterday's National Letter of Intent day and some of his players.
The following is a list of players that have signed their names to the dotted line and will be future Lobos:
Jacob Bane LB 6-1 230 Jr-Tr Rogers, Texas (Trinity Valley CC)
Junior college transfer who enrolled at UNM in January and is slated to play linebacker...has a redshirt year available...TRINITY VALLEY CC...spent the past two seasons at the Athens, Texas, school...played for head coach Mark Sartain...first team all-conference linebacker last fall...TVCC was 9-3 Jacob's freshman season of 2005, winning the conference title and also champs of the Pilgrim's Pride Bowl...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2005 graduate of Rogers HS...four-year letterman and a three-time all-state linebacker for coach John Stillwell...the Eagles were District 25-AA champs all four years, compiling a 50-6 record from 2001-04...Super Center defensive player of the year as a junior when he had 195 total tackles in 15 games...biggest sports thrill to date came when he blocked a field goal and returned it 93 yards for a TD...lettered three years in baseball and was a first team all-state catcher as a senior...also finished sixth in the state shot put...
Byron Bell OL 6-5 296 Fr-HS Greenville, Texas (Greenville HS)
Associated Press first team all-state offensive tackle last fall for coach Jeff Cordell...also second team all-state by the Texas Sportswriters...unanimous choice for all-district in 10-4A...started two years for the Lions...also the starting center on the basketball team and he throws the shot put
Tyler Boyett OL 6-5 285 Jr-Tr Greenville, Miss. (Mississippi Delta CC)
Junior college offensive guard who will attend UNM in the summer...last name is pronounced boy-ETT...has a redshirt year available...JC teammate Brandon Johnson enrolled at UNM in January...MISSISSIPPI DELTA CC...spent the past two seasons as the Trojans' starting offensive guard...played for coach Jay Miller...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2005 graduate of Washington HS in Greenville...played on the offensive line for head coach Todd Lott...WHS finished 10-2 his sophomore season...a right-handed pitcher who hit 95 m.p.h. on the radar gun before injuring his shoulder as a junior...
Trey Buckley TE 6-4 231 So-Tr Long Beach, Calif. (El Camino College)
Junior college tight end who enrolled at UNM in January...has three years of eligibility remaining plus a redshirt season...EL CAMINO COLLEGE...spent one season at El Camino in Torrance, Calif., and he was an all-conference tight end with 11 receptions for 192 yards and a TD in nine games played...helped the Warriors to a 12-2 record and the school's first state title since 1971 with a 49-35 victory over the City College of San Francisco...played for coach John Featherstone...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2006 graduate of Lakewood (Calif.) HS...played three years for head coach Mike Christensen...all-league tight end and the team's offensive player of the year as a senior when he caught 21 passes for 251 yards and a TD...the Lancers were 11-2 and CIF semifinalist Trey's junior season...received an academic achievement award as well.
DeAndre Davis TE 6-2 245 Jr-Tr Meadville, Miss. (Copiah-Lincoln JC)
Junior college tight end who will enroll at UNM this summer...has a redshirt year available...COPIAH-LINCOLN CC...a two-year starter at tight end...3 catches last year, two going for TDs....helped the Wolfpack to a 9-3 record and a 21-0 victory over Georgia Military College in the Golden Isles Bowl...played for coach Glenn Davis...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2005 graduate of Franklin County HS, a 3A school in Meadville...Davis was a four-year starter at defensive end and he also started at tight end his junior and senior year...all-division tight end as a senior...played for head coach Anthony Hart...also a four-year lettermen in basketball, earning all-district honors as a senior...
Bubba Forrest RB/S 6-1 205 Fr-HS Carlsbad, N.M. (Carlsbad HS)
Second-generation signee at UNM...father, Richard, was a defensive back at New Mexico from 1974-78...three second cousins also wore the Cherry and Silver: Bobby lettered at running back in 1975-76; Mike was a four-year letterman from 1976-79, a first team all-WAC linebacker as a junior and still ranks 8th all-time at UNM with 362 tackles; and Kelly Wilson played nose guard for the Lobos in 1981-82...grandfather Dick Forrest and his twin brother, Bob, both lettered at Texas Western (UTEP) from 1955-57...Bubba logged a school-record 268 tackles during his career with the Cavemen and also set a single-season school mark with 141 stops as a sophomore......district Defensive Player of the Year as a senior with 103 stops at defensive back...also played wide receiver...will play in the state's North-South All-Star game...will be a four-year letterman in baseball - first team all-district centerfielder as a junior - and he also earned three letters in basketball...top 10% of his class academically with a 4.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale...
Brad Gruner QB 6-2 225 Fr-HS Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS)
Quarterback who led Hamilton HS to the Arizona Class 5A state title last fall...the Huskies were 13-1, the only loss coming at powerful Massillon, Ohio in September in front of 21,000 fans...completed 63% of his passes for 2,585 yards, 27 TDs and just five interceptions...missed nearly all of his junior year after suffering a torn ACL on the fifth play of the season...played for coach Steve Belles...also played baseball, earning all-district honors as a sophomore when Hamilton was state runner-up... PERSONAL...born Aug. 18, 1988, in Scottsdale, Ariz...age is 18...full name is Bradley Dawson Gruner...son of Ed and Laura...older brother Mark will be a senior linebacker at Mesa State (Colo.) in 2007...interested in Construction Management as a major.
Sylvester Hatten OL 6-3 331 Jr-Tr Quincy, Fla. (Dodge City CC)
Junior college offensive lineman who enrolled at UNM in January...expected to play guard for the Lobos...DODGE CITY CC...second team All-America offensive lineman for the Conquistadors last fall...played for coach Marcus Garstecki...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2004 graduate of East Gadsden HS in Quincy, Fla., which is northwest of Tallahassee... three-time all-conference performer on the offensive line, plus he lettered three years in basketball for the Jaguars...played football for head coach Robert Jackson...had 17 tackles and blocked a punt for the game-winning TD in one prep game...received the Bright Futures Scholarship...
Justin Hickman LB/DE 6-3 230 Fr-HS Chicago, Ill. (Hubbard HS)
Four-year varsity starter on defense...all-state as a senior linebacker/defensive end when he had 140 tackles and an interception for a TD...all-area recognition as a junior with 135 stops and 3 interceptions...the Greyhounds advanced to the state 6A semifinals that year...8A is the largest classification...played for coach Elton Harris...a 3.5 cumulative GPA and a member of the A-B Honor Roll every year...also a four-year member of the school choir - he's a tenor - that has traveled to New York, Boston and Spain, and will visit Paris and Germany this spring.
Brandon Johnson S 5-10 200 Jr-Tr Greenville, Miss. (Mississippi Delta CC)
Junior college safety who enrolled at UNM in January...JC teammate Tyler Boyett will attend UNM this summer...MISSISSIPPI DELTA CC...spent the past two years at strong safety...had 95 tackles, 5 PBUs and 2.5 sacks in two season with the Trojans...played for coach Jay Miller...a redshirt in 2004....HIGH SCHOOL...a 2004 graduate of Greenville Weston HS...2nd team all-state linebacker his senior year with 89 tackles and 2 interceptions...also played running back as a senior...145 tackles, 2 sacks, 3 PBUs and 1 forced fumble his junior season...played for coach Phil Short...all-state in the shot put all four years for the Hornets, and he added all-state honors in the long jump as a senior...a four-time all-state power-lifter (combined total of bench press, squat and dead lift), including state champ as a junior and a senior in the 198-lb. weight class...lettered two years in basketball...member of the National Honor Society and he graduated in the top-10% of his class, 27th out of 365 students...
Brett Kennedy DL 6-3 260
Fr-HS Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)
A four-year starter and three-time all-state performer for the Bears at defensive tackle...LaCueva teammate Michael Muniz also inked with UNM...played for coach Fred Romero...started the last five games of his freshman season (2003) at offensive guard as the Bears won state at 13-0...moved to defensive tackle in 2004, earning all-state laurels...La Cueva again went 13-0 and took the state title...first team all-state DT in 2005-06 and he added second team all-state honors as a senior offensive guard...participated in kickboxing and mixed martial arts from age 12 until mid-2006...
Jaymar Latchison DE 6-3
240 Fr-HS New York, N.Y. (Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan HS)
Highly-touted defensive lineman and tight end from Southern California...will probably play defense at UNM...selected to the prestigious Long Beach Press Telegram Deam Team...67 total tackles, including 5 sacks for 60 yards in losses and a fumble recovery as a senior...receiving numbers were 36 catches for 629 yards and 6 TDs...best game was 9 grabs for 159 yards against Millikan...had 3 TD receptions for the Panthers against Cabrillo...team Most Valuable Player and team captain...also first team all-league tight end...played for coach Scott Meyers...spent his first three years of high school at Hauppauge (haw-pog) HS in Long Island, N.Y...
Aaron Lenard CB 5-10 175
So-Tr Midland, Texas (Cisco JC)
Junior college cornerback who enrolled at UNM in January...has three years of eligibility plus a redshirt year remaining...last name is pronounced like "leonard"...CISCO JC...picked off 8 passes in the first four games last fall, returning two for TDs ...missed the rest of the season after breaking his upper right arm (humerus) while doing the bench press during weightlifting...played for coach John Parchman...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2006 graduate of Midland (Texas) HS...played for coach Craig Yenzer...first team all-district 3-5A cornerback as a senior...the Bulldogs were 22-6 and regional finalists in 2004 and '05...state qualifier in the 200 meters and a regional qualifier in two sprint relays and the high jump...ranks in the top 10% of his class, 54th out of 600 students...also a member of the National Honor Society...
Tim Merrill TE 6-5 270 So-Tr Anaheim, Calif. (Fullerton College)
Junior college tight end who will attend UNM in the summer...has three years of eligibility remaining...did not attend college his first year out of high school and he was a redshirt at Fullerton in 2005...FULLERTON COLLEGE...11 catches and 2 TDs last year for the Hornets...played for coach Gene Murphy...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2004 graduate of Buena Park (Calif.) HS...two-year starter at tight end and defensive end for head coach Frank Saiz...76 tackles and 10 sacks for the Coyotes his senior season...also tossed the shot put and discus..
Carmen Messina LB/FB 6-2 210
Fr-HS Addison, Ill. (Addison Trail HS)
All-state linebacker and running back last fall at this 7A school located about 45 minutes southwest of Chicago...8A is the largest classification in the state of Illinois...Messina is the Blazers' career rushing leader with more than 3,000 yards and 40 TDs...also two-time team Most Valuable Player...Addison Trail was conference champs in 2004 and '06...played for head coach Paul Parpet...all-academic pick his sophomore season...
Mike Muniz OL 6-3 260
Fr-HS Albuquerque (La Cueva HS)
Two-time all-state offensive tackle for the hometown Bears...last name is pronounced moon-yeez...LaCueva teammate Brett Kennedy also signed with UNM...played for coach Fred Romero...the Bears produced undefeated state titles in 2003 and '04, going 13-0 each year...Muniz also started at defensive tackle as a senior...finished second in the state in the shot put his junior season...
C.J. Oakley RB 6-1 210 Fr-HS
Alamogordo, N.M. (Alamogordo HS)
Three-time all-state performer at receiver and running back who gained more than 6,000 all-purpose yards and scored 77 TDs in his prep career...spent his first three years at Onate (own-YAH-tay) HS in Las Cruces, N.M...started at receiver as a freshman, registering 23 catches for 533 yards and 7 TDs and earning all-district honors...first team all-state for the Black Knights as a sophomore with 69 receptions for 1,253 yards and 18 total TDs...also played safety...moved to tailback for his junior season and led the state with 2,494 all-purpose yards and 29 TDs...gained 1,903 yards on the ground and 591 receiving...played his senior season at Alamogordo where he totaled 1,498 yards rushing, 326 receiving and scored 23 TDs...the Tigers lost to Las Cruces Mayfield in the state 5A title game...will participate in the North-South all-star game this summer...played for coach Bruce Dollar...also three-year letterman in basketball and accomplished in track...the state long jump champ as a junior...best jump is 22-10...also finished second in the 100 meters...has a 3.4 cumulative GPA...
Blair Peterson QB 6-4 210 Fr-HS San Antonio, Texas (Churchill HS)
True freshman quarterback who enrolled at UNM in January...served a two-year Mormon mission on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina...speaks fluent Spanish...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2004 graduate of San Antonio Churchill...a three-year letterman for coach Carl Gustafson...honorable mention all-district as a senior when he completed 116 of 215 passes for 1,425 yards and 11 TDs...also rushed for three scores...finished second in the MVP voting in the 2004 Southwest Texas All-Star game...participated in the EA Sports Elite 11 Quarterback Camp before his senior season, a showcase that featured many of the nation's top prep quarterbacks...
Johnathan Rainey LB 6-2 210 Fr-HS
Houston, Texas (Northbrook HS)
Two-year starter at defensive end who had 65 tackles, 8 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last year for coach Craig Cripps...did not start playing football until his junior season because he thought basketball may have been his future...third team all-district for the Raiders in hoops as a sophomore and junior...also third in the district in the high jump his junior year...
Michael Scarlett WR 6-2 170 Fr-HS Albuquerque, N.M.
A quarterback, receiver and defensive back at Sandia, Scarlett is projected to be a wide receiver for the Lobos...first team all-state free safety and wide receiver as a senior...the Matadors went 10-2 last fall, losing to eventual state champs Las Cruces Mayfield in the state semifinals...played for coach Kevin Barker...set school records his junior year with 35 catches for 881 yards and 10 TDs, earning first team all-metro recognition...played for head coach Kevin Barker...
Josh Waller OL 6-5 275 So-Tr
Louisville, Ky. (Coffeyville CC)
Junior college offensive lineman who enrolled at UNM in January...probably play tackle for the Lobos...signed with the University of Louisville out of high school in 2004, but fell just short academically...did not attend college the 2004-05 academic year...a redshirt at Coffeyville CC in 2005...practiced but did not play last year so his last true competition came in the fall of 2003 when he was a senior in high school...HIGH SCHOOL...a 2004 graduate of Southern HS in Louisville...lettered three years for head coach Bart Bruner...all-district defensive tackle as a junior and all-district at offensive tackle his senior season...the region's weight and strength champ as a senior...
Willie Watkins.....OL 6-3 298 Fr-HS
Dallas, Texas (Cedar Hill HS)
Starting offensive lineman for the undefeated 5A state champion Longhorns in 2006...Cedar Hill finished 16-0, including a 53-17 romp over Cypress Falls in the championship game in front of a sellout crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio...13 Longhorn seniors were expected to sign with Div. I-A schools...Willie started at right tackle the first four games, then tight end the final 12 games...Cedar Hill was primarily a running team...played for coach Joey McGuire...a two-year letterman on the track team....
Bryan Wightman OL 6-7 296
Fr-HS Mesa, Ariz. (Red Mountain HS)
First team all-region and honorable mention all-state at offensive right tackle last fall...the Mountain Lions were 7-4 and advanced to the 5A state playoffs in 2006...played for coach Jim Jones...threw the shot for the track team, placing 16th at state as a junior...a 3.8 cumulative GPA and a member of the school's Honor Roll every year...
Mica Williams S 6-2 195
Fr-HS Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson HS)
Four-year letterman and a three-year starter at this high school located between Orlando and St. Petersburg...first name is pronounced MY-kuh...second team all-state free safety in class 5A last fall, leading the team with four interceptions...also team captain for coach Keith Demyer...played special teams on the varsity as a freshman and started at outside linebacker as a sophomore, finishing second on the team in tackles...played safety, quarterback, receiver and tight end his junior season...also a member of the Braves' weightlifting team, taking the city championship for his weight class in 2006...the team's highest GPA with a 4.167 on a 4.0 scale, including honors classes...
RB 5-11 210 Fr-HS Dallas, Texas (South Oak Cliff HS)
Texas District 14-4A Player of the Year after rushing for 1,479 yards and 11 TDs last fall...gained 340 yards and scored three TDs for the Golden Bears against Seagoville...a three-year letterman and two-year starter for head coach Chris Gilbert...member of the A-B Honor Roll...
We welcome each and everyone of those young men to the University of New Mexico and look forward to many Lobo Leaps in the years to come!
Also, Eye on Recruiting writer Daniel Harper and I also spent a few minutes talking about this year's recruiting class
And as always, you can talk about recruiting and all of Lobo football on our message boards