Eye On Recruiting: Matt Wells

As UNM moves forward on a coaching hire. Daniel Harper says "we have to keep Matt Well."

As I was sitting around the house today bummed since this is the first Saturday in three months our beloved Lobos are not on TV, I started thinking about the impending changes.

With the names of highly capable assistants being thrown around for the UNM head coaching position, I started thinking who on the present coaching staff, should be retained? I looked at recruiting, positional coaching, and the past.

Some people will say: why keep anyone from a. 4-8 team? That's a fair question but I answer that even with the multitude of injuries, this team was a bad call, a fumble, and a few points from conceivably going on to another bowl win. Sometimes the lady luck forgets about you and that is how I could best describe this season.

Anyway, I continued to ponder this topic while on my way to my in-laws for dinner. As many of you know, my family and I moved to Oklahoma for a great job opportunity and to be closer to her family. While I do miss New Mexico, the move also gives me a different view on UNM. So while, riding through on the I -40E, it finally came to me; who is the coach that is "the closer" when it comes to recruiting?

None other than WR coach/recruiting coordinator Matt Wells. I asked myself these question before coming to this conclusion (in no particular order): where and how well can the coach recruit? His recruiting prowess preceded him when he was hired at UNM from his days in OK from his days at Tulsa.

I follow national recruiting very closely and recall telling everyone the day Wells was hired that he is a flat out recruiting stud and his work at UNM has done nothing to sway that opinion. Wells  has shown he bring kids in from other states as well, as he visited current Lobo players from Illinois, Florida, and Texas.

So the other question is Wells as a position coach, can he coach up players for game day? Ok, I already know what the perceived knock against Coach Wells is: what happened with the wide receivers this season? I would answer that is was the perfect storm of calamity: young inexperienced WRs across the board, a jelling offensive line, and an injured starting QB. Sprinkle in the most difficult schedule in recent memory and you have a recipe for disaster.

I say if you blame Coach Wells in the bad, where was the praise when he molded a former RB with a bad case of the drops (current Baltimore Raven Marcus Smith) into a 1,000 receiver and 4th round pick in the NFL draft and Travis Brown (who was recently added to the Chicago Bear's training camp.) The tandem of Smith and Travis Brown re-wrote the UNM receiving books for a duo. Not a bad answer if I do say so myself.

The next question would be will his coaching style mesh with the next regime? With indicators pointing toward a spread offensive scheme coming in, the next coach only need look at Wells' previous stop at Tulsa. Steve Kragthrope's offense could spread it out or pack it in. The offensive principles had two common threads: It created mismatches and their teams scored a ton of points, which the spread is meant to do. So I would answer that is a yes as well.

I am not here to slight or disrespect the other coaches since I know they are all deserving to be retained as this is only one fans' opinion but based on his recruiting ties, coaching prowess, and his ability to mesh with the next coaching staff, I have to believe Coach Wells will be interviewed and subsequently retained by whoever is brought onboard. Obviously if the next coaching regime decides to keep our current defense... Well that opens up a situation where even more coaches would be retained.

Now if you will excuse me, there's some banana pudding calling my name..


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