Head coach John O'Mera's cupboard isn't completely bare despite those key losses on offense.
He has an incoming freshman quarterback, Kevin Reese, who was electrifying at Troup High School in Georgia. According to O'Mera his new recruit runs a 10.6 100-meters and has a decent but undeveloped arm. Competing with Reese for the starting QB job will be 6-4, 210-pound, Eddie Abreu, a former star basketball player who signed with Baylor out of high school. Abreu, who is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was considered one of the best athletes in the state a year ago according to O'Mera. He sat out the fall of 2001.
Whoever wins the quarterback job will have a number of good tailbacks to work with. Kelvin Johnson (5-10, 217) is returning to play fullback after spending a year away from NMMI. He'll line up in the backfield with Ray Lamb (5-10, 190) and John Reeves (5-10, 200). O'Mera says that Lamb is their 'speed' guy this year, as Porter was in 2001.
The offensive line will likely feature at least a couple of incoming freshmen, which is typical for most JC teams. But NMMI does have a couple of excellent prospects with experience, though.
Center Derrick French (6-3, 290) is a returning sophomore and probably a division one prospect.
"(French) can move anybody. He redshirted last year for academic reasons, but started for us two years ago. He's doing fine academically now," said O'Mera.
Standing next to French at one guard spot will be massive Kevin Tim, who at 6-4, 385 pounds is quite an imposing presence.
While youth will rule the day on offense, the defense will be led by a number of excellent returning starters. The defensive backfield, in particular, should be very strong.
Strong safety Sadeke Konte (6-1, 210) is probably the Broncos' top recruit. O'Mera says that Konte possesses 'unbelievable speed' and is a guy that coaches can build their defense around. The former high school running back (El Dorado HS; Albuquerque, NM) is getting early looks from Temple, New Mexico, and New Mexico State ... with more attention coming daily.
The rest of the defensive backfield is composed of FS John Fawaz (6-4, 185), CB James Allen (5-9, 185), and a freshman corner who played a lot in 2001, Ryan Gresham (5-10, 180). Fawaz runs in the 4.5 range and has great hands according to O'Mera, who says wide receiver could be this young man's future.
In front of the DBs is a group of linebackers which is big on size but somewhat short on experience.
One insider 'backer spot will be held down by returning starter George Davis (6-3, 225; Georgia native) and the other by Dante Rahia (6-3, 235; Washington, DC). The latter was hurt in the 2nd game of 2001, but is back to 100% and ready to go. Jason Cormeir (6-0, 210) is at the WILL linebacker spot.
Defensive tackles Jeremy Wyche (6-0, 275) and Mike Erminger (6-1, 290) are returning starters and should help take away the inside running game of opposing offenses. The ends, however, will be manned by unproven freshmen.
The 2002 Broncos squad could be a threat in the conference, especially if the offense cuts down on costly turnovers that hurt them last season. Of course, they'll also need some of the incoming freshmen to step in and play well -- especially at quarterback.
*All games on Saturday
|8/31/2002||Ranger C.C.||Ranger, TX||7:30pm
|9/07/2002||Air Force Prep||Colorado Springs, CO||1:30pm
|9/14/2002||Glendale C.C.||Pheonix, AZ||7:00pm
|9/28/2002||Arizona Western||Yuma, AZ||7:00pm
|10/12/2002||Pima C.C.||Tuscon, AZ||TBA
|11/02/2002||Dixie State||St. George Utah||TBA