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2022 Recruiting Breakdown: New Mexico

A class built with under the radar players

NCAA Football: New Mexico at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the eleventh post in our twelve-part recruiting breakdown series. Today will look at the #11 team in our rankings, New Mexico.

The Lobos haven’t necessarily been a strong recruiting team, but they put in a great deal of effort and have identified a strategy. Part of that strategy is to focus on signing players locally from New Mexico, as well as nearby Texas. That often leads to landing recruits who have flown under the radar or gone unrecruited by other programs, but it also means the majority of these recruits have bought into the program. To read more about this class, keep scrolling.

The Skinny:

  • 31 players signed
  • 20 high school players, 5 JUCO players, 6 transfers
  • 16 offensive, 15 defensive
  • 11 3-stars per 247 Composite rankings.
  • Players with a composite rating over 85: 0
  • Players with a composite rating over 82: 2
  • Breakdown by state: 8 California, 6 Texas, 4 New Mexico, 2 Florida, 2 Oklahoma, 1 Georgia, 1 Kansas, 1 Mississippi
  • 247 Composite Rankings

- Overall: 113th

- Recruiting: 98th

- Transfer: 112th

The Players:

QB Jahmar Sanders

Jahmar comes in as a quarterback with the idea of running a specific type of offense. He is high on athleticism and mobility, able to blow past rushers and get into the second level of the defense consistently. Sanders makes quick decisions and is a gifted runner, able to fly through holes as soon as they open. He also has a strong arm and shows the ability to throw deep passes consistently. Jahmar should be able to run the type of offense the Lobos want to, it’s just a matter of time.

Transfer QB Miles Kendrick

Miles comes to New Mexico via Kansas. He is a running quarterback who is extremely shifty and it is tough to bring him down. Kendrick is great in the RPO or designed run game, making quick decisions and picking up lots of yards with his legs. He is also an accurate thrower when he has time in the pocket and it can lead to big-time plays. Miles looks to have the inside track towards playing time this fall.

RB Zach Vigil

Zach is a local running back who is all-in for the Lobos. He is a workhorse who runs downhill efficiently and gains steam as he keeps running. Vigil is used to a power-run type of scheme but he can make defenders miss and can run outside the tackles as well. He hits holes at full speed and does a good job recognizing his blocks and where to go. Zach should see a lot of carries during his college career, it will only be a matter of time.

RB Christian Washington

Christian comes to the program to play running back. He is a small, speedy back who has the potential to score every time he touches the ball. Washington reaches top speed almost instantly and immediately gains separation from defenders with his quick movements. He changes directions to fake out defenders and makes sharp cuts to burst through holes. Christian can become a dangerous weapon in the Lobo offense for years to come.

RB Myron Carter

Myron is another running back in this class. He is a versatile player, able to run and catch the ball out of the backfield. Carter is extremely elusive in the open field, and his low center of gravity helps him keep his balance after getting hit. As a runner, he can cut and change direction with little issue and find the smallest of holes to fit through. Myron could be used as a swiss-army knife type of player in the Lobos offense.

JUCO RB Sherod White

Sherrod is a very talented junior college running back. He is a powerful back but is just as likely to bruise through defenders for a key first down as he is to rip off a big run. White displays good vision and can make a simple cut to get by tacklers. He is patient as the play develops and then commits full force once there is an opening. Sherrod should be the kind of running back who can be plugged right into a big role come the fall.

WR Tristan White

Tristan enters the fold as a wide receiver for the Lobos. His best asset is his versatility, as he is capable of both taking carries as he is catching passes. White has great vision in the open field and follower his blockers well. He is dynamic and is a threat to go for an explosive play on every touch. Tristan’s skillset may allow him to see the field early in a small package of plays as he adjusts to the college level.

WR Jermarius Lewis

Jermarius has signed with New Mexico as a wide receiver. He is a physical two-way player who has a knack for getting his hands on the ball. In a continuing trend of this class, Lewis is as big of a threat to take a carry or get the ball on a fly sweep as he is to run a route. He has a big frame and is difficult for tacklers to bring him down. Jermairus looks like the type of player the Lobos want in this class and he should develop nicely in their system.

Transfer WR Geordon Porter

Geordan comes to New Mexico after spending time at Arizona State. He is a receiver with some length and his long strides help him get downfield quickly. Porter is elusive in traffic, juking defenders and somehow escaping tackles to gain extra yards. He high points the ball well in the air and can outleap cornerbacks, especially in the endzone. Geordan looks like a safe bet to play right away.

JUCO TE Will Dennis

Will comes to the Lobos after playing junior college football. He is a proficient blocker who can make a positive impact in the run game. Dennis is a good route runner and has great hands to pair with a wide catch radius. He can impact a play in multiple ways and is an ideal target in the redzone. Will should play a role right away for New Mexico.

JUCO TE TJ Zimmermann

TJ is another junior college tight end in this class. He is a huge target with long strides and a wide catch radius over the middle. ZImmermann is a capable blocker but is at his best running short-yardage routes and keeping the defenses honest. He is great at slipping past defenders after a block and becoming immediately wide open. It is easy to see TJ playing right away and becoming a fixture in the Lobo offense.

OL Cayden Romero

Cayden comes to the roster as an offensive lineman. He is a nasty blocker in the run game who is also formidable in pass protection. Romero is mobile and constantly knocks down defenders on his way to opening big holes for running backs. He also executes his assignment and then keeps moving, looking for the next player to block. Cayden looks like the type of player who will succeed at New Mexico and have a productive career.

OL Don Dixon

Don enters the fold as an offensive lineman. He has massive size and plays with a mean streak. Dixon is still pretty mobile and can be used as a lead blocker off the line on running plays. He overpowers defenders with little issue, pushing them yards back from the play. Don primarily plays tackle but could move to guard at the next level.

JUCO OL JC Davis

JC comes to New Mexico after initially going the JUCO route. He is an active player and is especially skilled in run-blocking. Davis is used to pull quite frequently and gets his blocks to the second level of the defense. He has an athletic frame and probably still has room to add some weight. JC looks like a good bet to stick at tackle and has a lot of eligibility left in college.

JUCO OL DJ Wingfield

DJ is another o-line player from the junior college circuit. He is very agile and moves well laterally, which aids him in pass protection. Wingfield is massive and completely manhandles people as he blocks them out of the play. He can open up big holes for running backs and neutralizes edge rushers. DJ looks like a force at tackle and that should continue at New Mexico.

Transfer OL Collin James

Collin transferred in all the way from Massachusetts. His strength is very apparent as he drives back defensive lineman, resetting the line of scrimmage. James has a versatile skill set and often looks to be the focal point of plays as a blocker. He opens up big holes in the run game and is very active after the snap. Collin can play any of the interior positions and may be able to stick at center.

DL David Rowaiye

David is a talented defensive lineman joining the Lobos. He gets in the backfield easily and hunts down quarterbacks to disrupt the plays. Rowaiye is quick off the snap and fights his way past blockers, sometimes even beating double teams. He positions himself well to stop runs and generates a nice interior pass rush. David has the potential to be a great play going forward for New Mexico.

DL Max Elkman

Max is another defensive lineman in this class. He has incredible size and a high motor to go with it. Elkman sets his sights on getting after the quarterback and succeeds more often than not. He keeps his hands active and due to his height, is able to disrupt plays consistently. Max could see the field early if he can adjust to the speed of the college game.

DL Lane Williams

Lane joins the defensive line ranks. He is mobile and plays hard through the whistle. Williams has is a massive player and his size and strength allow him to win his matchups against blockers. He played on both sides of the ball in high school, so he may need more time to develop. Lane has the determination to be a productive college player.

DE Landon Williams

Landon is a local player who will suit up as a defensive end. He has prototypical size for the position and the ability to go with it. Williams is stout against the run but his excels at getting after the quarterback. He pushes through blockers and has the speed to run after QBs attempting to escape.

Transfer DE Tyler Kiehne

Tyler was previously at UCLA before transferring to New Mexico. He has tons of athleticism, chasing down returners on kickoffs in addition to his pass-rushing skills. Kiehne is a high motor player who pursues quarterbacks relentlessly, not stopping until he succeeds. He gets off the edge quickly, often before o-linemen have enough time to get in a position to stop him. Tyler will return to play for his hometown team and is likely to make an impact during his time with them.

LB Hunter Haemker

Hunter is a local linebacker in this class. He is a hard-hitting player who goes all out on every single play. Haemker is constantly moving his feet and flocking to the ball in order to impact the play. He is stout against the run, making textbook tackles, but can cover well enough as well. Hunter is a good bet to play better than his recruiting rankings by the time his college career is over.

LB Tate Zimmerman

Tate is coming to the Lobos to be a linebacker. He is a tackle machine, reacting to plays quickly and wrapping ball carriers up with force. Zimmerman plays surprisingly well in coverage, sticking with receives and showing an advanced understanding of how to play zone defense. He moves well both side to side as well as straight-line speed when moving in for a hit. Tate looks like a well-rounded middle linebacker entering the fold for New Mexico.

LB Marquis Jones

Marquis is another linebacker in this class. He brings in good size and the skills to go with it. Jones has the speed to cover the majority of the field when in zone coverage and is great at tackling in the open field. He flies through the gaps to stifle the run game and cause havoc in the backfield. Marquis should fit well as an outside linebacker for the Lobos.

DB Zach Morris

Zach finds his way to New Mexico from Texas. He is great in coverage, sticking tight to receivers, and staying active to make a play on the ball. Morris is quick enough to nearly cover the entire field and doesn’t give up on plays as he runs defenders down. He spent time as a quarterback so he can read offenses with understanding. Zach has a high ceiling and now is tasked with working hard to reach it.

DB Bryson Taylor

Bryson comes to the team all the way from Georgia. He is a safety who plays well in coverage, even having the quickness to stick with slot receivers. Taylor can match up with receivers or also sit back and play zone, where he can roam around and come down with interceptions. He rotates his hips well and that allows him to get a step or two and catch up with other players. Bryson’s athleticism will take him a long way in becoming a great college player.

DB Adari Haulcy

Adari is another part of the Lobos’ efforts to restock the secondary. He is a natural ballhawk who always seems to come up with a big deflection or interception. Haulcy reads the quarterback well and tracks the ball well in the air, giving him an advantage over wide receivers. He is extremely fast and has impressive footwork, gaining leverage on receivers and knocking them off their routes. Adari will play sooner rather than later and should have a solid college career.

DB Christian Ellis

Christian is one of the best players in this New Mexico class. He is extremely dynamic on the field, spending time at running back but he will be a safety in college. Ellis matches the speed of receivers in coverage and can lay physical hits in the run game. He can impact a play in a variety of ways, most notably through his violent tackles. Christian is a good bet to see the field early and should have quite the college career.

DB Kalen Woods

Kalen comes in as a defensive back in this recruiting class. He played on both offense and defensive in high school so he has plenty of skills and athleticism. Woods goes all out on the field and executes his assignments with determination. He shadows well in coverage and tracks the ball well in the air. Kalen has the necessary tools and now needs to put in the work to succeed.

Transfer DB Jordan Nichols

Jordan is transferring in from Texas. He displays great vision in the back of the secondary and can fly around the field to make a play. Nichols is great in the box where he can play an active role in shutting down the run. He is fast and has no problem keeping pace with receivers in coverage. Jordan looks the part as a deep safety and he should continue that at New Mexico.

Transfer DB Hunter Sellers

Hunter is a defensive back who is coming from Pitt. He reads plays very well and puts himself in the proper position to impact the play. Sellers is a physical hitter to anyone who comes over the middle of the field. He plays tight coverage on the boundary and has active hands to make a play on the ball. Hunter should have no issue finding a role next season.

Team Writer Thoughts:

It’ll be interesting to see who will win the quarterback competition in fall camp, especially with Miles Kendrick transferring in.

With the additions of running backs like Vigil, Myron Carter, and Christian Washington, the backfield is full of speedy playmakers. That will be huge considering that UNM scored only 146 points in conference play, which was dead last in that category in the MWC.

Defensively, they added some good depth to this side of the ball. Christian Ellis should be good enough to start right out of the gate in Rocky Long’s defense. With his versatility, he could become a Lobo-back and be flying around to the ball whenever they need.

The team as a whole is still pretty young but becoming more experienced. With this talent coming in, the depth is what gets taken care of. Injuries depleted the Lobos late last season, and that may not be an issue this time around with more depth.

Quick Hits:

Headliner(s):

Mike: Ellis, Rowaiye, Haulcy

Adam: Ellis, Zimmerman, Haulcy

Talented enough to play right away:

Mike: Ellis, Rowaiye, Haulcy, Washington, Kendrick

Adam: Washington, Ellis, Kendrick

Sleeper Recruit:

Mike: Vigil, Zimmerman

Adam: Vigil, Zimmerman, Kiehne

Best unit:

Mike: Defensive back, Running back

Adam: Defensive back, running back

Summary:

New Mexico has improved leaps and bounds in its recruiting efforts compared to the previous coaching staff. They won’t appear at the top of the recruiting rankings anytime soon, but they are finding the players they want, and there is a lot to be said for that. This class is filled with under-the-radar types of players who the Lobos are starting to build a track record for developing. They also balanced things out with a great deal of junior college and transfer talent, hoping many of them can play right away. There is a lot to like here, even if the talent may not be evident right away.

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