April 23, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The more they practice, the better he feels.
University of New Mexico first-year football coach Bob Davie told his team that Monday night's practice - No. 14 of 15 spring workouts - was the best of the spring session.
"Maybe they're like Secretariat and they smell that finish line right now with only one practice left," Davie said during a post-practice news conference. "But tonight was probably the most consistent, consistent enthusiasm we've had across the board. So anytime you can finish getting better in these last few practices of college football, you feel pretty good because obviously these guys feel the sense of urgency and we've got one more practice and it's good to kind of end on a positive here."
The offense again dominated late during live team drills in the latter stages of the practice, getting several long runs from running back Demarcus Rogers and finishing the practice with Lamaar Thomas' option run for a touchdown.
Davie still told his defense that it had to find its niche upon which it could rely to make stops, and that is still a work in progress. He added, however, that he has seen his players getting better across the board.
"From an energy standpoint and from the sound of sounding like college football is supposed to sound, tonight was probably our best practice, to be quite honest," he said.
WALTON EXIT: Davie confirmed that redshirt freshman quarterback Dustin Walton has left the program. The coach said that the former Raton High School standout approached him before practice Saturday and said he was thinking of leaving.
Davie said he asked Walton to practice that day and then go home (Walton was going to go back to Raton for the weekend) and think about it before deciding.
"I just wanted to let him ride it out, try to get the last three practices in," Davie said. "A lot of times, a young guy will change his mind."
Walton, however, made an announcement on his Twitter account later on Saturday. When Walton came back on Monday, Davie told him it was best to part ways immediately.
I wish him nothing but the best," Davie said "... and if that's what's best for him, best for his family, then he's got my release to go wherever he has a chance to be successful."
Davie acknowledged UNM's lack of depth at quarterback but said the team wouldn't panic and get a quarterback just for the sake of adding just anybody to the mix. He said the Lobos still had their top three quarterbacks on the depth chart in senior B.R. Holbrook, true freshman Cole Gautsche and transfer David Vega.
"We don't even have a walk-on quarterback for any kind of a scout squad," Davie said. "So it's like it is at a lot of other positions; it's just so thin. But hopefully we can make it through the season and then in January, we're going to have a lot of scholarships because we're going to be well below the limit. It's not how many guys you have, it's ensuring you have the right guys and I think we've made a lot of progress toward that."