April 15, 2011
Lobo Cherry-Silver Spring Game -- 2 p.m., Saturday, University Stadium
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Really, there is almost too much to see, too many new faces to evaluate, too much change and excitement as Mike Locksley's Lobos finally have the depth in talent to be a force on both sides of the football.
"We're going to put on a show. I promise you that," said Jaymar Latchison, a senior defensive end. "There will be some serious hitting this time out."
Said wide receiver Deon Long: "You'll get to see explosive big plays. We're going to air it out."
The serious hitting -- the show -- hits University Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday for New Mexico's annual Cherry-Silver Spring Game. It's a time for all healthy Lobos to showcase their talents, impress coaches, and pad their resumes for eventual fall evaluations for starting spots.
The changes and the depth of talent hook into this new crop of Lobos at every position. You almost wish it were Colorado State stepping into University Stadium on Saturday rather than Lobos in Cherry vs. Lobos in Silver.
Still, there are so many intriguing aspects of this 2011 Lobo team to check out on a warm -- and free -- day in Saturday's sun. Lobo fans should be teetering on the edge of their seats. Here are just a few highlighted areas to watch on Saturday:
"We have an explosive group of guys," said Lamaar Thomas. "Guys who can catch a short pass and turn it into long gains." OK, Thomas is the Lobos' "Flash," -- an Ohio State transfer who qualified for the NCAA 100-meter finals last June. "He's the real deal," said Lobo track coach Joe Franklin, commenting on Thomas as a sprinter.
You usually find this hybrid defender (half linebacker/half DB) by finding the strong side of the offensive line. The "Lobo" has to quickly decide whether he is going to provide run support or pass support. If he makes a mistake, well ... Sophomore Carmeiris Stewart has looked impressive in this spot once held down by the famous Brian Urlacher. Check out Stewart. He's No. 33.
Check out the D-line, too. The Lobos aren't huge up front, but they are strong, quick and athletic. In 2011, they no longer have to hold blocks, read, and react. Now, they get to attack. Now, guys like Latchison, Joe Harris, Ugo Uzodinma and Reggie Ellis get to get into people`s faces. "Now, we get to run past all those big linemen," said Latchison.
The UNM offensive line is a huge key for UNM in 2011. If the Lobos want to get the ball to all those game-breaking "hands," they have to give the quarterback time to pass the ball. And if they don't want defensive linemen and linebackers to be targeting Lobo quarterbacks, the Lobos have to run the ball. For sure, the Lobo Hitmen will be tested by the talent and the depth that comes from Latchison and company.
OK, those are but a few things to check out Saturday when Lobos battle Lobos. Come join the fun. Come check out the show. The Lobos really have seven games scheduled for University Stadium in 2011. This is the first one -- and it's the free one!