April 28, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- University of New Mexico football players Carmen Messina, Bubba Forrest and Jaymar Latchison earned their way onto NFL franchises Saturday night, following the conclusion of the NFL draft.
Messina, a two-time All-Mountain West middle linebacker (2010 and 2012) who led the conference in tackles for three consecutive years, tweeted that he signed a free-agent contract with the NFC North Division's Detroit Lions.
Messina finished his UNM career with 454 tackles to finish third on the school's all-time list.
Forrest, an honorable mention All-MW safety in 2011, signed with the Cincinnati Bengals. Forrest amassed 236 career tackles at UNM, including 85 his senior season..
The Carlsbad, N.M. native recorded 100 tackles as a junior in 2010.
Latchison, a defensive end, tweeted earlier that he signed to play with NFC North rival Green Bay Packers. Latchison finished with 158 career tackles, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and one interception.
The trio hopes to follow in the footsteps of 2011 rookie free agent offensive tackle Byron Bell, who turned a shot with the Carolina Panthers into a starting role at season's end.