Aug. 6, 2009
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The New Mexico football team officially opened training camp Thursday at the Lobo Practice Fields. UNM, under the direction of first year head coach Mike Locksley, participated in split practice sessions. The Lobos ran through more than two hours of drills in helmets and shorts while fans and media observed. Cool temperatures and light drizzle kept the workouts manageable on the first day.
"I thought we got around pretty good today," said Locksley. "The first group had more efficiency to it at least from an offensive standpoint. I was pleased that we were able to come out and execute. We got a lot in even for a day 1 install. Even the freshmen were capable of going out and that is a testament to our players and the work they put in this summer."
Locksley installed split session practices this season and after observing Day 1 of training camp it is easy to see why. During each session players received individual attention throughout drills and with limited numbers each player is given extra reps. The first session ran from 2:30 - 5 p.m. while the second session ran from 4:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Senior Donovan Porterie and redshirt freshman B.R. Holbrook ran the quarterback drills for the first session, while sophomore Brad Gruner and junior Tate Smith worked out with the second unit. Donovan looked good at times while Gruner and Smith connected with seniors Roland Bruno and Daryl Jones on multiple occasions.
Bruno had at least three exciting catches including two would-be touchdowns. Jones showed his athletic build catching a few passes on the run. Senior Victor James also had a nice catch during a passing drill over a defender.
"The summer was long and we had some hard workouts so it felt great just to get back on the field," said Bruno. "We enter camp with a new coaching staff so a lot of guys are excited to have a chance to show the coaches what we can do. As a receiving corps we have the talent and the ability to make plays to help this offense click."
Newcomers Kasey Carrier and Demond Dennis showed their speed and flashes of their abilities Thursday. Dennis made some nice moves at times to gain extra yards with his explosiveness. Redshirt freshman A.J. Butler ran hard and looked good to open training camp.
UNM will return to the practice again on Friday with split squads starting at 2:30 p.m. The Silver squad will open practice Friday while the Cherry handles the evening session. Check back on GoLobos.com for more updates from Lobo Football practice.