Signing Day Quotes From Head Coach Rocky Long
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/02/2005

Feb. 2, 2005

"I'm very impressed with how our football team is working in the weight room. I think there's a renewed spirit. We've got a lot of young guys in there, the attitude is good, and those are the ones you're going to see on Sept. 10 (in the season-opener at Missouri). There's a couple of new JC guys you might see then too, but most likely our football team is down in that weight room."

"We're happy that we signed 25 out of 25 because there's always a chance that you might lose somebody at the last minute. Now we think that they're all good players or else we wouldn't have recruited them. We ended up with a few more junior college guys than we anticipated going in, but as we got on the recruiting trail the JC guys seemed to be the better players to fit our current needs. We have seven here now and they have a good chance to make an impact on next year's team. I don't anticipate any of the high school guys playing next year as true freshmen, but hopefully the junior college guys coming in the summer will make an impact on next year's team."

"If you take this class from top to bottom, I think this is a better class than we've ever recruited before. We have been fortunate here to recruit several classes that weren't highly thought of in the recruiting world, but a bunch of them end up all-conference and we end up in bowl games whereas some of those teams with highly recruited classes don't."

(on junior college transfer quarterback Chris Nelson): "Chris Nelson is a really good athlete. He throws the ball well, but also runs pretty well. Kole (McKamey) is a very good athlete and we're going to fashion our offense to use his athletic ability. So we had to go out and find quarterbacks that fit that same mold. We also thought that we needed a little more maturity at that position. We've told Chris that he gets to compete for the starting job at spring practice and we're going to let him do that. I would say that Kole has the advantage because he's the incumbent and he knows our offense better, but Chris is a similar athlete to Kole. Also, the freshman quarterback we signed (Donovan Porterie) can really run. When you see him run around, you would guess he can't throw it, but he throws it really well too. He's really a good athlete playing quarterback."

(on the priority given to recruiting in-state players): "More and more people in our state are realizing how much time and effort we put into recruiting New Mexico players. We spend twice as much time evaluating New Mexico players than we do any other state. I think your base has to be from home. We don't have a population where our whole team could be from here, but if you look at our roster, we have at least a fourth of our team on scholarship from New Mexico and most of them end up being really good players. Most of the New Mexico players that we have signed are not highly recruited guys, but when they get here, they work so hard to develop their skills that they become some of our very best players. I think that it's a huge advantage to have the foundation of your football team close to home."

(on junior college transfer running back Fred Colbert): "Fred is not very tall, but he's really muscular. He is a guy who can make you miss in the open field, but also can break arm tackles. He's got good speed, but not great speed. He's not a track guy, but he's a very powerful runner that can make you miss."

(on the junior college offensive linemen): "We expect all of our JC transfers to compete for playing time and maybe a starting role. One of those JC guys could be in the starting lineup on the offensive line. Our weakest position, in terms of depth, is the offensive line. We only have nine offensive linemen going into spring practice. Now we have some real quality in the offensive line, but we needed more depth."