New Mexico Lobos Football – 2014 Signing Day
By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Of course, there is the obvious when it comes to evaluating a New Mexico recruiting class that Bob Davie says “is a heck of a class.”
You see a lot of defenders on UNM’s list of first-year Lobos. You see a lot of junior college transfers with size and experience under their belts.
“I just want to be able to stop someone. It’s been hard,” Davie said referring to New Mexico’s shortcomings on the defensive side of the ball.
“It’s obvious what we are doing with size. We have to be able to match up. That’s why we went after 14 defensive players and a lot of them are older guys. We need the help.”
The Lobos under Davie have moved the football well on the offensive side and threw up a lot of points on the scoreboard. The Lobos also gave up a lot of points – too many. And Davie, who has a strong defensive core when it comes to Xs and Os, wants and needs that to change.
So he sent his staff out on the recruiting trail looking for fast defenders, good defenders, big defenders and even taller defenders.
He brings in two JC linebackers in Ryan Langford and Chris Lee, who are 6-foot-3 and 6-1 respectively, weighing in at 225 and 255. He brings in three defensive tackles from JC ball in Taylor Timmons, Cole Juarez and Jack Ziltz, who weigh 295, 310 and 315, respectively. These are big Lobos.
If you were a defensive back being looked at by the Lobos during this recruiting period, it probably served you well if you stood on your toes. The shortest DB signed by Davie is 5-foot-11 Lee Crosby and the other three range from 6-foot to 6-2.
“Height was a premium,” said Davie, who also said he saw a need for experience and bulk. “There is no question we need to get more mature; we need to get more size. That starts with some older players.”
Davie signed 11 transfer players seven of them slated for the defensive side of the ball. He signed another 15 out of high school. UNM’s total by position is four defensive backs, six defensive linemen, five linebackers, two offensive linemen, two quarterbacks, two running backs, two tight ends and three wide receivers.
The balance is fine, but there is a lean to the defensive side.
“I cannot turn away a defensive lineman,” said Davie, who will return 28 offensive starters and 28 defensive starters to his 2014 roster. “When I got a kid like Taylor Timmons down there at NMMI, who is 300 pounds and he wants to come here, I abandon the (rebuilding) plan a little bit.
“For us to get Cole Juarez is a win for us. I’m going to take a defensive lineman every time.”
Davie says he prefers to build with freshmen and use JC talent to plug some obvious holes. The holes will be fewer and smaller once Davie has a few recruiting classes behind him. You might recall when Davie took over the New Mexico program he was standing in a pretty deep hole that included more problems than a shortage in players.
UNM’s program is still heavy with youth, but the roster has been growing steadily.
For sure, Davie was pleased with the growth he announced on Wednesday – National Signing Day.
“I think it is a heck of a class,” said Davie. “I think it will bring instant maturity and instant size to our football team.”