April 19, 2013
By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
You've heard of singing Cowboys? Meet Jacori Greer, the singing Lobo. Maybe not good enough to be an opera star or win "The Voice," but still has pipes like an angel.
"I tried out for the choir here and made it, but I couldn't do it because of the conflict with football. Football is my passion," said Greer. "I'll still sing for the guys a little bit."
What Greer isn't is an angel on New Mexico's defensive front. There he has an ornery streak. There he usually has a devilish plan to make life miserable for an enemy quarterback or ball carrier.
"I love sacking the quarterback," he said.
In 2013, the 6-foot-3, 272-pound Greer likely will be attacking the offense -- and quarterbacks -- from both the defensive end spot and the nose-guard position out of UNM's 3-4 front. Greer, a starter in all 13 games last season as a defensive end, was All-Mountain West honorable mention. He finished with 32 tackles, leading the team with eight tackles for loss and five sacks.
As a defensive end, the opportunities to reach a quarterback can be greater than the chances from the nose-guard spot. The D-end can use power to push past an offensive lineman or burn that blocker with quickness on the edge. Quickness helps a nose guard, too, but often from that position it's a bull rush to the quarterback -- mass vs. mass.
"I've never played nose guard before not even in high school," said Greer. "I just told coach if you need me to do it, I'll do it.'
"You have to be a man in there. It's a hard position. You get in there going at big Calvin McDowney, Dillon Farrell and LaMar Bratton and they'll give you the business. But going against those guys every day helps me so much. The defenive end position is my home and I can go back there anytime and not have a problem with that."
Said Jeff Mills, UNM's defensive coordinator: "Jacori has played so much ball that he can play inside or outside. He'll be used in both spots. He is so unselfish and such a leader that he'll do what ever is good for the team."
Greer also is versatile. He has a background in basketball -- "I love it almost as much as football" -- and is an athletic presense on UNM's defensive front. He moves his feet well. He is strong. Greer was a starter on the line in 2013, knows the 3-4 scheme, and that experience plus 17 more pounds should make him an impact player up front.
The Lobos need some impact up front. The Lobos went into the spring of 2012 with serious questions about their offensive line and there are similar questions about the defensive front.
"We have to go out and show that we can play," said Greer. "We have a lot of guys with not a lot of experience, but we have some guys who are workers. We have the right attitude and the young guys are really talented.
"We know that every rep we take in practice is crucial. Our (team) motto is out-work, out-hit and out-discipline and if we do that, we'll be fine. If they need me at nose, that's where I'll go. I'm figuring out ways to get to the quarterback at nose."
Greer is one of those Lobos you can tell loves to be a practice with his teammates. He is a talker, a laugher, a smiler.
"He was one of the first guys I noticed when I came here because of his infectious personality," said Mills. "He goes out and has fun, brings a lot of energy, but he works hard. He also is one of those guys you can trust. He is dependable."
Saturday scrimmage: There will be hitting. Lobo Coach Bob Davie said the Lobos will go at each other hard on Saturday -- with a small twist coming on Friday. There will be some pre-scrimmage scout work.
"We're kind of playing it like an abbreviated game," said Davie. "We've done little scouting reports, offense vs. defense.
"We do a little thing on Friday night's called video review. We'll put up a formation: Here's the play we're going to run; here's the defense we're going to be in. You put a lot of pressure on the kids in that room to step up and say what their assignment is or who they are blocking.
"We are trying to put some pressure on some young guys. We have a lot of young players who need to step up and play."
Coaches Clinic on Saturday: Saturday's clinic include watching practice, followed by lunch, group presentations and breakout sessions with the UNM coaching staff. The schedule of events include:
10:15 a.m: Registration (Tow Diehm Football Complex)
10:45 a.m.: Welcome by football head coach Bob Davie.
11:05 a.m.: Practice (Branch Field at University Stadium).
1:30 p.m.: Lunch (End Zone Club on Third Floor of Tow Diehm Complex; meal is $10).
2:30 p.m.: Group Presentation (Team Meeting Room, Second Floor).
3 p.m.: Group Presentation (Team Meeting Room, Second Floor).
3:15 p.m.: Breakout Session with UNM Position Coaches.
* A Social at Kelly's Brew Pub (3222 Central Ave. SE) will follow the Clinic.
Please call 505-925-5700, if you have questions.