ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The University of New Mexico football team has added three student-athletes to its 2014 roster; all three have enrolled in school and are attending classes during the spring semester.
The three are Garrett Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive end from Corona, Calif., who originally signed with the University of California; Nick Lehman, a 6-3, 240-pound tight end from Bellflower, Calif., who attended Long Beach City College last season; and Bijon Parker, 6-foot, 165-pound defensive back from Los Angeles who signed with UNM in February of 2013 but greyshirted for the purposes of enrolling this spring.
Hughes, who played at Centennial High School in Corona, was rated the No. 48 weakside defensive end in the nation by 247 Sports and the No. 74 defensive end overall nationally by ESPN in 2012. He played in the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Calif., featuring some of the best high school players across the nation. Hughes recorded a sack and forced a fumble in the game. He also was named to the 2012 PrepStar All-West Region and was Scout.com’s No. 9-rated defensive end in the West. He had 69 tackles, nine tackles for loss and three sacks for the Huskies during his senior season, earning first-team All-Big VIII League honors. Centennial was the California State Open Division runner-up in 2012 and ranked 13th nationally by MaxPreps, finishing with a 14-2 record. During Hughes’ three years on the Huskies varsity, Centennial was state runner-up twice, won the SoCal Region Open Division crown (2012), and was two-time Southern Section Inland Division champion and three-time Big VIII League champion.
Lehman is known as an excellent blocker who also caught six passes for 144 yards (24.0 yards per catch) last season in just seven games at Long Beach City College. He attended St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower and helped the Braves to a No. 23 national ranking as a senior in 2012. Lehman caught 12 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, earing first-team All-Trinity League recognition his senior year. He also played in the 605 All-Star Football Classic. In 2011, Lehman had six catches for 99 yards and had 25 tackles, three sacks and one pass breakup on defense for St. John Bosco, which went 8-4 that season. Lehman will have three years of eligibility.
Parker was an All-California Interscholastic Federation Division I All-City first-team selection and All-Western League first-teamer in 2012 at cornerback for Fairfax High School. He finished the season with 20 tackles and four interceptions. He also totaled 19 catches for 208 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver. Fairfax finished 6-5 and advanced to the CIF Los Angeles City Section playoffs. As a junior in 2011, he recorded 29 catches for 378 yards and three TDs, playing primarily on offense. Parker helped lead Fairfax to another 6-5 record and a spot in the CIF Los Angeles City Section playoffs. Parker was the Los Angeles Sentinel Student-Athlete of the Week on Oct. 24, 2012, and he was named the overall camp most valuable player at the National Underclassmen Combine 5 Star Showcase in Los Angeles in August of 2012.
The three players join junior college transfers Daniel Henry, Ryan Langford and Eden Mahina as incoming midyear student-athletes enrolled at UNM.