February 2, 2011

UNM signs six offensive linemen

The New Mexico Lobos put an emphasis on offensive linemen and defensive backs as the highlight of their 2011 recruiting.

UNM announced 20 signings on Wednesday, and the list included six defensive back sand six offensive linemen.

"We're pretty pleased with who signed today,'' said Lobo coach Mike Locksley. "We really feel we put our best foot forward. This class to me is going to be the core class of my tenure.''

Tenure is not a word Locksley can use lightly. He has been 1-11 in each of his first two seasons with New Mexico and his job security is very tenuous.

"This class is by far the most athletic class we've signed,'' Locksley continued. "When you look at this class, you'll see a lot of people who are versatile. That's why you'll see us top-heavy as far as defensive backs are concerned.''

The Lobos signed five players from the Washington, D.C./Maryland area. The list also includes five from Florida and two each from Texas, California and New Mexico.

One of the New Mexicans is a surprise. Anthony Kennedy was just honorable mention all-district for Volcano Vista High. But at 6-foot-5, 274 pounds he has the size to be a college offensive lineman.

The other New Mexican is quarterback Dustin Walton of Raton, the only QB to sign.

"It's exciting,'' Walton said. "Even if I don't play in the long run, I've got my school paid for and I'll have some fun.''

"This is a unique class in that most of these guys are proven winners and come from winning programs,'' Locksley noted. "This class gives us depth and competition at critical positions.''

Some of the top signings include:

Dustry Berry, DB from Erie (Pa.) Community College who played in Junior College All-American Bowl; Korian Chambers, 6-6, 322, offensive lineman from Arizona Western JC who had offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech; Zach Dancel of Ellicott City., Md., who is listed as an athlete instead of a specific position but he played quarterback in high school and passed for 1,338 yards and 18 TDs last season; Donnie Duncan, wide receiver from Cerritos, Calif., who caught 77 passes for 1,691 yards and 16 touchdowns and was return man; Crusoe Gongbay, running back from Rockville, Md., who was chosen for the Maryland Crab Bowl Al-Star Team and the Chesapeake Bowl Team; and Deshon Marman, a defensvie back from City College of San Francisco who played in the national junior college championship game last season.

UNM was allowed to fill 21 scholarships this year in the last of three years of penalties for NCAA violations. Last year, the Lobos had only 20 scholarships to offer but starting next year they go back to the NCAA normal limit of 25.

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