Many have asked about how season ticket sales are going.
I spoke with NMSU Associate Athletics Director Steve Macy on Friday and completely forgot to add the information to my last entry.
Macy said that the team is going to get close to 8,500 season tickets sales heading into the 2009 season. This is assuming that there will be around a 95 percent renewal rate, which would be on par with the last handful of years. NMSU fans traditionally wait to purchase tickets, whether it be for single games or for the full season package.
Last year the team sold 7,300 season tickets, so the 8,500 number would represent over 1,000 new season tickets sold during the offseason. This number isn't earth shattering but when considering what the Aggies have gone through on the football field in years past, I think it's a fairly impressive figure. We shall see how the crowd turnout fairs throughout the year.
Darrius Preston: This kid made some plays during Saturday's practice again folks. First off, during one-on-one drills with the cornerbacks, Preston ran a nice route toward the right pylon, beat his defender by a step and caught the ball. Both feet inbounds. Touchdown.
Later in the day, during seven-on-seven, Trevor Walls found Preston down the middle of the field. He was a step ahead of the defensive back, behind the entire secondary. Walls' throw was on target and Preston caught the ball over his right shoulder — It was all hands. Touchdown.
Again, later in seven-on-seven, inside the redzone, Preston ran a route toward the back-left corner of the endzone. Not sure who the quarterback was who delivered the pass, but Preston leaped over the defensive back and caught the ball. He fell out of bounds, but it was still a great grab. Really, he made it look pretty easy too. It wasn't.
I spoke with Preston after practice. He said that his high school in Florida played against solid competition in Class 3A — Florida, notorious as a football hotbed, has five classes total. He said he “slipped through the cracks” and former NMSU coach Hal Mumme placed a phone call. He redshirted last year and now he's playing ball.
“I just slipped through the cracks, that's all,” Preston said. “I've been waiting to compete.”
I don't think it's a stretch to say that Preston can compete for a starting job among the receiving corps. Marcus Allen too.
“Him and Marcus, they're two promising young players,” coach DeWayne Walker said of the duo. “They're going to push some players at that position.”
When William Bullock does arrive at NMSU camp, it will be interesting to see how the receiving unit fits together. There is some talent there.
I'm going to have a story on Preston and Allen sometime early this week.
The quarterbacks: Walls made some nice throws on Saturday and Jeff Fleming struggled, throwing two picks during passing drills.
Walls also seems a bit more mobile than people give him credit for. Still, he doesn't move like Fleming or Tanner Rust.
Rust has shown flashes of ability and is athletic. Still, it seems like he has fallen slightly behind the quarterback race for now.
This isn't coming from anyone, these are just my perceptions. So, they're probably way off.
Notes: I don't know what to think of the offensive line. I need to study this unit more....Walker complemented the running backs once again following Saturday's workout....I'm addicted to watching one-on-one drills between the receivers and the cornerbacks....Walker also said he liked Kyle Nelson at tight end. When I brought up Nelson's drops the last few days in practice, Walker said that he wasn't worried about it and that he thought Nelson would be a productive tight end in the offense.