The Aggies did not sign cornerback Charles Garrett, who elected to go Nevada.
Center Randy Richards elected to go to Marshall while defensive end Martin Efedi signed with Memphis.
How good will Frank Padilla be at middle linebacker? The Aggies hope very good, as he is the odds on favorite to start in the middle for NMSU. I am looking forward to seeing the linebacking unit this year, just to see how things shake out. Padilla and B.J. Adolfo (weakside linebacker) seem to have the inside track at their positions. How this unit develops will be a main key to the defense.
The Aggies will be fine in the secondary, although if they got Garrett they would have had a lot of talent. Now, they'll settle with all four starters from last year returning, along with Donyae Coleman and Lorenzo Caldwell as the primary backups. Walker said true freshman Darien Johnson will get a chance to earn his stripes here. Johnson can also be utilized on special teams as a return man. Safety is a little thin. But DeWayne Walker indicated today that newcomer Shamar Gaines will get a look.
Not signing Efedi or Robb Williamson hurt. The team better hope Pierre Fils and Donte Savage perform like they did last year at defensive end. And stay healthy. If they do, they deserve some sort of iron man award. In a strange twist, the Aggies did pick up some defensive tackles late, an area which seemed thin a couple weeks ago. One interesting prospect is David Mahoney, a 6-foot-2, 285 pounder from Pierce College. Scout.com had Mahoney ranked as a 3-star recruit.
The offensive line has more depth. The Aggies have done a good job building here. Aundre McGaskey could see playing time from Day One, while Dylan Lusk and Davonte Wallace are young players who should develop.
Matt Christian and Andrew Manley will compete for playing time at quarterback. To me, the QB situation is kind of similar to last year at this time. A lot of uncertainty. There are more bodies, however. Manley had been spoken highly of.
Seth Smith needs to stay healthy. The kid's a gamer, but his running style is tough and physical. He takes some big shots, but keeps pounding away. Hopefully that continues.
At wide receiver, I think this unit can still be developed. Todd Lee has talent. Marcus Allen isn't bad. I've been talking about Darius Preston for the last year now. I think he can play. Walker spoke about newcomer Taveon Burke. He's not particularly big — 6-foot, 175 — but the coach said he can fly. Can he catch? They need ya Taveon. The tight ends have to play better this year.
From what I hear, NMSU has reached out to three players for the 2011 recruiting class.
M.J. McFarland out of El Paso — big receiver with nice hands. I saw this kid trample Las Cruces High last year in Week 1 of the high school season. I liked him then and I actually said something the next day at practice to R. Todd Littlejohn. Don't know if Littlejohn remembers this but it happened.
And two New Mexico guys — offensive lineman Matt Hegarty of Aztec and offensive lineman Willie Pounds of Eldorado.
It seems the Aggies have interest in all three, possibly have even offered them.