Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aggies 2012 recruiting class: a reaction

First off, the direction New Mexico State is looking to go in is clear.

The general sentiment is that the Aggies' needed to add bodies on the lines of scrimmage and they did that.

Eleven of the 24 new scholarship players are either offensive or defensive lineman.

On offense, the added personnel — O-lineman, two new tight ends and a running back (the team could bring in another runner in the coming weeks) — indicates that the Aggies are going to rely on the run more often in 2012.

Here's a quote from DeWayne Walker when asked about that:

“Having more running backs, probably more by committee, it will allow us to establish the run a bit more. Which will help protect our defense, and our starting quarterback.”

• Speaking of quarterbacks, the team brought in Andrew McDonald and I wouldn't be surprised if he competes for playing time in 2012.

McDonald comes from Santa Ana College.

• We've been saying it for weeks — the Aggie defense is going to look a lot different in 2012.

A new coordinator in David Elson.

New defensive linemen up front.

The addition of two linebackers in TraShaun Nixon (Ventura College) and Robert Wagner (Colony High School, Calif.) — Wagner is the brother of former Utah State standout Bobby Wagner. He did not follow in his brother's footsteps.

And a brand new starting defensive backfield. Walker said incoming defensive backs Cameron Fuller (cornerback, Contra Costa College) and Dele Junaid (safety, Eastern Arizona College), “will come in and compete right away from starting jobs.”

• There is a new punter on the team in Australian-born Cayle Chapman-Brown, who attended Snow College last year.

Walker said the following about the kicker position: “We're going to try and get creative at that position. We're going to look and see if we can find another kicker as well.”

• There were no New Mexico athletes in this year's signing class. The program tried to get quarterback Cole Gautche, although he followed former Aggie offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier to the University of New Mexico instead.

• Walker said defensive tackle Augafa Vaaulu could be in trouble again academically.

“It does not look good,” the head coach said.

That's not good. What was he doing when he wasn't playing football last year?

Hopefully the Aggies don't have any more academic casualties that hurt them in 2012.

• The Aggies also announced the hiring of Romeo Bandison as their new defensive line coach.

Bandison had previously worked under Dan Hawkins at Boise State and then Colorado.

• A full list of NMSU's 2012 signees:

2012 NM State Football Signing Class
TraShaun Nixon, OLB, 6-1, 225, Oxnard, Calif. (Ventura College/Hueneme HS)
Cameron Fuller, DB, 5-11, 160, Berkeley, Calif. (Contra Costa College/Berkeley HS)
Nicholas Oliva, DE, 6-6, 252, Saugas, Calif. (College of the Canyons/Valencia HS)
Andrew McDonald, QB, 6-2, 215, Newport Beach, Calif. (Santa Ana College/Newport Harbor HS)
Alfred Sharp, OT, 6-5, 285, Cleveland Heights, Ohio (Iowa Western CC/Cleveland Heights HS)
Kalvin Cruz, DL, 6-2, 275, Littleton, Colo. (Ventura College/Columbine HS)
Kevin Laudermill, DT, 6-3, 300, Los Angeles, Calif. (West Los Angeles/Manual Arts Senior HS)
Perris Scoggins, TE, 6-4, 238, Fontana, Calif. (Mt. San Jacinto College/Summit HS)
Akeelie Mustafa, RB, 5-10, 183, Compton, Calif. (Santa Ana College/Cypress HS)
Dele Junaid, DB, 6-3, 195, Fresno, Texas (Eastern Arizona/Hightower HS) 
King Davis III, QB, 6-1, 175, Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)
Zach Jones, TE, 6-4, 245, Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Thunder Ridge HS)
Thomas Shepard, DE, 6-4, 225, Denver, Colo. (Denver South HS)
Peter Foreman, OL, 6-4, 310, Houston, Texas (St. Thomas HS)
Cayle Chapman-Brown, P, 6-5, 230, Sydney, Australia (Marist College Kogarah/Snow College)
Dada Richards, OL, 6-3, 319, Oakland, Calif. (Diablo Valley College/Pittsburg HS)
Dominique Love, DB, 6-1, 180, San Diego, Calif. (Bishop’s HS)
Isaiah Folasa, OL, 6-3, 335, Corona, Calif. (Santiago HS)
Inuka Rhaheed, OL, 6-2, 305, Ft. Pierre, Fla. (Westwood HS) 
Robert Wagner, LB, 6-2, 225, Onatrio, Calif. (Colony High School)

2012 Gray Shirt Signees
Abram Holland, DT, 6-2, 260, Rio Rancho, N.M. (V. Sue Cleveland HS)
Gary Issacson, WR, 6-0, 188, San Diego, Calif. (West Hills HS)

Awarded Scholarships after 2011 season
Mark Brown, DT, 6-0 292, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Palm Beach Gardens HS)
Mike Kaiser, LS, 6-1, 220, Carlsbad, Calif. (La Costa Canyon HS)

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Anonymous said...

So is this the class that ends our bowl drought and takes us to the promise land? God, I sure hope so!

It's dissapointing to hear that DT Augufa Vaaulu is once again academically in-eligible. Once is a mistake, the second?
Well, I think he needs to be cut and give his scholarship to someone that's busting his tail in class and the field.

Good job Coach Walker! It's tough to go out and hire 4 new assistants.


NMSU Phantom said...

I am disappointed with this class. More than half are Juco Transfers. The reality of this is that usually half don't amount to much. Of the half that are able to contribute one quarter become ineligible and drop out. At this rate I say 4 or 5 at the most will contribute anything for this team by the time they get ready to graduate!

Anonymous said...

LOL I just had a good laugh over that article about NMS recruiting class ranked #2 in the WAC.

WOW #2 up against biggies like Idaho,SJS.La Tech and USU

Anonymous said...

Come one Phantom. Really? I've said it before, NMSU won't get 4 or 5 Star players. You have to start somewhere. Yes JUCO players are only here a short amount of time, but come on. We lost both our O and D coordinators. Coach Walker is making due with what little he has. Getting seven 3 Star players is good for a program like NMSU. Yes some may not amount to something, but most schools go through the same issue. 10:54 Anonymous just don't show up to the games. That attitude is why NMSU athletics doesn't get the support it should. It's not the coaches fault what Conference we're in. Jefe good comment like usual.


Anonymous said...

Anon 10:54,

It may not seem like much since we're just in the WAC, but considering nearly every year we've been in the WAC we've always had a class rated at the bottom or near the bottom, it's nice to see a class rated higher for once.

Anonymous said...

I have more faith in the Aggie football coach than I do the basketball coach.

I feel like the Aggie football team is progressing while the basketball team is stuck in neutral.

Anonymous said...

The reason they are ranked # 2 is because Nevada.Boise State,Hawai`i and Fresno State gone. Their rankings show up under the MWC and if they were still in the WAC the Aggies would have had a low ranking.

Anonymous said...

Hey teddy with 2 more running backs coming in,how do u see the situation playing out. I feel Clay should get the nod, solid kid and hard runner and is a veteran to the program he has worked his tail off, people seem to forget how he did against the gophers last year. I feel we are gonna win 6 to 7 games this year and even more in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

NMSU Phantom,

The reality is that we are NMSU and we need players who can come in and make an impact on this team. Most BCS schools dont take in as much Juco transfers because they can afford to develop players and if they miss on some they have more. We dont have that luxury. If we dont recruit many Juco players then we have to wait to develop players and if we miss then we really dont have much of a back up plan. While there is no guarantee with Juco transfers, they have at least been playing consistent football and have that head start on HS players.

Anon 10:54

On the #2 WAC ranking, I thinks its stupid for people to make fun of it. We are playing in a new WAC now and guess what? The teams that left are no longer here so no use in saying, "well if they were still here". Even with the teams that are left it should be good news that we had the #2 class. NMSU is one of the worst football programs ever, we cant sit around and stomp on the few accomplishments that we get. A #2 class is a #2 class.


Anonymous said...

What do u think about the wr core and the running backs u think clay will be in for a good year!!

Teddy said...

In regard to some recent comments....

I think the Aggies will be OK at the skill positions, that being running back and wide receiver assuming that everyone is healthy and in good academic standing.

I think the Aggies can set six wins as a realistic goal in 2012.

I think the Aggies having the No. 2 recruiting class in the rankings is a good thing because that's a positive point of being in a new conference — it's a league NMSU can realistically compete in.