It looks like some junior college transfers could be impact players for the Aggies this fall on the football field.
Lets go through some that have caught the eye this spring:
• Andrew McDonald, QB: A transfer from Santa Ana College, McDonald and the offense looked good on Saturday — he got rid of the ball, showed some smarts, and has a pedigree. While Andrew Manley is penciled in as the Aggie starter at quarterback, there is a competition for the No. 2 man behind the incumbent.
“If we’ve got to go with McDonald, I don’t think we’ll have a problem with him,” NMSU head coach DeWayne Walker said.
• Akeelie Mustafa, RB: Mustafa’s trademark has been his quickness — the Aggies need a big-play back to replace Kenny Turner in that role. Thus far, he’s looked pretty good during spring practices. Like McDonald, Mustafa played at Santa Ana College in 2010 and did not play last year.
• Perris Scoggins, TE: He’s a big player (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) and could have been overlooked coming out of San Jacinto College. Regardless, he looks to be a contributor this fall.
• Trashaun Nixon, LB: Coming from Ventura College, Nixon (6-foot-1, 225 pounds) has been taking snaps at weakside linebacker and looks like a possible starter there.
• Dele Junaid, S: This defensive back displays good size (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) at strong safety. Junaid spent a year at Ole Miss before playing at Eastern Arizona College.
• Some others: Contra Costa College cornerback Cameron Fuller has gotten some playing time, and there are a handful of new defensive linemen such as Ventura College transfer Kalvin Cruz.
Andrew Kersten, who started at guard last year, has been taking snaps at right tackle.
Defensive nose tackle Mark Brown looked good on Saturday.
Standing at 6-foot, 290 pounds, Brown was a walk-on last year who was granted a scholarship this past offseason.
“IQ player,” Walker said. “You’ll see this little pudgy guy out there, but he’s smart....He’s making consistent improvement.”
B.J. Adolpho and Alexander LaVoy look to be splitting snaps at middle linebacker. LaVoy proved to be good in pass coverage last year, not as effective vs. the run, while Adolpho has been with the program for, what seems like, forever.
“We’re just letting them compete right now,” Walker said. “LaVoy obviously has a presence with his size and all that. But we just think Adolpho, he’s more maybe of an IQ player. We think he can handle more, and has a little bit more football savvy. We’ll keep that competition going throughout camp.”
Another defensive player who stands out? Donte Savage.
He’s a senior at defensive end, and is used as a “rush” end — Savage goes to the side of the offensive line opposite where the tight end lines up, one on one with the offensive tackle.
He’s big and fast, and could also look the part of an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. As written in this space before, he has All-WAC potential.
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