Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Some key upcoming dates this spring for Aggie football

The New Mexico State Aggies are expected to open spring practices on Sunday, March 16. The team’s also expected to hold its annual spring game on Sunday, April 19.

The Aggies will also hold their annual pro day on March 5 at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Here’s the press release put out by the school:

LAS CRUCES - The New Mexico State football team is holding its annual pro day on March 5.

The event, which features NFL scouts working out Aggie players from the past year who will not return to the program in 2014, will begin at 9:15 a.m. in the Coca-Cola Weight Center. Weight room workouts will be followed by a trip to Aggie Memorial Stadium for the 40-yard dash and field drills.

Below is a list of the drills and tests to be done at pro day:
Anthropometric measures
225-pound bench press
Flexibility tests
Vertical jump
Broad jump
40-yard dash
Pro shuttle
Agility testing and other individual position workouts

Athletes Participating:
Bryan Bonilla, LB
Xzavian Brandon, WR
George Callender, S
Davis Cazares, S
Cayle Chapman-Brown, P
Kalvin Cruz, DL
Anthony Edwards, DB
Austin Franklin, WR
Cameron Fuller, DB
Darien Johnson, DB
Dele Junaid, LB
Mike Kaiser, LS
Kevin Laudermill, DL
Andrew McDonald, QB
Willie Mobley, DL
Trashaun Nixon, LB
Nick Oliva, DL
Yolandus Pratt, RB
Dada Richards, OL
Perris Scoggins, TE
Davonte Wallace, OL

Monday, February 24, 2014

District 3-5A boys basketball preview: Team capsules

(Las Cruces High School's Anthony Collins and Mayfield's Lloyd Gardner dive for a loose ball during a Jan. 28 contest at LCHS. The two teams split their two league games in 2014, yet Mayfield claimed the No. 1 seed in this week's district tournament/Photo by Gary Mook)

The Mayfield Trojans were the victors in a very balanced District 3-5A boys basketball regular-season race this season.

Mayfield rattled off six-straight league wins - they finished with a 6-2 overall record in district play - to win the regular-season championship.

The team will now be seeded No. 1 in the District Tournament, and will host Saturday’s title game.
With that being said, it would appear a handful of teams have a legitimate shot - the tough Trojans, the dangerous Gadsden Panthers, the improving Las Cruces Bulldawgs and the talented Alamogordo Tigers would all like to think they can come out on top.

With that, we take a capsule look at each team in District 3-5A, and what strengths - and weaknesses - they bring to the table with the 2013-14 postseason officially here:

Mayfield Trojans
Seed: No. 1
Record (Overall, district): 16-10, 6-2
Key players: G Isaac Rivera, G Josh Luevano, G/F Kavika Johnson
Rundown: This is a gritty team that’s pulled off some monster comeback victories during the second-half of district play - wins over Las Cruces High, at Alamogordo and at Gadsden all stood out as such. Mayfield also has some toughness - frontcourt player Dominic Carrasco is another contributor to watch in this regard. The Trojans began district play this season with an 0-2 record - and looked horrible in the process - but recovered to win six straight games to close out league play. They enter the district tournament as the top seed and with a bye all the way until Saturday’s championship round. Still, perhaps the best way to describe Mayfield is this: a team that can beat anybody on any given night, yet one that could fall just as easily in the same instance.

Gadsden Panthers
Seed: No. 2
Record: 19-7, 5-3
Key players: F Rafael Martinez, G Tommy Cano, F William Contreras
Rundown: The Panthers are a true team, one that might not necessarily have a true star player, yet a unit that also plays very well together. The Panthers don’t make many mistakes and typically don’t beat themselves under head coach Mike Harper. They also run an underrated offense with good ball handlers. A dangerous team that will have a home game in Thursday’s semifinal.

Las Cruces Bulldawgs
Seed: No. 3
Record: 15-11, 5-3
Key players: G/F Malik Woods; F J.T. Romney; C Cody Murrillo; AC
Rundown: One could make the argument the Bulldawgs are playing better than anyone in district at this point. After a 1-5 start to the season - when the team was fitting in new pieces after winning a State Championship in 2012-13 - the Bulldawgs now sit at 15-11 and have won six of their last seven games. Granted, the team has lost some head scratchers this season, including a home game against Alamogordo to open district (minus the senior Romney) and blowing a big fourth quarter lead to Mayfield less than two weeks ago (in an eventual 58-54 defeat). But the Bulldawgs have seen some players round into form - such as point guard Anthony Collins - and are capable of reaching, and winning, a district championship game.

Alamogordo Tigers
Seed: No. 4
Record: 17-9, 4-4
Key players: F JoJo Jones, F JJ Johnson, F Andrew Yates
Rundown: This team is right there with anyone - or in some cases, could surpass some of its district counterparts - from a talent standpoint. The Tigers have a balanced team and one with size, and have also put together some nice wins on their resume - at Las Cruces (again, minus Romney) and a blowout home victory over Gadsden. Still, Alamogordo hasn’t quite seemed to turn the corner either, with their only other district wins coming against Oñate. One would figure they can get past their opening-round game Monday against the Knights. With that being, a tall order would await at Las Cruces High in the district quarterfinals round.

Oñate Knights
Seed: No. 5
Record: 4-22, 0-8
Key players: F Kal McCorkle, G Josh Gandara, F/G Jacob Gandara
Rundown: It’s been quite the fall from grace for the Knights, who won a State Championship three years ago, only to not have a District 3-5A win on their resume for the entire 2013-14 season. Perhaps they can get one at Alamogordo to open the league tournament, although they’re the clear underdog.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Friday, February 21, 2014

Austin Franklin takes field in 2014 NFL Combine

(Former Aggie Austin Franklin has his sights set on the upcoming NFL Draft/Photo by Robin Zielinski)

Former New Mexico State Aggie wide receiver Austin Franklin is participating in this weekend's NFL Combine, held for 2014 NFL Draft prospects in Indianapolis, Ind.

The combine officially began Thursday with player orientation, medical exams and interviews. On-field workouts will be held Saturday through Tuesday and will be televised on NFL Network.

For NMSU football fans and followers, Franklin's performance will be something to look forward to. From a physical standpoint, he has the ability to be an NFL prospect: Franklin was a productive player with the ball in his hands - skilled gaining yards after the catch a season ago; he has good enough speed and quickness, along with outstanding eye-hand coordination. Of course he can continue improving in such areas, but the potential's certainly there.

Franklin also left NMSU following his junior year of college football - he never took a redshirt season at the school - and some pro questions could be in the form of his polish, maturity and ability to transition to the next level. Listed last year around 6-foot, 185 pounds, Franklin will need to continue developing physically as well. Some Aggies have been drafted or signed by NFL teams as free agents in recent years - Davon House, Jonte Green, Jeremy Harris and Taveon Rogers were all on pro rosters a season ago. Three of the four - House, Green and Harris - are cornerbacks, while Rogers played wide receiver at NMSU before bouncing between wide receiver and cornerback on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.

Franklin did in fact prove to be a unique player for NMSU in recent years, and is truly a natural born athlete. During the 2012 season he led the offense with 74 catches for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns. Last year he missed the first four games of the season due to academic ineligibility, only to return and post strong numbers the second half of the season (52 catches for 570 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games). His insertion back into the lineup also sparked the offense as a whole (he even played some wildcat runner and completed three pass attempts on the season) as the unit averaged 27.4 points per game in the final five contests of the year. And make no mistake: he was the team's true gamebreaker with the ball in his hands.

NFL Combine Workouts Schedule
* TV coverage begins at 7 a.m. on NFL Network
Saturday: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
Sunday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday: Defensive backs

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Thursday, February 20, 2014

District 3-5A basketball: Tiebreakers, seedings and scenarios

It's been a tightly contested race in District 3-5A boys basketball all year, and with that there figures to be an interesting ending to the regular-season schedule on Friday.

First, for the easy scenario: Mayfield, with a 5-2 league record hosts 0-7 Oñate Friday night. If the Trojans win, they clinch the No. 1 seeding in next week's District 3-5A Tournament. No. 2 Las Cruces High - which hosts Carlsbad in a non-district contest Friday - will wait and see the outcome between Alamogordo at Gadsden, a contest between two teams with 4-3 District 3-5A records. An Alamogordo win would make the pecking order Mayfield No. 1, LCHS No. 2, Alamogordo No. 3, Gadsden No. 4 and Oñate No. 5. A Gadsden win, and the Panthers would be the No. 2 seed (via point-differential tiebreaker), LCHS No. 3, Alamogordo No. 4 and Oñate No. 5.

While that isn't necessarily easy navigation, it's clearer than the alternative - which would begin with a Mayfield loss on Friday to the Knights. Such would really shake things up in the District 3-5A race. Follow along:

A Trojans defeat to the Knights would automatically set up a three-way tie between three 5-3 teams - the Trojans, the Bulldawgs and the winner between Friday's Alamogordo at Gadsden game. All four teams split regular-season meetings with one another.

If such a scenario were to unfold and Gadsden were to beat Alamogordo, Mayfield would drop to a No. 3 seed in next week's district tournament, while Gadsden and Las Cruces High would play in a Monday game to determine the District 3-5A regular-season champion - on a neutral floor no less. Winner of that game gets a No. 1 seed in the District 3-5A Tournament, while loser would be granted a No. 2 seeding.

If a similar scenario - only with Alamogordo beating Gadsden instead - were to take place, Alamo would drop to a No. 3 seed in the district tournament, with the Trojans and Bulldawgs squaring off in the Monday "first-place game." Again, such a contest would have to take place on a neutral court, although don't think Oñate High School would necessarily be the location - the Lady Knights will be hosting a district tournament playoff game that evening, against No. 5 Alamogordo.

Of course, the Trojans can also just win on Friday. Which would eliminate such confusing hypotheticals.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Monday, February 17, 2014

Associate AD Wayne Stickney leaving NMSU for Long Beach State

New Mexico State University Associate Athletics Director Wayne Stickney will be leaving NMSU to return to his alma mater, Long Beach State.

Hired in 2010, Stickney's official title at NMSU was associate athletics director for development, while his primary emphasis was on fundraising.

Prior to coming to NMSU, Stickney graduated and then worked in the Long Beach State athletics department.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Friday, February 14, 2014

PODCAST: Recapping NMSU football signing day, looking forward to Aggie hoops

After a week off, we sat down with to talk Aggie football's recent signing class as well as the addition of defensive coordinator. Also, a look at Aggie men's basketball and their up and down play. We also talk media food spreads/chicken wings.

Click here to listen.

VIDEO: Teddy and Brook Show (12/12)

The LCSN duo discuss whether NMSU basketball can get back on track with a pair of home games this weekend. Also, the prep basketball season heats up with Cruces-Mayfield game. I also encourage all to attend NMSU baseball opener this weekend vs. Saint Mary's:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

VIDEO: Aggie men's basketball press conference (2/11)

Head coach Marvin Menzies talks recent WAC losses, the need for better effort and postseason implications following such defeats:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Aggies build with eye towards future

The Aggie football program certainly addressed some of its immediate needs during 2014 National Signing Day: quarterback, linebacker (NMSU signed six players at each position group) and defensive back (where five players joined the program).

Of course, this also gives the team options, particularly at the quarterback position. The coaching staff will need to see how things shake out and who fits their offensive system best. With that being said, expect some of the competitors to eventually be moved to different positions if the QB spot doesn’t pan out — wide receiver, slot back or defensive back, for instance.

One look at the quarterback prospects indicate they do have speed and athleticism to make such moves, if necessary. Players such as Nate Grimm (1,314 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns), Tyler Rogers (10 rushing touchdowns), Jalen Jones (437 rushing yards, seven touchdowns), Andrew Allen (294 rushing yards, six touchdowns), Nick Jeanty (118 rushing yards, four touchdowns) and Cassius Corley (829 rushing yards) put up good numbers running the ball last season.

It already appears the Aggies are strongly considering such a position change for last year’s quarterback prospect. King Davis III, who the team appeared high on during the 2013 season, will get a look at running back and slot receiver during spring practices, according to head coach Doug Martin.

Last year, the Aggies moved Travaughn Colwell from quarterback to wide receiver and then running back, and Martin said Wednesday that Colwell could get a look at safety this spring.

Of the six quarterbacks signed, five are freshman, while the lone junior college alum was Rogers, a transfer from Arizona Western (he still has three years of eligibility remaining).


Such a theme was present throughout the signing class, where the Aggies signed 25 players total, 23 of which were true freshmen. Two — Rogers and defensive lineman Josh Gibbs — were junior college transfers. No other college transfers signed with NMSU this past week.

Martin made it clear throughout the past year he wants to build the Aggie program with primarily high school athletes, and also through the state of Texas — where 15 of the 25 incoming student-athletes hail from.

This is a matter of preference. Some of the top Aggies in recent years — Matt Christian (quarterback), Taveon Rogers (wide receiver), Kenny Turner (running back), Donyae Coleman (safety) and Trashaun Nixon (linebacker) — came from the junior college ranks. Then again, previous head coach DeWayne Walker was well connected and had a good rapport in the Southern California junior college recruiting scene.

Bringing in primarily high school graduates gives the program a chance to build things from the ground up and establish a foundation while cycling in four-year student-athletes. In time, the plan could very well work. Then again, expect the Aggies to take some lumps in the immediate future.

The team’s defense, for instance, will start plenty of youth across the board this upcoming season, as the Aggies must fill holes across the majority of it’s two-deep depth chart from a year ago.

Offensively, the Aggies must replace gamebreaking wide receiver Austin Franklin, and will need to develop young players at quarterback.
There’s also questions at the running back position. While local products Brandon Betancout and Xavier Hall had impressive seasons last year, Betancourt’s coming off a mid-season foot injury that required surgery.

The team signed two backs last week — Larry Rose (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) and Royce Caldwell (5-foot-7, 170 pounds) — that could help and provide speed. With that being said, neither appear to necessarily be big backs. Yes, NMSU could still use a power rusher that can pound the ball between the tackles. Perhaps 2013 redshirt freshman Marquette Washington will bring that to the offense.

But the overriding point is this: the team appears to be building for two, three and four years down the road, when such young contributors hopefully develop into productive college football players.

Consider this quote from Martin during Wednesday’s signing day, which marked his one-year anniversary as head coach at NMSU: “It was nice to start getting our classes put in place. And this is just a start. We still got some work to go. We need a another recruiting class to really get this football program back on solid ground.”


I’m all for the Larry Coyer hire at defensive coordinator. I’ve long been a proponent of the Aggies paying good money to their lead coaches, and Coyer (an NMSU official said his contract will be a two-year deal worth an estimated annual salary of $150,000) and Gregg Brandon (who signed a two-year contract last season worth a reported $180,000 a year) are quality and experienced at their positions.

But don’t necessarily expect Coyer to work miracles, at least not initially. Again, he’ll be working with a very young unit. And a rule of thumb to remember: quality coaching is important, but is no more important than quality players.

Think back to last year’s offense, which didn’t truly hit it’s stride until Franklin hit his as a playmaker and catalyst for Brandon to work with.
The point is, poor coaching can hurt talent production on the field, while quality coaching can only take mediocre talent so far. And, yes, it’s tough to make up for a lack of either.


Martin said during his Wednesday press conference that the Aggie football team had tremendous support from the school’s faculty during the recruiting process.
The head coach said incoming recruits would have lunch with NMSU faculty members depending on what degree the player had hopes of pursuing.

“Whether it was business, kinesiology. Whatever it was,” Martin said. “We tried to get professors to come so they could have lunch with the young men and talk with them. “Martin said such a philosophy was well received from the players and their family members, and in his mind was one factor that makes New Mexico State a unique college experience.

“It was over and over reiterated by the parents and the recruits, that they didn’t get that at other places,” Martin said. “How far our faculty went ahead of making them feel at home.”

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Friday, February 7, 2014

VIDEO: Teddy and Brook Show (2/6)

Flying solo this week without Stockberger in town. I break down our National Signing Day both on the college and high school fronts:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 National Signing Day: Links and a look at incoming Aggies

First off, some links to stories written for the Sun-News online and print editions that pertained to National Signing Day in Las Cruces.

We obviously took a look at Aggie football, which put a heavy emphasis on quarterback, high-school student athletes and the state of Texas.

On the prep level, four local football players signed with college programs.

And in high school soccer, NMSU signed a local player, while two others will in respective college programs as well.

Below, we listed the entire 2014 Aggie football signing class, along with short bios for each player:

Malik Demby, SS, 6-2, 185, Chino, Calif. (Chino HS)
High School: As a high school senior, Demby recorded 74 tackles, 52 solo efforts, 16 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, an interception and a pass break up. He also played on the offensive side of the ball, recording 307 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while tallying 281 receiving yards and two scores.

Josh Gibbs, DL, 6-5, 255, Madera, Calif. (Fresno City College)
Fresno City College: Gibbs played defensive line for Fresno City College for two seasons. In 2013, he helped his team to a 7-4 overall record and a 4-1 conference record, as his team competed in the Gridiron Classic Bowl. Gibbs recorded 34 tackles, five sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss.

Stody Bradley, DL, 6-2, 240, Arlington, Texas (Bowie HS)
High School: Bradley, a defensive end, was a first team All-District selection and a second team All-Area pick. Bradley recorded 71 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss and three sacks that season, helping his team to a 7-4 record and the first round of the state playoffs.

Nick Jeanty, QB, 6-2, 185, Miramar, Fla. (Miramar HS)
High School: In the 2013, Jeanty helped his team to a 12-1 overall record and a 6-0 league mark, as his team was ranked the No. 13 team in Florida. In 10 games, Jeanty threw for 1,340 yards and 21 touchdowns, including six touchdowns in one game.

Andrew Allen, QB, 6-1, 200, Texas City, Texas (Texas City HS)
High School: As a senior, Allen was named a unanimous first-team All-District selection, Galveston County Daily News All-County and The Post Newspaper first team All-Area. He threw for 1,307 yards and 14 touchdowns, while rushing for 294 yards and six scores. He was a three-year starter at Texas City.

Jalen Jones, QB, 6-3, 215, Edgewater, Md. (South River HS)
High School: Jones threw for 2,461 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior. He completed 59 percent of his passes (148-252) and averaged 16.6 yards per completion. Jones also recorded 437 rushing yards on 80 carries, along with seven rushing touchdowns.

Brandon Agomuo, DL, 6-3, 247, Houston, Texas (Lamar HS)
High School: During his senior season, Agomuo - who played defensive tackle - recorded 54 tackles, 18 tackles for a loss and 12 sacks, earning first team All-District honors.

Nate Grimm, QB, 6-4, 195, Cedar Park, Texas (Cedar Park HS)
High School: Grimm tallied 2,367 yards passing and 22 passing touchdowns in his senior season. He completed 58 percent of his passes (144-248) last season. Grimm was a dual-threat quarterback as he also rushed for 1,314 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Roman Pellum, LB, 6-4, 235, Palm Springs, Calif. (Desert Chapel HS)
High School: Pellum helped his team go undefeated in the regular season and 10-1 overall his senior year. He tallied 100 total tackles including 55 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Jaden Wright, CB, 6-0, 175, Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville HS)
High School: Wright played both cornerback and wide receiver. In his three seasons as a starter, Wright intercepted three passes and forced five fumbles.

Austin Davenport, LB, 6-3, 220, Saugus, Calif. (Saugus HS)
High School: Davenport helped his team earn a 7-6 record his senior year, including a trip to the CIF Playoffs. He totaled 104 tackles including 75 solo tackles. He recorded 10.0 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. Davenport also made his presence felt on special teams.

Tyler Rogers, QB, 6-3, 200, Peoria, Ariz. (Arizona Western/Liberty HS)
Arizona Western: Rogers played one season with Arizona Western as the team’s starting quarterback. He threw for 1,832 yards and 14 touchdowns along with seven interceptions. Rogers also ran for 364 yards and a team-best 10 touchdowns. Rogers missed two and a half games down the final stretch of the season.

Larry Rose, RB, 5-11, 180, Fairfield, Texas (Fairfield HS)
High School: As a senior, Rose was named the Associated Press Sports Editors Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year and a first team All-State selection. He rushed for 2,924 yards on 237 carries and 49 touchdowns as a senior. He also caught nine passes for 114 yards and three scores. He helped his team to the state championship game, a 15-1 record and a No. 19 state ranking.

Kortland Busby, DL, 6-3, 235, Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson HS)
High School: As a senior, Busby, a defensive end, was named a first-team All-District selection and an academic All-District pick as he recorded 38 tackles, five tackles for a loss and two sacks.

Jamin Smith, OL, 6-3, 275, Castle Rock, Colo. (Douglas County HS)
High School: Smith played offensive tackle and defensive end. As a senior, he helped his team to a 7-4 record and the second round of the state playoffs.

Jacob Nwangwa, FS, 6-0, 177, Arlington, Texas (Arlington HS)
High School: Nwangwa totaled 120 tackles in his senior season. He grabbed six interceptions while breaking up 11 passes and forcing three fumbles. Nwangwa was named first team All-State.

Travis Parnell, LB/LS, 6-3, 195, Rio Rancho, N.M. (Rio Rancho HS)
High School: A linebacker Parnell registered 44 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, two sacks and an interception and a touchdown last season.

Adaryan Jones, DB, 6-1, 170, Southlake, Texas (Southlake Carroll HS)
High School: As a senior, Jones was a first-team All-District selection, recording 45 tackles, 14 pass break ups, two interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble.

Dalton Herrington, S, 6-2, 195, Halletsville, Texas (Halletsville HS)
High School: Herrington was named an All-District selection and the All-District MVP, as well as a first team All-State member. As a senior, he tallied 185 tackles and four interceptions.

Derek Ibekwe, LB, 6-0, 214, Rosenberg, Texas (Lamar Consolidated HS)
High School: Ibekwe total 79 tackles and five sacks last year.

JB Copeland, LB, 6-2, 205, Southlake, Texas (Southlake Carroll HS)
High School: A two-year starting linebacker. As a senior, Copeland played in just three games, recording 41 tackles, an interception and a pass break up. During his junior season, Copeland tallied 72 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Cassius Corley, QB, 6-1, 185, Grants, N.M. (Grants HS)
High School: Corley was a starting quarterback, throwing for 1,358 yards, rushing for 829 yards, and scoring a combined 21 touchdowns last year.

Royce Caldwell, RB, 5-7, 170, Columbus, Texas (Columbus HS)
High School: Caldwell played running back and defensive back. As a senior, he rushed for 356 yards and a touchdown, while catching 10 passes for 353 yards and five scores. He also returned kicks.

Dezmand Candelaria, OT, 6-3, 295, Mesquite, Texas (North Mesquite HS)
High School: A two-year starter, Candelaria was an All-District selection as a senior. Candelaria helped his team average 419.7 yards per game.

Will Clement, LB, 6-3, 195, Houston, Texas (Kinkaid HS)
High School: As a senior, Clement recorded 57 tackles, four sacks, five quarterback hurries and two pass break ups, helping his team to an 11-0 record and the SPC Championship. A three-year high school starter.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

National Signing Day: areas the Aggies need to address this offseason

Here are some areas to keep an eye on as the Aggies look to fill needs during Wednesday's National Signing Day:

• The quarterback position has only one player with experience - King Davis III - currently on the roster.

• The defense, which was one of the nation's worst a season ago, must replace 10 of the 22 players listed on last year's season-ending depth chart. The team is also expected to officially name Larry Coyer as defensive coordinator Wednesday to replace the departed David Elson.

• In any given year, the Aggies can always use help along the offensive and defensive lines.

• The team must replace playmaker Austin Franklin (who declared for the 2014 NFL Draft following the season) and could use another player or two to help at the running back position.

• On special teams, the coverage units struggled mightily a season ago and the team also must replace one of its standout players from the past two seasons: punter Cayle Chapman-Brown.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Aggie legends with Super Bowl XLVIII ties

(Linebacker Fredd Young was a playmaker with the Aggies, then the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL/Photo courtesy of NMSU athletics)

Wrote some stories for Sunday’s Sun-News print/online editions on a couple former Aggies who had impressive NFL careers, taking the field for Sunday’s Super Bowl participants - the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos.

We’ll start with Fredd Young, a former linebacker who played for NMSU from 1980-83. He was fantastic while with the program - if there ever was an All-Aggie team, Young would clearly be in the starting lineup and perhaps the top defensive player on the unit. While current Aggie head coach Doug Martin talks often about needing playmakers on the field, Young fit that mold. An outside linebacker/defensive end, Young also returned kicks and punts as a standout special teams player. He ranks high in the Aggie record books in key statistical categories and was a four-time Pro Bowler with the Seahawks. “I was like a missile”, Young said of his role on the Aggie defense. “I looked for the ball. Then I’d go get it.” For the full story, click here.

The Broncos connection is none other than Aggie legend Charley Johnson. Of course, Johnson had a marvelous career at New Mexico State from 1958-60 - he led the team to its last two bowl appearances (he was MVP in both NMSU victories) and played for a nationally-ranked Aggie football program (let that sink in for a minute). His No. 33 jersey is retired at the school.

But Johnson also had a solid - if not outstanding - pro career, playing 14 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Oilers and Denver Broncos. Of those teams, Johnson said he follows the Broncos closest and will be pulling for them in today’s game. For the full story, click here.

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg