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4 JC Football Players Sign With Lobos

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Oklahoma QB on the List; Prep Defensive End Commits

Lobos football coach Bob Davie and his staff are threatening to take all the suspense out of the recruiting process.

On Wednesday, UNM got four signed letters of intent from junior college football players and a commitment from a high school defensive lineman. New Mexico now has 18 letters of intent or verbal commitments for next fall.

The Lobos have 25 scholarships to award.

Wednesday was the first day junior college midyear transfers were allowed to sign letters of intent. Signing day for high school players and junior college spring graduates is Feb. 6.

All commitments are nonbinding to either party — player or school — until a signed letter of intent is received.

The four junior college signees are:

♦ Clayton Mitchem, 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, a quarterback from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M in Miami, Okla.;

♦ David Guthrie, 5-11, 198 pounds, a safety from College of the Siskiyous in Weed, Calif.;

♦ Brett Bowers, 6-3, 265, a defensive end from Mendocino College in Ukiah, Calif.;

♦ Reno Henderson, 6-5, 260, an offensive tackle from New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.

Henderson, a freshman, will have three years of eligibility at New Mexico. Mitchem, Guthrie and Bowers will have two years. All four are expected to enroll at UNM in January and participate in spring practice.

The Lobos also got a commitment from Frankie Davis, a 6-3, 220-pound defensive end from Broken Arrow (Okla.) High School, as reported by the Daily Oklahoman.

Mitchem passed for 2,435 yards and rushed for 728 this season as a sophomore. He completed 57 percent of his passes and threw for 27 touchdowns, with 10 interceptions. He rushed for 11 TDs.

The Lobos passed for an average of only 69 yards per game last season, ranking next to last in the nation, and are losing their most accomplished passer in senior quarterback B.R. Holbrook.

Davie said after the season that improving the passing game and creating competition for sophomore-to-be Cole Gautsche — a strong runner who struggled as a passer — was a top priority for next season.

The Lobos also have commitments from two prep quarterbacks: Caleb Kimbro from Hays High School in Buda, Texas, and Jacob Bronowski of A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas.

Creating depth in the secondary is another high priority for UNM. Guthrie had 53 tackles and made five interceptions for a team that went 10-1 and won the California junior college Central Division title.

Bowers will be counted on to help a defensive line that is losing four of its five most experienced players. He had 23 tackles for loss and 16 1/2 sacks for Mendocino this season.

Henderson was a first-team all-state lineman for Vanguard High School in Ocala, Fla., before coming to NMMI.

The Lobos return six offensive linemen who started at least one game this past season, but depth at that position group has been an issue.

The Lobos were 4-9 last season, Davie’s first at New Mexico.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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