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Former Lobo Gabe Ortega (Cleveland HS) to play for Abilene Christian

Gabe Ortega, a former University of New Mexico safety who starred at quarterback for Cleveland High, said on Tuesday he will play football for Abilene Christian as a graduate transfer.

He announced he was leaving the UNM football program in February.

Ortega, who was a redshirt as a freshman in 2016, graduated from UNM this spring. Since he will be a graduate transfer at Abilene Christian he isn’t required to sit out a year.

Ortega, who quarterbacked the Storm to a 13-0 season in 2015, was the fourth Lobo and fourth defensive player to leave UNM during this offseason.

Marcus Hayes, a safety who led the nation in punt return average, transferred to Kansas State. Rhashaun Epting, an outside linebacker who led the Lobos with 5½ sacks, left UNM for Tennessee State.

Blake Fehrmann, a linebacker who was a redshirt last season for the Lobos, transferred to Illinois State, an FCS program.