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Biggest, smallest Lobos see need to work together

Meet the smallest and the largest of the football Lobos: RB Chad Alexander, 5-foot-6, 164 pounds, and offensive tackle Javon Mosley, 6-7, 333. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

Chad Alexander, New Mexico’s 5-foot-6, 164-pound freshman running back from New Orleans, doesn’t really know all about his large teammate, Javon Mosley, a 6-7, 317-pound senior left tackle from Fort Worth.

However, Alexander, the smallest player on the Lobos, does know one important thing when it comes to Mosley, the biggest guy on the UNM roster.

“I know that when I run behind him, nobody can see me,” Alexander said. “I can just pick a hole. I know that he’s very tall and I’m very small.”

During preseason camp, Alexander has shown himself to be a dynamic runner, one with great speed and shifty moves. In addition, although he is small in stature, he’s big with confidence. He said he wants to break the rushing records at UNM.

Mosley, who has made remarkable progress within a year with the Lobos, said he is still getting to know Alexander, but the big fella knows what the little man can do with the football.

“He’s pretty small, but he has a big heart,” Mosley said. “A lot of people can’t stop him. A lot of people can’t bring him down. He’s pretty small, but he’s running like he’s my size. His work ethic is really nice. He’s always carrying a ball in his hand. Always ready to run. Running people over that’s double his size.”

When Mosley and Alexander stand next to each other, it might bring out more than a chuckle from most people, but as factors in the Lobos’ unknown running game they don’t plan to be a laughing matter.

The big man

Friday was the exact date that one year ago Mosley arrived at UNM. He admittedly was out of shape and overweight. He said he sat out a year after playing his sophomore season at Kilgore Community College in Texas.

Away from the game, he became as heavy as 371 pounds.

But at UNM, after he successfully met academic requirements for transferring, he gained more motivation to slim down and move up the depth chart on the offensive line.

He dropped 54 pounds, eating mostly salads and neglecting his favorite food, hot wings. He also incorporated extra cardio work in his workouts. He is now running with the first team and is set to be the starting left tackle when the Lobos open the season against Sam Houston State at Dreamstyle Stadium on Aug. 31.

“He dedicated himself,” said Saga Tuitele, UNM’s offensive line coach. “With the weight loss and the academics – he was in that academic center grinding – it’s just been a phenomenal turnaround.”

UNM running back Chad Alexander, 5-6, and offensive lineman Javon Mosley, 6-7, walk off the field after practice. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Mosley had minimal playing time last season, as he was a third-stringer.

Because of his size and his superb footwork, Mosley wanted to shed weight and reach the potential coaches have told him about. He has NFL dreams, as many NCAA Division I players do. Yet, as he works harder, he continues to believe he is getting closer to the next level.

“I’ve had two NFL scouts out here that have wanted to know a lot more about Mosley even though he hasn’t played much for us,” UNM coach Bob Davie said. “He’s a giant.”

Tuitele said Mosley has made tremendous strides since arriving at UNM, but he is still honing technique and realizing the importance of leverage because of his stature.

Mosley remains determined to reach his potential.

“I’m just trying to get to the next level,” Mosley said. “A lot of people see the way I play and see that I have a lot of physicality. But I know I’m gonna keep working on the stuff I need to work on to get to that next level.”

The little man

At UNM, Alexander saw the perfect opportunity.

Georgia, UAB, Troy and Jackson State showed interest, Alexander said, but they backed off and UNM was the lone Division I program offering a scholarship as he wrapped up his senior season at Landry-Walker.

Calvin Magee, UNM’s former offensive coordinator and running backs coach who is originally from New Orleans, recruited Alexander.

When Magee left to become the tight ends coach at Ole Miss, Alexander said he remained passionate about becoming a Lobo.

“I wanted to get away from home because where I grew up is like a bad place so I wanted to get far away,” Alexander said. “Most people said I was too small and that I wasn’t going to make it D-I, so I had to prove them wrong … I just came here to play football and to try to break some records.”

The Lobos are expected to use a running-back-by-committee with the hope that someone will break out among a group of talented runners that have minimal experience.

“You never know how things will shake out,” said Apollo Wright, the UNM running backs coach. “He is dynamic. That’s the one thing we can say about him.”

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