Yodice: Bulldawgs’ William Magee is an unknown gem

Keshawn Banks, your name and your talent remain lovingly remembered.

Two weeks ago, I was speaking with Las Cruces High football coach Mark Lopez, a few days ahead of his season opener.

The conversation eventually steered to a senior defensive tackle named William Magee. Magee is 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds.

“Reminds me of Keshawn Banks from Rio Rancho,” Lopez said.

Banks, of course, is now a San Diego State Aztec. In Ram colors, Banks, an inch taller than Magee and a few pounds heavier, menaced defenses with his skill, his speed and his power.

Magee is a transfer, from California through Alamogordo, with a brief stop in Albuquerque.

On Saturday, Magee wreaked absolute havoc in the Eldorado backfield, blowing up both run plays and pass plays to the extent that he was practically renting space in the Eagles backfield.

“He’s as good as I’ve seen in my coaching (career),” Eldorado’s Charlie Dotson said. “He just crushed us. He blew everything up.”

There are at least two defensive linemen in New Mexico currently attracting attention from Division I schools.

Portales end Philip Blidi has already given a commitment to Texas Tech. Los Lunas junior end Tyler Kiehne has multiple DI offers, including one from New Mexico. Blidi (6-4, 240) and Kiehne (6-4, 250) have body types very similar to Magee.

“We’ve never had anyone like him,” Lopez said Saturday after Las Cruces beat Eldorado 48-14 at Wilson Stadium.

To me, Magee is at least the player that Blidi and Kiehne are. And Lopez is right: Magee does play like Keshawn Banks – ferociously. There was an extended sequence of plays Saturday in which Magee was literally unblockable or uncontainable by Eldorado, which eventually put its best lineman, Keith Alvarado, opposite him.

There’s a rule of thumb watching high school athletes: When you spot someone that doesn’t look like he’s playing the same game as everyone else, that’s when you know you’re on to a gem.

But I was stunned to hear from Magee after Saturday’s game that he doesn’t yet have a college offer. From anyone. Not even New Mexico State.

That nobody has offered him yet is mystifying. This kid could play multiple positions at the next level, and is perhaps best suited to be a rushing end. As Magee is new to varsity football in New Mexico, maybe the recruiters simply haven’t seen him yet.

They should move quickly.

“Crazy athlete,” Lopez said. Magee played quarterback on JV for the Bulldawgs last year, since he was not eligible to play varsity as a transfer. Lopez said Magee can throw a football 70 yards.

Let’s hope someone will open a door for him. Maybe Magee will just kick it down.

THIS TEAM HAS A LONELY PUNTER: Roswell High football coach Jeff Lynn relayed a statistic Saturday that raises the eyebrows.

It’s not so much the 76 points the Coyotes scored on Friday night in their 22-point win over Lovington, impressive as that is by itself.

It was this:

Roswell has scored touchdowns on 19 consecutive possessions.


After a turnover on its opening series of the season against Ruidoso, Roswell, last year’s Class 5A state champion, scored eight straight touchdowns.

On Friday night, Roswell had 11 possessions. And 11 touchdowns. The only blemish was a missed PAT.

“Here’s the thing,” Lynn said. “Usually, when you get 50-60 points, you’re returning a kick or getting a pick-6.”

SOUTHERN COMFORT: Roswell’s win was part of a muscular showing by the members of District 4-5A. Goddard’s big, physical group relied on its ground game to keep Carlsbad in check in a 21-6 victory. Artesia went hog wild in a 62-28 victory over Hobbs.

Add in strong showings by Las Cruces, Clovis (which doubled up Los Lunas) and Roswell, and the south and east quadrants of the state had a fantastic Week 2.

The Wildcats were pushed around by Los Lunas for a quarter and a half Friday. Clovis added an extra linebacker to stem the Tigers’ run offense, and Clovis’ skill guys – QB Chance Harris and WR Malik Phillips in particular – eventually began to gouge the Tigers.

THIS AND THAT: An extremely thoughtful gesture by Cleveland on Friday night, as the Storm presented an “El Paso Strong” banner before its game against El Paso Franklin. … Sounds like Cleveland junior WR Tre Watson is going to be shelved at least a month with his arm injury. … Hornets coach Phil Lovato said someone at his school informed him that the last time Highland was 2-0 with a homecoming win was nearly a decade ago.

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