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UNM’s Kress tests positive for COVID-19

UNM wide receiver Jordan Kress (9), shown last season in a game vs. Hawaii, is out until further notice after contracting COVID-19. (Journal file)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

Jordan Kress, the top returning receiver for the University of New Mexico’s football team, has tested positive for COVID-19, he tweeted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Kress, who is from Loveland, Colorado, has not been around the team at all, and was tested after he had been in quarantine after arriving in Albuquerque recently, UNM coach Danny Gonzales said.

Kress tweeted: “I’m currently feeling well, quarantined and looking forward to rejoining my teammates ASAP, urge everyone to stay inside, practice social distancing, and Mask up!”

Gonzales was surprised Kress made the announcement on Twitter, as UNM hasn’t been revealing positive-coronavirus tests. The athletic department has had two positive tests prior to Kress, one student-athlete, and one staff member, but names were not revealed.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a letter to UNM and New Mexico State leadership strongly urging both to suspend contact sports this fall (see Page A1) .

Kress led the Lobos in receiving yards (530), touchdowns (six) and catches (28) last season. He will not be available for when UNM begins preseason camp July 31.

Kress was interviewed by the Journal in late May. He had access to weights and was working out with a personal trainer in a private gym, he said.

MWC PRESEASON POLL: Gonzales, in his first year as UNM’s head coach, had but a two-word statement upon the release of the Mountain West Conference preseason poll Tuesday.

“Don’t care,” said Gonzales.

The Lobos were picked to finish last in the Mountain Division for the third straight year. This time, each of the 21 voters, the Journal included, picked UNM last.

The Lobos have been picked to finish last four out of the past six years (and picked to finish fifth out of six teams in 2016 and 2017).

“Preseason polls don’t mean anything,” Gonzales said. “If you judge yourself off preseason polls you’re making a huge mistake. The only time that those things matter are the final standings at the end of the year.”

Gonzales is more concerned about his football team and dealing with guidelines to prevent COVID-19 while keeping his focus on UNM’s season opener against Idaho State at home on Aug. 29.

He said he wants to build a championship team at UNM. He has a lot of work to do. The Lobos have won two conference games in the past three years, during which they have gone 8-28 overall .

Boise State was picked to finish first in the Mountain Division followed by Wyoming, Air Force, Utah State and Colorado State.

WATCH LIST: Senior Teton Saltes, a Valley High alumnus, is one of 85 interior lineman from around the nation, and one of 32 offensive tackles, named to the Outland Trophy Watch List. The recipient of the 75th Outland Trophy is scheduled to be announced in early December. Early in July, Saltes was named to the College Football America Yearbook Group of 5 Starting Lineup in what amounts to being named to a preseason All-America squad.

ANOTHER COMMIT: Safety Damon Gentry Jr., from Wyatt High School in Fort Worth, has committed to play at UNM as a 2021 recruit, he announced on Twitter on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back is a three-star recruit rated by 247 Sports. He also had offers from UTSA, Abilene Christian, Army, Navy and Illinois State.

He is the 17th player to commit to UNM for the 2021 class, and the third defensive back in the group.

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