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UNM punter Dyer, Kress, LoVett moving on

Tyson Dyer, UNM punter this past season, is exploring his options for the future, and hopes they include pro football. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico punter Tyson Dyer is leaving the Lobos in his attempt to reach the NFL, while wide receiver Jordan Kress and defensive back Michael LoVett III have entered the transfer portal.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jathan Washington, who did not play in any games in 2020, said on Twitter on Monday that he also is entering the transfer portal. Dyer and LoVett announced their intentions on Twitter on Tuesday, and various media outlets were reporting Kress’ intent to transfer.

UNM coach Danny Gonzales said he plans to announce this week the seniors who will remain on scholarship for the upcoming season. The coronavirus-delayed and shortened 2020 season did not count against a player’s eligibility. Last year, before the season, Gonzales told the UNM seniors, 26 of them, that none would be guaranteed a scholarship in 2021 due to the Lobos’ cap of 85 scholarships.

Dyer, a 28-year-old from Australia, made his aspirations for the NFL known ever since he came to the Lobos in 2018 as a transfer from Palomar Junior College in San Diego County, California. He prepared for that season by working out with former UNM punter Corey Bojorquez, who now plays for the Buffalo Bills.

Dyer also learned more about punting from Darren Bennett, a former NFL punter who also hails from Australia.

Dyer had a breakthrough season as a junior in 2019 when he was named second-team All-Mountain West Conference and was a Ray Guy Award semifinalist after averaging 46.1 yards per punt, with 35 punts inside the 20-yard line. The 46.1 average is the second-highest in New Mexico history behind Bojorquez, who averaged 47.3 yards per punt in 2017.

“After careful consideration and talking to my family and coaches I have decided to explore my options at the next level,” Dyer said on Twitter. “I appreciate all the support, and I will be a Lobo for life.”

Dyer averaged 41.13 yards per punt for the 2-5 Lobos in 2020.

Because of the NCAA allowances following the 2020 season, Dyer said he is aware that he can remain eligible to play college football even if he does not find an opportunity on the next level.

“I’m sort of open to keeping that option,” Dyer said during a phone interview. “But ultimately I had a time frame in mind that I wanted to play for three years and see if I have what it takes to play for a professional league.”

Kress, who tested positive for COVID-19 in July, led the Lobos in receiving yards (530), touchdowns (six) and catches (28) in 2019. He was cleared to play just before the season began in late October. He said he had been diagnosed with myocarditis (heart inflammation) that was not COVID-related.

Kress, a 6-foot, 193-pounder who transferred from Butte Junior College in California, played in four games in 2020 and finished with 12 catches, 224 yards and two touchdowns.

LoVett, a 6-foot, 186-pound cornerback, transferred to UNM in 2019 from Garden City Community College in Kansas. He played in all 12 games for the Lobos in 2019, recording 15 tackles. He played in four games in 2020 and finished with seven tackles.

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