ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Players and coaching staff experience more upheaval
A lot has happened since Bob Davie was named the University of New Mexico’s new football coach Nov. 17, but not much has been announced.
Here’s a recap/update.
COACHING STAFF: Davie, the former Notre Dame head coach and ESPN/ABC game analyst, chose not to retain interim head coach George Barlow in any capacity. Nor did Davie retain anyone on the previous defensive coaching staff.
Other members of former coach Mike Locksley’s staff are recruiting for UNM — but with no assurance they’ll ultimately find employment on Davie’s staff.
Davie has said he’ll make no announcement about coaching hires until the entire staff is assembled. But two hirings, that of former Lobos player and coach Jason Lenzmeier and of former Florida and Stanford assistant Coleman Hutzler, have been confirmed.
Lenzmeier has been hired as offensive line coach, the same position he held at UNM under Rocky Long (2007-08) and at New Mexico State the past three years.
It is believed, but not confirmed, that Hutzler will coach linebackers. It’s not known what Hutzler’s previous connection with Davie might be, if any, or how he came to Davie’s attention.
PLAYERS GONE: On Thursday, UNM released a list of eight players on the 2011 roster that had left the program before Davie’s introduction as the new coach.
One of those, defensive end Mark Hunter left as fall camp was beginning. Three more — quarterback Ricardo Young, wide receiver Emmanuel Mc-Phearson and safety Carmeiris Stewart — left the day after Locksley was fired Sept. 25.
Young and McPhearson were from the Maryland-Washington D.C. area and are believed to have left as a direct result of Locksley’s dismissal. Stewart was a Long recruit whose UNM career was short-circuited by injuries.
Young, a highly regarded transfer from Virginia Tech, had to sit out the 2011 season as a redshirt. He was in the program for almost exactly a month. His next destination is unknown.
All the above departures were acknowledged at the time.
After Barlow assumed the reins, four more players left the program: free safety Deshon Marman, offensive lineman Earl Johnson, wide receiver/quarterback Detchauz Wray and quarterback Tarean Austin.
Regarding Marman and Austin, Barlow — when questioned about their status — never said they had left the team or been dismissed.
Marman, he of the Saggy Pants episode this summer, last played for the Lobos on Oct. 1 against New Mexico State. The UNM release states that he has been out of the program since Oct. 11.
Yet, Barlow, when asked about Marman on Nov. 15, said, “(Marman) won’t be playing on Saturday. … We’re going with some other kids right now.”
Austin is listed as having left the program on Nov. 16. Yet, on Nov. 29, Barlow said only that Austin would not make the trip to Boise State for the season finale because, “He’ll still just be concentrating on his academics, because he put himself in a pretty big hole.”
PLAYERS GOING?: Last week, KRQE-TV reported without naming a source that three Lobos freshmen — running back Crusoe Gongbay, wide receiver Daniel Adams and safety Zach Dancel — had asked for releases from their scholarships for the purpose of transferring. All three are Locksley recruits from the Maryland-D.C. area.
According to the KRQE report, those players’ request for a release had been denied by UNM. But in a statement, Davie said that as of Thursday he had neither granted nor denied any scholarship releases.
The Journal has been unable to confirm that Gongbay and Adams are leaving.
On Friday, Dancel tweeted the following: “It’s been real. But in the en (sic) I have to look out what’s best for me. Thanks to the supporters but most of all the haters!”
The loss of any of the three would be a blow to the 2012 Lobos. Gongbay was UNM’s leading rusher this season with 500 yards and a 4.6-yard average per carry.
Adams, a big (6-foot-2, 207 pounds) wide receiver, had his freshman season destroyed and never caught a pass. But his potential was obvious in fall camp.
Dancel is a heady, coach-on-the-field safety who started the Lobos’ final eight games ahead of more experienced players.
— This article appeared on page D4 of the Albuquerque Journal