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Safety Dancel Leaves Lobos for Maryland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When the spring semester begins at the University of New Mexico on Jan. 17, football safety Zach Dancel won’t be attending classes at Mitchell Hall, studying at Zimmerman Library or hanging out at the SUB.

He likely won’t be the only product of the Mike Locksley-Maryland-Washington, D.C. pipeline to be missing.

On Wednesday, Dancel said via Twitter that he’ll transfer to the University of Maryland.


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Locksley, his former coach at UNM and the man who recruited Dancel out of Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney, Md., is now the Terrapins’ offensive coordinator.

“I’m a TERP!” Dancel tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

In order to transfer, a scholarship athlete needs a release from his previous school. New Lobos coach Bob Davie has not commented about releases, and efforts from the Journal to get a comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Dancel, 6 feet and 186 pounds, started UNM’s final eight games at free safety this season as a true freshman. He was in on 32 tackles and had one interception.

He’s one of eight Locksley recruits from the Maryland-D.C. area, as listed on the roster at season’s end, who have not used a redshirt year. After sitting out the 2012 season, he would have three years of eligibility at Maryland.

A talented player in his own right, Dancel also is close friends with highly recruited Good Counsel running back Wes Brown. Good Counsel went 12-0 this season, and there are several other Football Bowl Subdivision prospects on the roster, including blue-chip wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Meanwhile, The Red Menace, a UNM fan website, reproduced the following Facebook post from Lobos true-freshman running back Crusoe Gongbay: “u know im done wit the 505 we gettin outta there.”

Gongbay, 6 feet and 196 pounds, is from Rockville, Md. He led the Lobos in rushing this season with 500 yards, five touchdowns and a 4.6-yard average per carry.

Other Locksley recruits from the Maryland-D.C. area who haven’t used a redshirt year are freshman wide receiver Daniel Adams, freshman offensive tackle Larry Mazyck, sophomore offensive guard Calvin McDowney, freshman cornerback/wide receiver Jamal Merritt, freshman offensive tackle Jamal Price and freshman cornerback Devonta Tabbanah.

Freshman running back Jhurell Pressley, from Newcastle, Del., might also be included in that group.

Six other Locksley recruits from the Maryland-D.C. area, including star wide receiver Deon Long, have used their redshirt year — making it far less likely, though not impossible, that they might transfer.
— This article appeared on page D4 of the Albuquerque Journal