ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — According to the Iowa Western Community College athletics website, a reiver — the school’s team nickname — is a river pirate.
From a University of New Mexico standpoint, that definition makes perfect sense.
In the past few days, the Reivers have spirited away three 2011 UNM football players — including star wide receiver Deon Long — and a fourth, quarterback Ricardo Young, who was briefly a Lobo but never played for UNM.
On Wednesday, IWCC football coach Scott Strohmeier confirmed that Lobos safety/wide receiver Martize Barr has enrolled at the junior college in Council Bluffs, which is just across the Nebraska border on the Missouri River.
Meanwhile, Twitter activity between Barr, Long, Young and walk-on safety Meiko Locksley leaves no doubt that all four will be at Iowa Western for the 2012 spring semester.
Locksley is the son of former Lobos coach Mike Locksley. Asked via Twitter how the four former Lobos wound up at Iowa Western, the younger Locksley replied, “Just thought it would be good opportunity to get re recruited again.”
Iowa Western is a two-year school. All four players would be juniors in eligibility at a four-year school in 2013.
Efforts to reach Long and Barr were unsuccessful. Strohmeier did not reply to a follow-up question regarding the status of Long, Young and Meiko Locksley.
New Lobos head coach Bob Davie has declined comment on roster issues since being hired Nov. 17.
“We’ll update our roster when the semester begins,” UNM football sports information specialist Greg Archuleta said via text Wednesday. The spring semester at UNM begins Tuesday.
Barr, Long and Young all are from Washington, D.C., and came to UNM because of Mike Locksley’s ties to the Maryland-D.C. area. They and Meiko Locksley were all redshirt freshmen last season, although Young — who was to sit out the 2011 season as a redshirt — withdrew from school after the firing of Mike Locksley on Sept. 25.
Without question, Long’s departure constitutes a huge blow to the program. He was the Lobos’ most productive and dynamic offensive player in 2011, catching 47 passes for 809 yards — a 17.2-yard average per catch — for four touchdowns. He caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback B.R. Holbrook on UNM’s first play from scrimmage against UNLV in the Lobos’ only victory of the season.
Long also returned 18 kickoffs for 425 yards, including a 98-yarder for a touchdown against Sam Houston State.
Long was a transfer from West Virginia, although he never played for the Mountaineers.
Barr came to UNM in 2010 as a wide receiver, but was injured in the season opener at Oregon and sat out the rest of the season as a redshirt. He was switched to defense last spring and started four games in 2011 at lobo safety, making 21 tackles despite missing three games with a broken forearm.
Eight games into the season, Barr was switched back to wide receiver. He caught eight passes for 79 yards.
Locksley, a La Cueva graduate, spent one semester at Youngstown (Ohio) State — coincidentally, Davie’s alma mater — before transferring to UNM. He saw considerable action last season as a backup safety and was in on 11 tackles.
D-LINE COACH: Kevin Fouquier is UNM’s new defensive line coach. Fouquier, reached by phone at his Louisiana home, told the Journal he will leave for Albuquerque today.
Fouquier, most recently the defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette, coached with Davie at Texas A&M in 1991-92.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal