ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Modesto’s 6-foot-4 McCown Will Get Shot To Compete
Being late for the start of the race, Quinton McCown believes, doesn’t mean he can’t finish first.
McCown, a sophomore quarterback from Modesto (Calif.), Junior College, said on Saturday he has accepted a scholarship offer to play for the University of New Mexico this fall.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback made his decision after visiting the UNM campus early last week and getting to know first-year coach Bob Davie and his assistants.
Season opener: Southern at New Mexico, time and TV TBA
“I like the new coaching staff,” McCown told the Journal in a phone interview. “… They didn’t beat around the bush, so to say. They told me what my role would be; they told me I’d have a chance to come in and compete.”
The Lobos finished spring practice with just two scholarship quarterbacks – senior B.R. Holbrook and true freshman Cole Gautsche – and walk-on David Vega, a junior.
Last fall at Modesto, McCown threw for 2,245 yards and 20 touchdowns with nine interceptions. He rushed for more than 500 yards and scored nine touchdowns on the ground.
McCown said he realizes he’s at a disadvantage in not having been here for Davie and offensive coordinator Bob DeBesse’s first spring practice at UNM. But McCown believes, from what he knows about the scheme, that he won’t be too far behind when fall camp starts in August.
“This is basically the offense I’ve run forever, the same sort of stuff,” he said. “… Once I pick up the terminology I think I’ll be all right, because I’ve been doing zone reads forever, option forever. A lot of the pass concepts I’ve been doing forever.”
McCown said he considers himself a passer first, but he knows running ability at quarterback is a high priority in DeBesse’s scheme.
“Definitely, I’m looking to pass, but I can also beat you with my legs,” he said. “I’m not the fastest guy in the world, but I’ve got a nice burst. I can get up to speed pretty quick.”
As a passer, he said, “I’m a thinker. That’s my big thing. I’m good at reading the defense, picking my spots, all that stuff that kind of gets overlooked.”
McCown was a full academic qualifier out of Hilmar (Calif.) High School, but chose to attend junior college.
According to recruiting websites, McCown had an offer from Southern Utah out of Modesto and had been recruited by Texas Tech.
He’ll have four years to play three seasons of Division I football.
TRYOUTS: The Lobo coaching staff will conduct a second preseason tryout for UNM students interested in joining the program.
The team will hold a meeting for prospective players the Wednesday of the first week of the fall semester and an on-field workout one week later.
Five players – Jose Holguin, Alex Gard, Josh Romero, Jason Sandoval and Christopher Smalls – earned roster spots after a walk-on tryout conducted in the spring.
FIRST MAG: USA Today’s preseason college football magazine, the first to hit the news stands in Albuquerque, picks the Lobos to finish in a familiar place – last – in the Mountain West Conference this season.
The Lobos are predicted to tie for that dubious honor with UNLV.
The magazine does, however, pick UNM to win three games during the 2012 season. It doesn’t specify which ones.
— This article appeared on page D1 of the Albuquerque Journal