Three more University of New Mexico football players – running back Bobby Cole, offensive lineman Leke Asenuga and wide receiver Cjay Boone – are set to transfer out of the program, bringing the number up to 10 for those who have left the Lobos since their 3-9 season ended in November.
That’s not surprising, said Danny Gonzales, who is entering his third year as head coach of his alma mater.
“This is the new norm,” Gonzales said on Tuesday. “It’s like free agency in some aspects.”
There are many transfers across the nation because college football players can remain eligible to compete after transferring, Gonzales said. The athletes transfer for various reasons, including playing time or wanting to be closer to home, he said.
Cole, a senior who led the Lobos in rushing in 2020 with 548 yards, is the second running back to enter the transfer portal after the season ended, along with freshman Aaron Dumas, who led UNM in rushing in 2021 with 658 yards.
Asenuga, a 6-foot-2, 315-pound redshirt freshman, is transferring to North Texas, he recently announced via Twitter. He is from Richmond, Texas, about 250 miles away from North Texas. Asenuga is the third offensive lineman to leave UNM along with Cade Briggs and Jack Buford, who had transferred in from Missouri. Briggs, a junior left tackle, started all 12 games last season.
“Nothing surprises me anymore with the transfer portal,” said Gonzales, who added he had a good relationship with Asenuga. “Leke had opportunities and did some good things last year. I like Leke. He’s a good young man.”
Boone, known for his great speed, had two catches for 26 yards. He transferred in from Missouri last year.
The Lobos will also be without the Bertram brothers, Mathias and Ben, who were not on scholarship but will be at the University of Idaho, a Division I-AA program, Gonzales said.
The Bertrams are Sandia High graduates. Ben Bertram is a 6-3, 265-pound redshirt junior defensive end and Mathias is a 6-2, 220-pound, redshirt freshman safety.
UNM is close to adding two transfers and will have four scholarships remaining for this year’s recruiting class, Gonzales said. A quarterback is expected to finalize his transfer to the Lobos this week.
NMMI: New Mexico Military Institute running back Anthony Grant, who helped lead the Broncos to their first National Junior College Athletic Association Division I championship last month, has committed to Nebraska, he announced on Twitter on Monday.
Grant, a NJCAA All-America first-team running back from Buford, Georgia, led the nation in rushing with 1,730 yards and 18 touchdowns on 241 carries, averaging 144.2 yards per game for the 12-1 Broncos.
He had an offer from New Mexico State.
NMMI wide receiver Aidan Trujillo, a former Centennial High standout, is transferring to NMSU, according to Peter Dindinger, sports information assistant at NMMI.
Defensive back Jayden Oliver, from Riverview, Florida, has committed to Buffalo, he recently announced on Twitter.