For the second straight year, the University of New Mexico is adding a transfer quarterback — this time Miles Kendrick from Kansas — to help address a need the Lobos have experienced at that position under head coach Danny Gonzales.
If Kendrick, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound dual threat, wins the starting job for the 2022 opener, he would become the Lobos’ eighth different starter in Gonzales’ 20 games. UNM has gone 5-14 in Gonzales’ first two seasons.
Kendrick, from Morgan Hill, California, started two games for the Jayhawks during his four years at Kansas. Both of his starts came in 2020, and overall he appeared in 16 games.
Kendrick was recruited to Kansas out of College of San Mateo, a junior college program in Northern California. He has one year of eligibility remaining after gaining it from the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season.
He appeared in five games last season, and finished 12-for-18 with two touchdowns and one interception, throwing for 106 yards. He sustained a season-ending lower-leg injury during a 35-10 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 6.
“Miles came from San Mateo Junior College where he led his team to an 11-2 record before going to Kansas,” Gonzales said. “He knows how to win. He’s athletic and has a strong arm. He adds another competitor to the QB room and will compete to be our starting QB.”
Kendrick could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Gonzales has always said the quarterback is the most important position, and it becomes even more crucial this season with the Lobos transitioning to an offense that is expected to be triple-option based. Last year, the Lobos finished 130th and last in total offense in the nation, averaging 234.9 yards per game.
Kendrick made his first start in a 38-17 loss at West Virginia in 2020. He completed 14-of-23 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown.
Terry Wilson, a transfer from Kentucky, started six games last season. It was the longest starting streak for a Lobo QB in the past four years at UNM. Wilson’s season ended after a left elbow injury.
UNM turned to freshman quarterback CJ Montes, who struggled behind an inconsistent offensive line. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Chavez, the former walk-on out of Rio Rancho High, led the Lobos to a 14-3 upset at Wyoming but then dealt with an ankle injury. Chavez led UNM to its two wins to end the 2020 season. New Mexico then went with Bryson Carroll, a graduate student manager, at quarterback in the season finale, and walk-on Conor Genal saw action, too.
The Lobos will also have Bear Milacek, who, along with Montes, redshirted in 2020, and incoming freshman Jah’Mar Sanders from Port Memorial High in Texas.
OFFICIAL: Jake Rothschiller’s promotion to linebackers coach became official on Wednesday. Rothschiller, who played for the Lobos from 2014-17, starting as a walk-on and earning a scholarship, had been a graduate assistant. He’s on a one-year contract that pays $100,000.
Gonzales said he was promoting Rothschiller earlier this month when he named former Cleveland High head coach Heath Ridenour the UNM quarterbacks coach. UNM special teams coach Jamie Christian added running backs coach to his duties to open up a position on Gonzales’ staff.
Rothschiller’s promotion allows defensive coordinator Rocky Long, who doubled up as the linebackers coach in 2021, to oversee more aspects of the defense.
Rothschiller is now the fifth UNM graduate on the 11-man coaching staff, joining Gonzales, Long, safeties coach David Howes and offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier.
— Exodus Ayers (@ExodusAyers_) January 19, 2022
OFFER: Exodus Ayers, La Cueva High’s standout junior wide receiver, has received an offer from UNM, he announced on Twitter on Wednesday. He tweeted a photo that shows him posing with Long. Ayers said it is his first NCAA Division I offer. Western New Mexico also offered him.