Gonzales most likely to name Lobos' starting QB today - Albuquerque Journal

Gonzales most likely to name Lobos’ starting QB today

UNM quarterback Miles Kendrick has a demeanor in the huddle that coach Danny Gonzales likes. (Chancey Bush/Journal)

No announcement on the Lobos’ starting quarterback came on Sunday, but the news is most likely to be revealed today.

UNM senior transfer Miles Kendrick (Kansas), redshirt freshman CJ Montes and sophomore transfer Justin Holaday (Fresno City College) have been competing for the spot for the majority of the month.

Danny Gonzales, in this third year as the Lobos’ coach, wanted to name the starter two weeks before his team’s season opener, which is Sept. 3 against Maine at University Stadium. He said on Saturday he might announce the starter on Sunday.

UNM redshirt freshman quarterback CJ Montes had a great spring and was one of the top performers during the practices. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)

Kendrick, a 5-foot-10, 205-pound 23-year-old from Morgan Hill, Calif., appeared to take the lead during the final week of preseason camp, starting with the first team and playing well on Saturday when camp ended. Montes, who started one game and saw action in two others last season, hurt his right throwing hand when he hit it against a helmet during a play on Saturday, but Gonzales said the dual-threat QB would be OK.

“That will be a great honor,” Kendrick said on Saturday after being asked how it would feel if he was named the starter. “That’s what I set out to accomplish coming to this school. But the biggest thing is being able to push the guys in the quarterback room. Support those guys. Spread knowledge in that room. Help each other get better and grow each and every day. I don’t think it really matters who coach Gonzales names. I think either way, whoever is named is going to have to keep that job and keep being a leader and keep being a great player and play at a proficient rate and keep the job. Just because someone is named the starter doesn’t mean it’s going to be the end all be all. The competition still goes on. The competition and the camaraderie with the quarterbacks will continue as well.”

Kendrick went through the spring with no contact during practices due to a leg injury sustained in November with the Jayhawks. He logged four starts in 17 career games at Kansas, throwing for 853 yards and nine touchdowns on 96-for-157 (61.1%) passing. He was picked off six times. He rushed for 101 yards on 71 attempts with one touchdown. He threw for a career-high 166 yards and two touchdowns against TCU in 2020.

Holaday, 6-3, 200 pounds, said he is getting more comfortable with the offense after Saturday’s practice.

He threw for 4,008 yards in 20 games including 2,226 yards as a senior at Lemoore High, near Fresno, where he also played baseball. He then went on to Fresno City and threw for 1,821 yards and 18 touchdowns with just six interceptions. He rushed for 391 yards on 102 carries with 10 touchdowns.

“At the end of the day all of us support each other,” Holaday said on Saturday. “Whoever is going to be the guy (against Maine) we’re all going to support him. It’s a competition too. We compete every day but at the same time we all support each other and we root for whoever is going to be the guy.”

UNM sophomore quarterback Justin Holaday transferred in from Fresno City College. (Chancey Bush/Journal)
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