Quick review on the summer and early fall football

Hey everyone,

Took some time off to work on some things in personal sector of my life.

I want to catch up on some things I have gotten to watch at the recent NMSU football practice.

I have only made it to two practices so far and missed the scrimmage.
NMSU has lost not one, but two QB's. First Andrew Manley has chosen to tranfser and went to Eastern Illinois. The second QB is not really a loss, but the coaching staff has moved Travaun Colwell to WR spot with the loss of Austin Franklin due to grades/red shirt.

Andrew McDonald moves to #1 on the depth chart and they move KD3 (King Davis III) to second on the chart. Colwell is moved to 3 but I could see something out of Barry Coffman, a walk on from Albuquerque area to battle for a spot. He looks in shape, some athletic ability. I did not get to see him throw much but has a little zip to the ball. I will also add that he is tall, 6'3.

Colwell made some pretty good catches and used his length to grab a high ball and come down with it while being covered tight during some O vs D situationals.

Another player that stands out and got my attention right away is OL #71 Dustin Lamb. He stands at 6'4 and built like a bunker wall. He is not very fast of course but watching him in some TE blocking drills I saw him just stand there and hold off blocks with out even having to back pedal or keep his feet moving. He got the TE's wore out pretty quick. I also kept an eye on him while doing OL drills. He needs some work, getting a little stronger in the weight room and some footwork and he will be a big time linemen for the Aggies.

The coaching staff has really gotten this team together. All the players are looking forward to this season.. and as they say #TheBestHomeScheduleEver

Also I would like to do a piece for the blog and the twitter account.

I am looking for your submissions for a top ten things to do before college football season starts.

So please send in your submissions to twitter @3rdAndCrimson or use #3ACtop10

I will be releasing the top ten one week before the 31st of August.


NMSU Spring Practice 4-27-13

Today was a pretty exciting scrimmage. A lot was happening on both sides of the ball. I soaked in the scrimmage as a whole and did not look for certain things as I usually do. So this may be a little bit on the short side.

Defense, yes I watched the defense a little bit more this weekend compared the other Saturday practices. Before I go into today I want to mention that on Thursday, the team spent a little extra time working on Solo/open field tackles(from what I saw, wasn't there long, was windy and cold, today was just perfect weather).
They are looking fast, making quick decisions. They still are getting into the backfield putting pressure on the QB or making a sack. They stopped a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage multiple times today. They are filling the gaps well and giving no room for the RB to run through.

A quick note, T. Littlejohn is doing a great job coaching up the WR's on blocking, because in the open field, the defense cant seem to break blocks or make the open field tackles. They missed a lot. Which I hope they can continue to improve on this. The run D is crucial making open field or solo tackles. This has been the weak spot in years past. The big runs given up were because of this. I am not sure if they are taking bad angles or just getting beat on the block. It may be both or it could be the technique.

The bright spots were the interceptions, sacks and batted down or tipped balls. When the defensive line was not getting through they were getting their hands up. Watching the QB's eyes and making good decisions. Generating turnover opportunities without getting to the QB will be important if they can't consistently get into the backfield.

After reading the Q&A with Clint Barnard that was on lcsun-news.com sports section made me want to look at him some. He plays hard and is all over the field. He stuck to his man on pass plays and gets to the sideline well for his size and speed. His experience as a QB will pay off more and more as he develops into a D1 LB.

He definitely is out to make something of himself.

Offensively, it was just as exciting as the defense was. They did great and then not so great.

The quarterbacks are still battling it out.
All 3 are still making some inaccurate passes to wide open receivers.

Getting right into it, Andrew Manley is still struggling with accuracy on quick
passes and his throws to the sideline. He does have the leadership ability that the other QB's do not have. He can make something happen when it needs to. During the 2 minute drills he did get the ball down field. He carried the team on his shoulders in crunch time.

Andrew McDonald is still improving but did not have a practice like last Saturday. He made some good passes to the sideline and throws well on the run. Probably the better passer on the run compared to the others. He moves his hips and feet well when in the pocket, squaring up when passing.

Colwell is the better runner and continues to make good reads on the option run. He is most accurate when throwing off his back foot but still needs work throwing on the run. Which will be important in this type of offense. He has the ability to avoid sacks and get out of the pocket when needed.
So no matter who ends up as the starting QB, you will see Travaughn Colwell on the field.

King Davis III looked a bit rough during the scrimmage. In his rep he did not really do much. He had trouble getting the ball off into the RB's hand and looked a bit frustrated after a few plays. But he will continue to improve over time.

Germi Morrison and Brandon Betancourt are looking great. They will make a huge impact in the offense in the fall if they continue to improve. Betancourt is improving quickly and is very jetty and can make someone miss with a slight cut. Morrison is still our power back and can get through the initial contact and get extra yards. Xavier Hall made a few good plays and had a good run, making a defender miss with a juke.

Wide receivers are still doing good. They had some dropped balls that should have been caught. They are getting open and making good open field blocks.

Offensive line looks to be improving, they did not look as tired. Miller's coaching is already making an impact. Technique is better and footwork is getting better. They did not get beat on the edges as much as before but that could also be that the D mostly blitzed inside gaps.

Over all, everything is looking better. The coaches get on them good when they mess up and they are learning. I just hope LC comes out for the spring game next week.



I arrived a little after 10. Shorter drill periods compared to start of spring. Second scrimmage of spring ball took place today. The first and second team players were getting most of the reps today. Both sides of the ball had their production, moments and lows.

To start, the defense again was very hyped up through out practice. They are fast all across the line and into the back field. Quite a few players came up and made stops at the line of scrimmage. Good pass defense by the secondary at times. A few times they let someone slip by. The tipped interception by the defensive linemen was exciting. That got the D very pumped up and excited. It got the small crowd into it as well. The biggest impact was the ability to rush the edge, putting a lot of pressure on the QB on multiple occasions. They ran a lot of Nickel and a 3-4 with the OLB edging on the outside line. Which is a much different look than what we are all use to from the past. I will try to put together a depth chart report next time I am out there.

The offense turned the ball over 3 times. Two interceptions and a fumble. A few botched snaps were recovered fortunately. They ran a lot of shot gun formation, 3-4 wr and then 5 wide with no backfield.

Manley, Colwell, McDonald  all stood out in their own. Colwell made good reads and got open receivers, moved the ball effectively. Ran the option read well and pounded out some yards a few times. McDonald made some good throws and evaded a few sacks, even though he was sacked a few times in the scrimmage. Manley threw some quick passes for good yards and also had a few bad throws on the day that should have been better thrown. Again fumbled the ball when it shouldn't have. Was right in front of my eyes. I don't know if he tried tucking it late or not but it just popped out on contact. KDIII ran the ball well on options and is mobile. He did not stick in the pocket and was eager to get out and run. He has trouble throwing on the run as one of his passes was 10 yards off from a wide open receiver on the sideline that would have resulted in a TD. He had plenty of time to square up his shoulders to make the throw. So we will see how he improves from that.

Morrison is still making an impact running the ball. He stays on his feet even after first contact. Gets his shoulder down and powers through first contact and usually resulting in extra yards. I would have to say he will be a 1000 yard rusher in the fall. Betancourt is fast and gets to the  corner quick on options or sweeps. He looks to be the #2 back as of now. I did not get to see Hall much today, perhaps because I saw him running onto the field a bit late. For the most part, they did not run the ball as much as last scrimmage and did not have a huge impact on game situations like last week.

The wide receiver corp showed up with out the #1 WR Franklin. They made some athletic catches, mainly 17 Jerrel Brown. They made good blocks on the run and made an effort to find someone to block after a catch. Every guy who stepped on the field made a great effort and looks improved over last week.

The offensive line, still slow. They looked gassed near the end of the scrimmage. I hope they can get in some good conditioning during the summer. The quarterbacks are going to need it. I don't know what time of blocking scheme they are running, but the tackles are getting beat on the edge quite a bit. They get turned around, not side stepping to stay squared up with them. They do however get a good push off the ball on run blocking. They seem fit for that play style. I really hope Coach Bart Miller can get these guys in a groove.

I did not put a lot of focus on the defense again. I will try to next practice.


NMSU Spring Football Practice Saturday April, 13th

To start off with, the tempo this weekend was a little more down from last week. They could be getting a little tired perhaps. Also to add they did a small scrimmage and focused on red zone and field goal, which I will add no field goal was missed inside the 30.

 Again I was watching the offense mostly and no one really stood out today except for RB Germi Morrison.
He found the holes and burst through them and got plenty of yards. I think the longest run he had during the situational scrimmage was probably 40 yards at most. Passing was off and perhaps that is why the recievers did not do a great job of catching the ball as well as not seeing any that really stood out. So I have not seen anyone at this point step up to be Franklins opposite.

The depth at running back is still unsure. WR Fielder was getting reps at RB along with Betancourt and Hall. All 4 got the same amount of reps as did the Quarterbacks. What did catch my eye is in the red zone they were running some Pistol formation, or a variation of it and it was successful on most cases. I did see Hall put down some great blocks on pass coverage and is not afraid to get his hat on someone. Great effort by him today. I know its not normal for smaller running backs to be great at pass blocking. I saw Betancourt do like a have arched lunge at a player that was still 4-5 yards away and that lead to a hard sack.

Quarterbacks, no one is really taking a huge lead as of yet. But I will tell you this, as of now you will see King Davis III a starter in the near future if he can make improvements on his reads and throwing on the run and back foot.  He is an athlete. Manley is still the front runner, with the starting experience he has, with the offense being implemented. He will need better pocket protection to be effective. Lets just say when the pocket collapses, it reminds of me Chase Holbrook trying to escape from danger in the pocket. Colwell and McDonald ran the option well, made pitches in time. All Four quarterbacks were not having any luck at all on the option read. Hopefully they can improve on that since it is a widely used play call. Accuracy today was not good, a lot of passes thrown into traffic or over thrown or bad route by the receiver.

The weakness still will be the offensive line. They can't hold a block or they get powered through by the defense. The guards pulled well on the option play on occasion and the offense was able to get a few good plays from that. But it just seems like their foot work is a little slow and getting beat on the outside. It may even be the blitzes and they are not picking up the right player.

I usually can figure out a line a lot better, but I guess I will just need to by closer to the line of scrimmage than far away.

There were some injuries to report. I saw Abram Holland come off during the scrimmage favoring his ankle. Another I cant remember who, but had similar issue. The third player, I have no idea who it was. I did not ask. But it was not pretty. WR Fielder ran the ball to the outside and they both lowered their pads, same height, gruesome hit. One got up, one did not. He laid there with no movement for some time and they took a long while to prep him to get him into the ambulance. I am not sure what the injury is, but when I started the post, I heard the helicopter flying over(since im right next to NMSU) at the student parking by the Pan Am, to pick him up. My thoughts are with him, the team and all of Aggie Nation.

Also there was an addition to the roster as well.  23 CB Chris Jinna 6-0 175 SO
That is all I will post for now.


NMSU FB Spring Roster

This is the spring roster they were handing out at practice on Saturday. I am not sure if it changed for Tuesdays practice. If they hand out a roster sheet again on Thursday and it has changes to it, I will provide the update here.

Out of the 79 players on the roster there are 17 players from NM. If you want to count the players from El Paso as well then it would be 20. So twenty in state and local players on the spring roster. 
I would have to say those numbers may drop when fall ball comes around. Usually have a few players that drop out of the program or transfer to a smaller school for PT or other reasons. I don't think I have ever seen this many NM and local kids on the roster in a very long time. This definitely is a sign of change at NMSU and with the help of Coach Doug Martins philosophy

As people have mentioned before, the offensive line is small. That they are. It has been a trouble issue for the last 3 years at NMSU. When I mean small, I mean they are short and not very big or they are short and heavy. I will have to take a look at their foot work when I check out the next practice to really get an idea of how they will perform when the season starts. 

The jersey numbers may not be accurate also, King Davis III was wearing # 11 in practice so I do not know who else was wearing what.  

2013 NM State Spring Roster

by position

1 Travaughn Colwell
6-3 185 JR
3 King Davis III
6-1 180 FR
8 Andrew Manley
6-3 225 rJR
12 Andrew Mcdonald
6-2 210 SR

Running Backs
21 Brandon Betancourt
5-10 180 JR
23 Xavier Hall
5-8 180 FR
25 Germi Morrison
6-0 195 rSR
32 Yolandus Pratt
5-9 200 SR
34 Jesse Forte
5-11 195 JR

Wide Receiver
4 Austin Franklin
6-2 180 JR
5 Joseph Matthews
6-2 190 JR
6 Joshua Bowen
5-10 170 SO
11 Jordan Bergstrom
5-10 175 JR
16 Adam Shapiro
6-0 180 JR
17 Jerrel Brown
6-0 180 SR
18 Teldrick Morgan
6-0 185 FR
37 Jeremy Fielder
5-7 180 SR
81 Brennan Shay
6-2 205 rJR
85 Cole Liggins
6-1 180 rSO
86 Rayvean Moore
5-11 175 rFR
87 Xzavian Brandon
6-3 180 rSR
88 Joe Cordova
6-8 240 SR

Tight Ends
14 Matt Jaramillo
6-5 245 SO
80 Perris Scoggins
6-3 250 SR
84 Zach Jones
6-4 245 rFR
89 Andrew Dean
6-3 124 JR

Offensive Line
55 Valerian Ume-Ezeoke
6-2 285 JR
62 Isaiah Folasa-Lutui
6-3 335 SO
65 Ryan Arbeleaz
6-1 280 JR
66 Dada Richards
6-3 315 SR
69 Alexander Trujillo
6-2 280 SO
70 Andy Cunningham
6-4 300 SO
72 Peter Foreman
6-4 310 SO
74 Davonte Wallace
6-4 290 SR
75 Antonio Ortega
6-3 270 rFR
77 Houston Clemente
6-2 285 SO

Defensive Line
9 Willie Mobley DE
6-2 270 SR
11 Kalei Auelua DE
6-2 235 FR
47 Chance Roberts DL
6-5 245 SR
51 James Allen DE
6-0 255 JR
56 Kevin Laudermill DL
6-2 295 SR
82 Thomas Shepard DL
6-4 225 rFR
90 Nick Oliva DL
6-4 245 SR
91 Kalvin Cruz DL
6-2 275 SR
93 Matt Ramando DL
6-4 320 SO
94 Abram Holland DL
6-2 275 SO
95 Inuka Rhaheed DL
6-2 305 SO
99 Stephen Meredith DL
6-4 240 rSO

2 Trashaun Nixon
6-1 225 SR
6 Dele Junaid
6-1 200 SR
12 Bryan Bonilla
6-1 220 SR
15 Zachery Daugherty
6-0 215 rSO
24 Josh Smith
6-2 195 SR
26 Deontae Ragas
5-11 200 SO
32 Dylan Davis
6-0 230 SR
38 Isaac Leon
5-10 200 SO
40 Robert Wagner
6-2 225 rFR
48 Clint Benard
6-2 215 rSO
68 Anthony Joyner
6-2 235 rJR

Defensive Backfield
1 Winston Rose CB
6-0 165 JR
3 Cameron Fuller CB
5-11 175 SR
4 Darien Johnson CB
5-9 180 SR
5 George Callender SS
6-1 195 SR
8 Justin Smith FS
6-2 200 SR
10 Kadeem Thomas-Davis CB
5-10 170 SO
20 Samuel Oyenuga CB
5-11 180 SO
21 Anthony Edwards SS
6-0 190 SR
31 Davis Cazares FS
5-11 190 SR
35 Zachery Baker SS
6-1 200 JR
39 Miles Washington CB
5-9 155 rFR
41 Tre Wilcoxen SS
6-1 190 FR

Special Teams
7 Cayle Chapman-Brown P
6-5 235 SR
42 Jake Capraro P
6-1 210 SR
43 Andrew Zapien LS
5-9 205 rSO
44 Mike Kaiser LS
6-1 220 SR
45 Gino Satriana P
5-10 180 SI
46 Maxwell Johnson K
5-10 185 SR


NMSU Football practice - Saturday April 6th

 The first Saturday spring practice went with out a hitch. There were a few times it got real quiet and you could hear a coach getting onto their players on missed assignments or running a play wrong. The atmosphere had a high intensity from the start to the very end. They started off with some quick drills and then stretching. Before they broke out into groups they gathered in the middle of the field to be bried etc. They did a quick chant of BEAT UTEP before breaking the huddle. I am guessing each practice they will have each team they are playing this season with that to build up some motivation.

I mostly watched the skilled position and offense since I was sitting on that side. I liked what I saw, great effort and hustle all around. They sprinted to drills, kept hyped up and pushed hard later in the practice. You could tell that a few players were not in the best shape near the end.

The quarterbacks did a good job. I couldn't see much of a difference. They all got equal amount of reps. King Davis III looks solid as a freshman but I doubt later on in the practice season will be able to keep up with Manly and McDonald. Colwell looked great too. Everyone was throwing the ball well. Davis and Colwell did have a few balls thrown inaccurately and also threw a few low balls, most were caught though. In the team play they forced some balls when under pressure that would have been easily a TO in a real game situation. McDonald bobbled a few snaps and had to go to the ground a few times as well. Manley looked great, he looks fitter and more agile after losing 20 lbs. At the end of practice they ran sprints and was falling behind a little bit after the second and third one.

The wide receiver core looks solid and very fast. They did not drop many balls and were quick on cuts and in drills. They also worked on blocking schemes for a little bit. They were facing away from me so I can not say much on that. I got to see the walk on Joe Cordova, that dude is TALL. In one of the drills, he caught the ball and Coach Littlejohn commented, Joe, it looks like you know what you are doing for once!. Don't qoute me on it though. The kid can catch so it will be interesting to see if he will be utilized this season. Other than that, they looked good, fast, quick, sticky hands. They did seem a little bit less motivated than the rest of the team in general.

I did not get a good look at the O-line. But they were getting worked good in the far corner from me.

During the team vs play, the defense was able to penetrate the offensive line quite easily on most occasions. So it looks like they will have some issues to work on there. I hope they will get better. They ran the option more than a few times. They are fast to the edge, most occasions there were not a lot of defenders there to snuff it. One pitch Mcdonald probably had second thoughts and it fell a few yards short of the runner. The defense was loud and rowdy on the sidelines too. I liked that, more intense than the offensive side.

I did not get to see the RB's drill since they were on the opposite far corner. But in offensive play drills they looked shifty and made their cuts well.

The player who stood out the most in this practice, from the team vs was no other than Xavier Hall. He was fast, shifty, broke out of a few tackles and was quick. When cought up in a crowd he kept his feet moving. He broke out quite a few times into open space. I am glad to see him on the roster in the spring, which means he graduated early from LCHS. Makes me wish we still had his older brother at NMSU.