February 6, 2009

Harris: Top Seven Incoming Recruits

Following the all-time winningest head coach at New Mexico doesn't make the job any easier. But make this your first head coaching job as well, and you have a little more than a mole hill to climb.

However new Lobos head coach Mike Locksley seems to be making his job a little easier by hitting the recruiting trail with a vengeance. More importantly, Locksley is delivering results. The first-year head coach has gotten verbal commitments from as far away as Illinois, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania while still finding talent close to home as well.

If all goes as planned for Locksley this Wednesday, the Lobos could be in a position to bring in some immediate help and great competition for the returning veterans.

  • Lobo Football Writer Clay Harris breaks down the incoming top 5 recruits

Next in Line?

Darren Jones - QB
Harvey (IL) Thornton Township

HT: 6-foot-3 WT: 193 lbs

Class: 2009

Held Offers From: Wisconsin and Illinois

Positives: Jones comes in having run the spread in high school. He also has a big, strong arm, quick feet and a good pocket presence. He seems to go through his reads quickly and makes sound decisions. Jones also has a great work ethic shouldn't have a problem transitioning physically to the college game. Played under a high school coach that has produced 5 all-state (IL) quarterbacks including Antwan Randel-EL. He provides immediate competition at the QB position which will make whoever the starter is a better quarterback.

Negatives: Jones has all the physical tools but will he be able to learn to read the more complicated college defenses? Only time will tell.

Quotable: "He reminds me a lot of Antwan (Randle-El) only a bigger package." Thorton (IL) High School Head Coach Bill Mosel said of which of his former all-state quarterbacks Jones compares.

D.C. Duo

Derrell Person - WR
Washington (DC) Coolidge

HT: 6-foot-1 WT: 201 lbs

Class: 2009

Held Offers From: Penn State, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland and Akron

Positives: Person has great size to play wide receiver and his speed is a good fit for a quick strike offense. He also seems smart on the field, running to the ball, instead of waiting on it to get to him. And when he does get the ball, he has good field vision.

Negatives: Will that field vision translate to the college level with big, faster and stronger players trying to tackle him? At first, Person needs to run more north/south after catching the ball in traffic until he adapts to the speed of the game..

Quotable: Coming Soon

Emmanuel Yeager - QB
Washington (DC) Coolidge

HT: 6-foot-2 WT: 190 lbs

Class: 2009

Held Offers From: Akron, Central Michigan, Ohio and Louisville

Positives: Yeager has all the intangibles on film. He is fast (4.65 40-yard dash), rocket arm, cool pocket presence, never panics, throws a great deep ball, quick release and has great touch. With Jones, Yeager will provide immediate competition at the Qb position.

Negatives: While Yeager looks great on film with all the intangibles, can he make the transition to the college game? He makes some dangerous throws because of the confidence in his arm strength which can sometimes be a negative when trying to squeeze the ball into tight spaces.

Quotable: Coming Soon

Looking for Some Immediate Help

Peter Gardner - DT
Scranton (PA) Lackawanna C.C

HT: 6-foot-4 WT: 300 lbs

Class: 2009 (Junior College)

Held Offers From: NA

Positives: Gardner allows the Lobos to put a big body in the three-technique position to clog up opponents run game.

Negatives: Gardner will need to improve his pass-rushing skills if he wants to be an every down lineman.

Quotable: "He was 330 when we got him; he worked his tail off and ended up at 300 pounds. He's really come a long way. He bought into the work part of it too, that's what made him the player he is." Lackawanna (PA) C.C. head coach Mark Duda

Local Catch

Dallas Bollema - LB
Artesia (NM)

HT: 6-foot-2 WT: 195 lbs

Class: 2009 (Junior College)

Held Offers From: NA

Positives: Bollema has great speed. He was utilized as a punt and kick returner this past season (4.65 40-yard dash).He was Artesia's do everything on defense with 2 int, 3 forced fumbles, 8 sacks and 31 solo tackes to go along with 88 assisted. He also has a great frame with potential to give the Lobos a big, fast linebacker. Projects as an OLB (probably weakside with his speed) but with his speed, could shift to safety.

Negatives: Bollema needs to put on a significant amount of weight to play with the big boys. He has the frame now he must get the body to deal with big lineman in his face.

Quotable: "He can move well and he's good at pass coverage. I really think that's going to be a good fit for him," Artesia Head Coach Cooper Henderson said about Bollema projecting as an Outside Linebacker.


Kasey Carrier - LB
Pearland (TX)

HT: 5-foot-9 WT: 175 lbs

Class: 2009

Held Offers From: Akron, Central Michigan, Ohio and Louisville

Positives: Carrier is quick, fast and elusive. He should flourish in the spread especially during screen passes where his lack of size is an asset. One of his biggest positives is the way he runs. Carrier makes quick cuts and seems to always run north/south and he never stops running until he is on the ground.

Negatives: Carrier's obvious weakness is his size. Sure he looks impressive running into defenders and staying on his feet in high school. But how will he adjust when the players get bigger, stronger and faster?

Quotable: "He's the kind of guy that's going to make New Mexico successful…Bottom line is I don't know if he is a great prospect but he is a hell of a football player." Pearland High School head coach Tony Heath.



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