June 20, 2005

Land of Enchantment often overlooked

The 2006 New Mexico preseason Top Eight

When people think of football hotbeds, the state of New Mexico is hardly at the top of people's lists. However, for people that haven't paid attention to New Mexico talent the past few years, they've missed out on standouts like Aaron Lewis, who picked Texas over a host of programs, and Alan Branch, who was heavily recruited before he picked Michigan.

This year's crop doesn't appear to have a four-star talent, but there are already at least six players in-state that have scholarship offers and appear on the Rivals.com preseason New Mexico top eight.

Rivals.com gives the top honors nod to Albuquerque Saint Pius X defensive end Bayard Roberts. The 6-foot-2, 206-pounder already has an offer from UTEP and is getting national attention from Georgia Tech, New Mexico, Oregon, Purdue, Washington and New Mexico State.

"Bayard is just such a special player," Saint Pius coach Joe Baca.

"We're trying to figure out what to do with him. He is a great, respectful kid that gets good grades at a pretty tough academic school. He just also happens to be a very gifted athlete."

The No. 2 and No. 3 spots are pretty much interchangeable, according to Rivals.com Western regional analyst Rick Kimbrel.

"Mike Love of Rio Rancho and Jerrell Miller of Albuquerque Highland are both very talented players and either one could be No. 2 or No. 3," Kimbrel said. "We went with Love at No. 2, but you could easily debate the issue."

Love, who is 6-foot and 205 pounds, has offers from both in-state schools. Miller, a 5-11, 170-pound cornerback, lists an offer from New Mexico.

The 2006 New Mexico preseason Top Eight



 

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