The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

ENMU expects signing class of around 50


February 7, 2018

PORTALES — Eastern New Mexico University plans to sign nearly 50 football players, including Gatorade New Mexico High School Player of the Year Brandon Baeza, when the college football signing period opens today.

As far as local high schools, though, it should be a relatively small series of celebrations, with three Clovis High players and no players from surrounding schools expected to sign today.

“I think there are a couple that stand out, and there are college coaches who saw those kids and liked what they saw,” Clovis coach Cal Fullerton said. “Not a lot of stars, but a lot of good football players.”

Wildcats expected to sign today include tight end Hunter St. John and left tackle Josiah Thomas with ENMU, tight end Ben Foster with NAIA Texas College and running back Demerious Milton with New Mexico Military Institute’s junior college program.

Fullerton said quarterback Darian Goins is still looking at offers, and running back Seth Lopez might sign somewhere before the signing period ends April 1.

Portales coach Jaime Ramirez does not have anybody signing, but said senior Tyrese Dawson is weighing various junior college offers.

As for ENMU, coach Kelley Lee has the biggest holes to replace on a defense that loses eight senior starters and an offensive line that is now thin on numbers.

“We had a lot of seniors this year,” Lee said, “and they were good players who were on scholarships. So we had more scholarship money available than we normally do.

“We wanted to get secondary kids and defensive backs. Not only defensive backs, but defensive backs who were taller.”

Lee isn’t allowed to comment on any specific players before they’re signed under NCAA rules, but said he expects a mix that is largely high school players, with some juco transfers.

Including Baeza, a Las Cruces High product, players who have verbally committed to join ENMU include O’Connor (Helotes, Texas) quarterback Roel Sanchez, Lubbock Cooper offensive lineman Colin Powers, Phoenix College transfers Deon Lee and Emilio Rodriguez, Midland Lee guard Cormac Fish, Amarillo High’s Nate Betts, Randall High’s Colby Russ, Tascosa running back/defensive back Nashon Ray, West High (Anchorage Alaska) offensive lineman Dan Bradbury, Denison running back/defensive back Ty McFail and Lubbock Coronado tackle/guard Cody Wilhelm.

Players are not bound to verbal commitments and can still sign with other schools, but are bound once a letter of intent is signed and filed with the respective college.


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