Press release: Hounds sign 19 recruits
PORTALES, N.M.- After assaulting the team and NCAA record book in the 2009 season, Eastern New Mexico University football coach Mark Ribaudo has announced the signing of 19 new Greyhounds to National Letters of Intent, to bolster the ENMU lineup for the 2010 season as Eastern makes the transition to the Lone Star Conference North Division. Eastern has added a number of strong playmakers and blockers, with nine signees on the offensive side of the ball and 10 on the defensive side.
• Tyler Baker (QB, 6-2, 185, Rio Rancho, N.M./Rio Rancho HS) should add to a very talented group of quarterbacks. He earned all-state, all-metro and all-district honors at RRHS and was chosen as the team's Most Valuable Player. As a senior, Baker passed for a state-high 3,039 yards with 42 touchdowns and finished the season with 51 total touchdowns. Baker's passing yardage was ranked in the nation's top 10. He also set school records for passing yards, completions, attempts, touchdown passes, and touchdown passes in a game and total yards in a season. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the 2010 New Mexico All-Star game.
• Jesus Davalos (RB, 5-9, 188, Portales, N.M./Portales HS) brings a familiar name to the team, as his brother Fide played for the Greyhounds from 2003-2006. Jesus Davalos turned in an incredible senior year for the Rams, rushing for 1,189 yards and 18 touchdowns and hauling in 26 passes for 495 yards and six touchdowns. Davalos turned in his top performance of the season against Roswell, carrying the ball 13 times for 235 yards and five touchdowns, along with six receptions for 192 yards and three touchdowns.
• Running back Corey Thomas (RB/WR/KR, 5-10, 180, Dickinson, Texas/Dickinson HS) should add to an explosive backfield for the Hounds. Thomas averaged 27.8 yards per kick return for the season.
• Gregory Scott (WR, 6-1, 180, San Antonio, Texas/Stevens HS) will help bolster the Greyhounds' prolific group of receivers after registering a standout senior season at SHS. He was selected all-district after hauling in 44 receptions for 700 yards and seven touchdowns.
•Jake Espinoza (WR, 5-10, 180, Aztec, N.M./Aztec HS) is another welcome addition to the ENMU spread offense. As a senior, he hauled in 51 passes for 949 yards and 13 touchdowns in addition to rushing for 387 yards and six scores. On six carries, he ran for 183 yards and two scores against Kirtland Central and had an eight catch day for 194 yards and two touchdowns against Bayfield HS. For the season, Espinoza surpassed 100 receiving yards five times.
• Dylan Sydenstricker (OT, 6-5, 270, La Cueva, N.M./La Cueva HS) and Todd Davis (OL, 6-8, 250, Fredericksburg, Texas/Fredericksburg HS) should help bolster the Hounds' offensive line this season. Sydenstricker joins the Hounds after a highly decorated career at LCHS, where he garnered first team all-state and New Mexico Offensive Lineman of the Year honors, in addition to making first team all district, first team all metro and the All-Academic Team. He also received an Elite 100 invite. As a junior, Sydenstricker was chosen as the La Cueva Offensive Lineman of the Year and made first team all district and second team all metro. Davis was an all-district selection at FHS.
• Rhett Paul Sain (OL, 6-5, 260, Sudan, Texas/Sudan HS) showed his versatility last season, garnering first team all-district laurels on both the offensive and defensive line. A team captain, he earned a spot on the Top of Texas Honor Roll. The Hounds should be very familiar to Sain, as both of his parents are ENMU alumni.
• Chris Stephens (OL, 6-4, 270, Spring, Texas/Spring HS) was a first team all district offensive lineman and Distinguished Service Graduate from SHS.
• Pedrun Khodaie (Jr., DT, 6-4, 280, La Cueva, N.M./La Cueva HS/Mesa CC) should be a good fit for the Greyhounds' 3-4 defense after serving as a team captain for two seasons at MCC, and starting all 20 games at nose guard. He garnered all-conference laurels as a sophomore. At LCHS, Khodaie made all-district at both offensive and defensive tackle and was all-state at both positions as a junior and senior. A versatile athlete, he also lettered in wrestling and track & field. In 2008, he placed in the state wrestling tournament.
• Jerry Kyler McGee (DT, 6-2, 290, Big Spring, Texas/Big Spring HS) was a team captain at BSHS and garnered four all district selections. He also was chosen All-West Texas as a freshman in 2006 and led the team to a 10-3 record with a trip to the state semifinals in 2009. A versatile athlete, he is a three-time regional qualifier in power lifting and a two-time district champion in the shot put and discus throw.
• Tyler Wencka (DE, 6-5, 200, San Antonio, Texas/Clemens HS) should add yet another playmaking presence on ENMU's defense after recording 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery last season. He also made 62 tackles and batted down four passes for CHS. Wencka was chosen all-district and was a multiple-time Defensive Lineman of the Week selection.
• Joseph Henry (DE, 6-5, 230, Brownwood, Texas/Brownwood HS) was the Co-Defensive Most Valuable Player in the district, garnering all-state and all-region laurels after making an incredible 110 tackles, including nine for a loss. A playmaker for Brownwood, he finished with five sacks, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
• Daniel Richard Allen (DL, 6-2, 240, Seminole, Texas/Seminole HS) has been selected all district twice as both an offensive and defensive lineman, garnering All-South Plains honors on the defensive line as a senior and Honorable Mention All-State honors as a junior. In 2009, he led SHS to an 8-4 record and the district championship and was a regional qualifier in power lifting.
• Joseph Connor Jacob (LB, 6-2, 210, Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo HS) was a highly decorated player at nearby AHS, earning Honorable Mention All-State and first team all-district honors after guiding his team to the District 2-5A championship.
Keighen Thetford (LBN, 6-0, 210, Arlington, Texas/Arlington HS) the District 4-5A Defensive Player of the Year, finishing with 151 tackles, including 77 solo stops with 12 tackles for a loss, six quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles , two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and a defensive touchdown. On offense, he had six carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. As a junior, Thetford had 172 tackles with 90 solos, two sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles. A highly decorated player at AHS, he was the Most Valuable Defensive Player as a freshman and All District Newcomer of the Year as a sophomore. As a junior, he garnered first team all district and Defensive Player of the Year laurels in addition to a selection on the All-Dallas/Fort Worth First Team.
• Lloyd Black (DB, 6-1, 180, Austin, Texas/Austin Anderson HS) was one of the top defenders at AAHS, grabbing three interceptions, breaking up six passes, forcing a fumble and recovering four fumbles. He was also strong in run support, finishing with 59 tackles and earning Defensive Player of the Year honors. A versatile athlete, Black ran the 400-meter dash for the track team in 49 seconds and completed in the 4x400 and 4x200 relays.
• Jayson Serda (DB, 5-11, 180, Albuquerque, N.M./Manzano HS) earned three all-district selections at MHS, including making first team as a junior and senior. As a senior, he was selected first team all state at defensive back and kick returner after making nine interceptions. As a sophomore, he intercepted seven passes and followed with eight as a junior.
• Dillon Metzger (DB/WR, 5-7, 165, Rio Rancho, N.M./Rio Rancho HS) twice made both all district and all metro at RRHS, registering a strong senior season which saw him finish with eight interceptions and 134 tackles. Metzger recorded 11 tackles in one game, with three interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.