Who Will Be New Mexico’s Offensive Breakout Stars?
Who is gonna rack up the yards?
Watch out for these players
New Mexico Lobos head coach Danny Gonzales heads into his 3rd year at 5-14 with the UNM Lobo football team.
He has some playmakers coming into the season that he should be able to count on for more production on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball that should help the Lobos this year.
It’s no secret how bad the Lobo offense was last year, the Lobos finished dead last at 130th in offensive production, so there is massive room for improvement.
This Lobo offensive line cannot repeat last year, giving up 34 sacks to have a chance to win games. Look for this Offensive line under coach Jason Lenzmeier to be much more robust, open some holes, and provide protection for their quarterback.
Look for Offensive Coordinator Derek Warehime to improve this offense that struggled last year, to use some very talented skill receivers and tight ends to move the ball better, and actually to have an effective passing game to be more balanced.
Head coach Danny Gonzales made it crystal clear in his post-season pressers that you won’t win many ball games if you can’t pass the ball.
The Lobos are counting on a more robust offensive line to give their quarterbacks time to throw and big holes for their talented running duo of Bobby Wooden and Nate Jones.
They did recruit some very big linemen for this year’s team, and it will be up to offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier to mold this group of young athletes for a very touch schedule.
Yes, they lost talented running back Aaron Dumas to the transfer protocol to Washington, but they should not miss a beat with their running backs.
Both looked solid in spring practice and are itching to showcase their running skills in live game action. Both of these guys can flat-out run the ball and are explosive
Danny Gonzales added a new strength coach after last year’s season, Derrick Baker, who spent six years with San Diego State, so look for a more physical Lobo team on the field this year.
If one is familiar with the past successful teams under then-head coach now DC Rocky Long, the Lobos were not as talented as they were the most physical.
A great example of this is former Lobo player Brian Urlacher who came to the Lobos with only one scholarship offer out of high school, at 6’3 215 lbs, and left as a senior at 6’4 245 lbs and ran a 4.57 at the NFL combine, and scouts’ jaws dropped.
A huge factor was head strength coach Mark Paulsen “Coach P” developed the program in the area of strength, and many Lobos went on with careers in the NFL.
Head Coach Danny Gonzales was there then, and as a player and eventually a staff member, he knows this is a recipe & template for the Lobos to compete.
One thing this writer has noticed (I have watched this program for 20-plus years) is that the Lobos will never get many high-star athletes, but their success will come from the developing players into great football players.
Rocky Long once said in an SDSU press conference Years ago that it any coach can see a kid on tape who is a great player to recruit him, but it takes a special coach to see a kid on tape with the potential to be a great football player and develop them.
— New Mexico Football (@UNMLoboFB) June 16, 2022
This is a big reason Strenght Coach Derrick Baker was hired to get back to those days of being more physical than the opponents on the other side of the field.
One would look at the Aztecs’ success to see how this was a good decision by Gonzalez. Lobo’s head coach is very decisive; if something is not working, he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on personal coaching decisions to get this program headed in the right direction.
If one position is the big question mark, it is the quarterback. The Lobos used four different quarterbacks last year after Terry Wilson was hurt; injuries at this position have plagued the Lobos the previous few years.
Look for a battle at that position between CJ Montes, Miles Kendrick from the transfer Kansas, and sophomore Isiah Chavez. Kendrick has one year of eligibility due to Covid’s shortened season.
For the second straight year, the Lobos are adding a transfer quarterback, this time from Kansas Miles Kendrick.
A good chance that Miles Kendrick will get the start with his real game experience, but it’s wide-open depending if others step up.