Clovis senior running back Brian Mead chose Div. I New Mexico State University over the New Mexico Military Institute’s junior college program. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)
By Greg Price: CNJ sports writer
Clovis senior Brian Mead is passing up a free ride to New Mexico Military Institute to pursue his dream of playing Division I football.
Mead, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards the last two seasons, said New Mexico State coaches invited him to walk-on during a campus visit last week. Mead said he will be treated like a scholarship athlete and has the potential to earn a scholarship.
“The whole military aspect got to me, like the routine and military lifestyle,” Mead said of NMMI, a two-year junior college in Roswell.
He said he’ll be moved from running back to wide receiver at New Mexico State, which finished 4-8 last season.
“I’ll play anywhere coach asks me to play,” he said. “I’ve been underestimated my whole life. I’m going to show everyone I can play at the next level.”
The Aggies used a lot of four- and five-receiver sets in Hal Mumme’s wide-open offense. NMSU sophomore quarterback Chase Holbrook and sophomore wide receiver Chris Williams flourished in the offense.
Holbrook was second in the nation with 4,619 passing yards while Williams, a former Rio Rancho standout and a bit undersized himself, led the nation with 92 receptions and 1,425 receiving yards.
NMPreps.com publisher Kyle Henderson said schools were scared off by 5-foot-6, 148-pound Mead’s size.
However, Henderson said Mead’s skills are unquestionable and so is his heart.
“A lot of people question his height or weight, but if you look at his yards and carries you see he is a great athlete,” Henderson said. “He’s so durable and elusive. He’s going to be fine (at NMSU), and the most important thing is an education.”
Mead was named to the Associated Press Class 5A all-state first team for the second straight year in 2006 after rushing for 2,165 yards and leading the Wildcats to a 7-4 record and a state playoff appearance.
Mead broke school records for career rushing yards (4,250), touchdowns (59) and carries. He also fell 32 yards shy of the single-season rushing record of 2,197, set by Doug Cavanaugh in 1992.