It was a light day for local prep athletes on National Signing Day, but it was a pretty big one for Eastern New Mexico University football.
The Greyhounds added 33 athletes on Wednesday, the first day prospects could sign a national letter of intent to play college football next season.
“I feel great,” said Greyhound coach Josh Lynn, who went in hoping to sign 25 to 35 prospects. “I think we went in, we really needed to get better on our defensive front, and I think we did with some kids.
“There’s a couple I’m really excited about. One is Marshall Winn from Clovis, 6-5, 240, plays basketball and he’s been up to 250. He’s got to come in and develop, but I still think he’s a great pickup for us.”
Winn, who caught eight passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns in two seasons with the Wildcats, was the only Curry or Roosevelt county athlete to sign with the Division II Greyhounds.
“It was a positive environment when I went, and the coaches and players were all just really motivated,” Winn said. “It’s a winning environment.”
Other key offensive signings Lynn noted were former Lovington quarterback Jacob Jameson and Division I transfer Jordan Wells. Jameson last year led New Mexico Military Institute in all-purpose yards for the first six games of the season, while Wells was named the Southland Conference freshman of the year in 2011 after setting a single-season conference record for kickoff return yardage.
The haul wasn’t nearly as littered with players within a 135-mile radius of Portales — a range where Texas players qualify for in-state tuition — but Lynn said the holes the team needed to fill just happened to be better suited by players outside the radius.
“We hit the 135 mile radius with the West Texas kids (hard), and it might have been down this year in overall kids,” Lynn said. “I do believe the ones we did pull out of the radius ... are good ones.”
Another Clovis athlete, Jenna Sievers, also signed on with ENMU to play soccer. The 5-foot-10 Sievers registered 95 goals and 39 assists during her prep career in Portales and Clovis. She had 12 goals and seven assists in her senior season before suffering a torn meniscus.
Sievers, also considered West Texas A&M, Abilene Christian and Angelo State.
“I really liked the coaching staff, and I’ve met the team a couple of times,” Sievers said. “I really like the atmosphere.”
- Quarterback (1): Jacob Jameson, 5-10, 185, Lovington.
- Running back (3): Elon Spight, 5-10, 187, St. Louis; D’maujeric Tucker, 5-8, 185, Lubbock; Jordan Wells, 5-11, 195, Round Rock, Texas.
- Fullback (2): Jerrel Green, 6-0, 220, Barstow, Calif.; John Scanlan, 5-11, 255, Long Beach, Calif.
- Wide receiver (2): Aaron Johnson, 6-5, 190, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Austin Patterson, 6-0, 191, Rio Rancho.
- Tight end (1): Marshall Winn, 6-5, 240, Clovis.
- Offensive linemen (5): Lane Cummings, 6-1, 261, Las Cruces; Mareon Gray, 6-4, 280, Albuquerque; Ma’anaima Lang, 6-0, 285, Pago Pago, American Samoa; James Marley, 6-5, 300, Eunice; Adam Mijares, 6-3, 309, El Paso, Texas
- Defensive linemen (3): Austin French, 6-2, 290, Albuquerque; Tanner Melson, 6-2, 285, Bakersfield, Calif.; Tyler Sturmky, 6-2, 270, Broomfield, Colo.
- Defensive end (4): Leone Aholei, 6-2, 265, Anchorage, Ak.; Mario Balderrama, 6-4, 245, Vinton, Texas; Chevrolet Mikaele, 6-2, 260, Kaneoho, Hawaii; Dominic Tiapula, 6-3, 278, Downey, Calif.
- Linebacker (3): David Jackson, 6-1, 220, El Paso, Texas; Trae Taylor, 6-0, 230, Levelland, Texas; Elijah Saina, 6-1, 240, Stockton, Calif.
- Safety (2): Rhett Nebeker, 5-11, 205, Golden, Colo.; Conner Brinton, 6-1, 190, Fountain Hills, Ariz.
- Defensive back (2): Tanner Hightower-Wilson, 5-6, 170, Hobbs; Steven Steele, 5-10, 170, Rio Rancho.
- No position (5): Kade Willis, 5-10, 165, Shallowater, Texas; Ben Pedro-Langford, 6-0, 229, Pago, Pago, American Samoa; Brad Beeston, 5-11, Edmond, Okla.; Kevin Reaves, 5-8, 175, Albuquerque; Tyler Hightower-Wilson, 5-6, 170, Hobbs.