Lobos Sign 25 Including Third Straight New Mexico Player of the Year
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Third time certainly looks like the charm for Danny Gonzales and the UNM Coaching staff. After getting a late start in 2019 after getting hired the day before National Signing Day and then dealing with recruiting while stationed in Las Vegas, this year was a return to the norm. The NLI class for 2022 certainly reflects it, as Gonzales and company announced 25 signees for the 2022 season.
The class features 19 high school seniors, four junior college transfers, two of whom are sophomores, and a pair of Division I transfers. The class features a cadre of New Mexico players, including Tyler Kiehne, who redshirted at UCLA in 2021, and Hunter Haemker, Cayden Romero, and New Mexico Player of the Year Zach Vigil. The signing of Vigil means that the Lobos have the last three New Mexico Players of the Year on the squad and on scholarship in Isaiah Chavez (2019), Luke Wysong (2020) and now Vigil (2021).
Fans are invited to Revel Entertainment at 5:30 pm for the Lobo Football NLI Signing Day Live Show, taking place in Draft Day Sports Bar. The show will start at 6 pm and be streamed at https://www.facebook.com/NewMexicoLobos and also broadcast live on KNML right here.
“This was our first time as a staff where we really got to meet kids and parents and showcase our facilities and all of the great things about Lobo Football,” said Gonzales. “We have great facilities and we have a vision of where our program is going, and this is a great class because these are young men that want to be here and want to be Lobos.”
The class is split almost evenly with 13 players on the offensive side and 12 on the defensive side. On offense, UNM signed six linemen, two running backs, two tight ends, one receiver, one quarterback and one athlete. On defense UNM signed three defensive linemen, three linebackers, two corners, two safeties and two athletes.
UNM’s class of 25 come from 10 states, with California (6), Texas (6) and New Mexico (4) most represented. Gonzales and company signed two from Oklahoma, two from Florida and one each from Oregon, Kansas, Mississippi, Georgia and Massachusetts.
5-9, 195, Fr, HS
High School: Lettered in football and track at Spring High School, playing football for coach Trent Miller … was named First Team all-district in both 2021 and 2020, both times unanimously … as a senior he rushed for 453 yards on 53 carries, adding 17 catches for 305 yards … totaled 913 all-purpose yards … on defense he recorded 25 tackles with an interception and two forced fumbles with one fumble recovery.
Personal: Parents are Elward and Crystal Carter … was born in New Orleans … birthday is October 10, 2003 … interested in sports science as a major.
Quoting Myron: “I feel that UNM is a great fit for me. It’s something new, being in Albuquerque is going to be an exciting experience with it being so different. The coaching staff made me feel welcomed, they’re excited to have me and I’m excited to be a part of the ride.”
6-5, 305, So, JC
Contra Costa College
Junior College: Lettered in football Contra Costa College for coach Otis Yelverton … was named First Team All-CCCA.
High School: Lettered in football at McClymonds High School, playing football for coach Michael Peters … was named Second Team All-League as a senior and Second Team All-City as a junior.
Personal: Parents are Levy and Greta Davis … birthday is October 9, 2003 … interested in majoring in business.
Quoting JC: “It’s a great place to be.”
6-4, 218, Jr, JC
Overland Park, Kansas
Coffeyville CC/Oklahoma/Blue Valley Northwest HS
Previous College: Lettered for two seasons at Coffeyville Community College, playing for coach Jeff Leiker … was a two-time honorable mention All-Jayhawk Conference selection … also attended Oklahoma, where he played baseball for one season.
High School: Lettered in football and baseball at Blue Valley Northwest High School, playing football for coach Mike Zigunis … was an honorable mention all-conference pick in football, and was a two-time honorable mention pick in baseball.
Personal: Parents are Brett and Gina Dennis … birthday is June 13, 1999 … interested in construction management as a major.
Quoting Will: “I chose UNM for the support the athletes get in academics and in football. I like the coach’s mentality and the program is on the come up.”
Donald Dixon III
6-3, 290, Fr, HS
High School: Lettered in football at Pacifica High School, playing football for coach Mike Moon … was twice named offensive lineman of the year, and in 2021 was named County Lineman of the Year … earned academic honors at Pacifica.
Personal: Full name is Donald Lee Dixon III … parents are Donald Dixon, Jr. and Erica Howard … birthday is May 9, 2004 … interested in fashion design as a major.
Quoting Donald: “I Chose UNM because I feel a great connection between myself and the staff and I feel myself loving and enjoying it here, and also making a big change.”
6-6, 230, Fr, HS
Woodrow Wilson HS
High School: Lettered in football at Woodrow Wilson High School, playing for coach Tony Benedetto … was twice named First Team All-District, and he was named All-State Academic … had 40 tackles as a senior with 18.0 TFLs, 8.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, seven PBUs and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.
Personal: Parents are Scott and Aimee Elkman … birthday is February 16, 2004 … interested in business as a major.
Quoting Max: “I felt at home at UNM and wanted to play football at a high level.”
6-1, 190, Fr, HS
Edward H. White HS
High School: Lettered in football and track at Edward H. White High School, playing football for coach Lawrence Jonnson … won state titles in 2020 in football and track … was named All-State and All-News4Jax … in track, he won district titles in the 100-meter and as part of the 4×100-eter relay … recorded 50 tackles as a defensive back with 3.0 TFLs, 3.0 sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries … on offense he rushed for 1,457 yards and totaled 1,563 yards all-purpose … scored 12 touchdowns as a senior … was also named to the National Honor Society.
Personal: Full name is Christian Alexander Ellis … parents are Andre and Monique Ellis … birthday is December 27, 2003 … interested in fashion design as a major.
Quoting Christian: “What’s understood doesn’t have to be explained.”
6-2, 215, Fr, HS
La Cueva HS
High School: Lettered in football at La Cueva High School, playing for coach Brandon Back … also lettered for four years in wrestling … was a district champion in wrestling and was the state runner-up in 2021 … named the La Cueva Lloyd Price Outstanding Scholar/Sportsmanship Award winner.
Personal: Parents are David and Veronica Haemker … birthday is July 19, 2003 … interested in kinesiology as a major … his father David was a Lobo teammate of head coach Danny Gonzales.
Quoting Hunter: “I love the style of defense and the direction the program is headed. It’s also nice I can stay home and have a bunch of supporters here.”
5-11, 205, Fr, HS
Missouri City, Texas
Fort Bend Marshall HS
High School: Lettered in football at Fort Bend Marshall High School, playing for coach James Williams … was named First Team All-State and First Team All-District, as well as Team MVP … as a senior he recorded 12 interceptions, including three pick-sixes … also had 47 tackles, one fumble recovery that was returned for a touchdown, a blocked field goal and five PBUs.
Personal: Full name is Adari Haulcy … parent is Tamanicia … birthday is January 10, 2004.
Quoting AJ: “Stay down for the come up.”
6-4, 280, So, TR
Abilene Christian/Lackawanna JC/Springfield Central HS
Previous College: Lettered one season at Abilene Christian for Adam Dorrel and also redshirted for one season at Lackawanna Junior College … at Abilene Christian, he served as the starting center for a 5-6 team that averaged 180 yards on the ground and nearly 400 yards of offense per game.
High School: Lettered in football at Springfield Central High School for coach Valdamar T. Brower … helped his team to a 2019 Massachusetts state championship.
Personal: Parents are Collin James, Sr. and Shannon Scott … birthday is January 24, 2001 … is one of seven siblings … interested in business management as a major.
Quoting Collin: “I think I look pretty good in red.”
6-1, 200, Fr, HS
Trinity Catholic HS
High School: Lettered in football at Trinity Catholic High School, playing for coach John Brantley … was a four-year starter … a two-time Honorable Mention All-State selection … was named All-District and First Team All-Defense … earned a 247 Sports 3-star rating … was a two-way player.
Personal: Parents are Willie and Martina Jones … birthday is March 12, 2004 … interested in sports medicine as a major.
Quoting Marquis: “#WIN5”
6-3, 250, Fr, TR
Los Lunas, N.M.
UCLA/Los Lunas HS
UCLA: Redshirted his true freshman year at UCLA, not seeing any game action.
High School: Lettered in football at Los Lunas High School, playing football for coach Jeremy Maupin … also lettered in basketball … was the No. 1 rated recruit out of New Mexico in 2020 … was a three-time First Team All-District selection … was twice named First Team All-Metro, and he was the 2020 Metro Player of the Year … earned three Academic Letters at Las Lunas … in 2019, he recorded 56 tackles with 13.0 TFLs and 9.0 sacks, helping the Tigers to the 5A state title game.
Personal: Parent are Shawn and Ada Kiehne … birthday is November 2, 2002 … interested in sports science as a major … his grandmother is a UNM graduate.
Quoting T.J.: “I have always been a Lobo fan and I wanted to represent New Mexico and bring this program back to greatness.”
5-11, 180, Fr, HS
North Pike HS
High School: Lettered in football at North Pike High School, playing for coach Matt Mock … was named First Team All-State and Team MVP … earned the Jaguar Award and was named a Bernard Blackwell All-Star … also named North Pike Student of the Month and Mr. North Pike … was a member of FCA, Geek Squad and jag2jag.
Personal: Full name is Jer’marius Keonte’ Lewis… parents are Christopher and Chiquita Lewis … birthday is April 21, 2004 … interested in a business major … is the nephew of Lobo legend Glover Quin.
Quoting Jermarius: “The school is just a perfect fit for me!”
6-1, 170, Fr, HS
Flower Mound, Texas
High School: Lettered in football at Marcus High School, playing for coach Kevin Atkinson … also lettered in baseball at Marcus … as a senior, he recorded 46 tackles, five PBUs, one interception and 2.0 TFLs … helped Marcus to three straight District titles.
Personal: Full name is Zachary Morris … parent is Teresa McDaniel … birthday is September 15, 2003 … interested in a business major.
Quoting Zach: “I want to help put UNM back on the map!”
6-5, 335, Fr, HS
Rio Rancho, N.M.
Rio Rancho HS
High School: Lettered in football at Rio Rancho High School, playing for coach Gerard Pannoni … also lettered in track and field … was a two-time First Team All-State pick and also two-time First Team All-District and two-time First Team All-Metro … was also a Second Team All-Metro as a sophomore … finished second in the state meet for the shot put in 2021 … was named a Rio Rancho High School Academic Lettermen with a 3.8 GPA.
Personal: Full name is Cayden Romero … parents are Cory and Amy Romero … birthday is December 24, 2003 … born in Neptune, New Jersey.
Quoting Cayden: “Staying close to home with all my friends and family around felt right to me. I’ve built a lot of important relationships that I can continue by staying in my home state, and the atmosphere at UNM feels like home for me.”
6-5, 260, Fr, HS
Oklahoma City, Okla.
High School: Lettered in football at Southeast High School, playing for coach Kenny Blair … also lettered in track and field … was named Oklahoma 5A Player of the Year … a member of the Oklahoma Super30 … named Oklahoma All-State and All-OKC as well … had 84 tackles with three forced fumbles and 3.0 sacks (according to MaxPreps).
Personal: Parents are Stephen and Modupe Rowaiye … birthday is December 26, 2003 … interested political science as a major.
Quoting David: “I really liked the coaching staff and the school’s location.”
5-9, 180, Fr, HS
Port Arthur, Texas
Port Arthur Memorial HS
High School: Lettered in football at Port Arthur High School, playing for coach Brian Morgan … named a two-time district MVP … also was twice named Beaumont Super Gold Offensive Player of the Year … also earned a Texas Tough Player of the Week nod … as a senior, threw for 2,005 yards and 20 touchdowns … also rushed for 1,481 yards on 158 carries with 19 touchdowns.
Personal: Full name is Jah’Mar Rah’Jay Sanders … parent is Nicole Sanders … birthday is November 12, 2003.
Quoting Jah’Mar: “I love the environment.”
6-2, 170, Fr, HS
Mill Creek HS
High School: Lettered in football at Mill Creek High School, playing for coach Josh Lovelady … also lettered in basketball and track … as a senior, he was named First Team Georgia All-Region 8-7A, and Second Team All-County, recording 47 tackles with one interception and 20 pass breakups … as a junior, he recorded 45 games with one interception and eight pass breakups in just six games … as a sophomore, he recorded two varsity interceptions … he was named the Hawk Player of the Week for Mill Creek’s playoff game against Roswell.
Personal: Parents are Sylvia & Jabari Cain, and Keino Taylor … birthday is May 15, 2004 … interested in exercise science as a major.
Quoting Bryson: “I chose UNM because they have good options for majors that interest me, and because Coach Reffett and the coaching staff believed in me early and consistently.”
5-10, 185, Fr, HS
Rio Rancho, N.M.
Rio Rancho HS
High School: Lettered in football at Rio Rancho High School, playing for coach Gerard Pannoni … named the 2021 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year … also named the 2021 Mr. New Mexico Football … Named First Team All-State at running back along with First Team All-District and All-Metro … was the District 1-6A Player of the Year … rushed for 1,553 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior, leading Rio Rancho to the state title game … for his career, he scored 55 touchdowns, rushing for 3,005 yards … named to the National Honor Society with a 4.05 GPA.
Personal: Parents are Gary and Tina Vigil … birthday is December 4, 2003 … sister Alyssa is a UNM graduate … is one of five siblings.
Quoting Zach: “The relationship I have built with the coaching staff and some of the players over the past years was a key point in committing to UNM. Not only is it close to home, but the process is something that I trust in Coach Gonzales.”
5-9, 195, Fr, HS
San Diego, Calif.
High School: Lettered in football at Helix High School, playing football for coach Robbie Owens … helped Helix win a pair of Section Open Division titles, in 2019 and 2021 … rushed for 2,241 yards in his senior season, and he totaled 4,053 yards rushing over a 31-game varsity career … scored 31 touchdowns rushing as a senior … scored 60 career varsity touchdowns, 50 rushing, eight receiving and two on kickoffs … his career all-purpose yardage was 5,634 yards, an average of 170.7 per game … was a Silver Pigskin Finalist in San Diego.
Personal: Parents are Shari Washington and Jason Van … was born in Virginia … birthday is April 22, 2004 … interested in business as a major.
Quoting Christian: “UNM feels like the right fit.”
5-9, 165, Fr, HS
Fort Worth, Texas
North Crowley HS
High School: Lettered in football at North Crowley High School, playing football for coach Courtney Allen … also lettered in track … earned First Team All-District Honors as both a senior and junior … was a top performer on the North Crowley 4×100-meter relay squad … also ran with the Ravens Hallmark Track Club.
Personal: Full name is Tristan Javion White … parent is Krishonda Russell … birthday is August 6, 2004 … interested in sports science as a major.
Quoting T.J.: “I’m here to build something that hasn’t been here in a long time. I wanted to be apart of the turnaround.”
6-4, 285, Fr, HS
High School: Lettered in football at Shawnee High School, playing for coach Jason Sexton … also lettered in wrestling … was named First Team All-District on the offensive line … was a two-time state qualifier in wrestling … was the Oklahoma state title in Freestyle and Greco Wrestling … wrestled with Team Oklahoma in the 2017 national wrestling championships, earning All-America status.
Personal: Full name is Lane Ferrell Roper Williams … parents are Tom and Teresa Williams … birthday is August 21, 2004 … is one of seven siblings … was born in Denver, Colorado.
Quoting Lane: “Gorgeous place to live. I really like the effort the team gives and how dedicated the coaches are to the players and the game of football.”
6-4, 319, Jr, JC
Los Angeles, Calif.
El Camino JC/Redondo Union HS
Previous College: Lettered for two seasons at El Camino Junior College, playing for coach Gifford Lindheim … played all 22 games over two seasons at El Camino … was named SCFA National Division Central League All-Second Team on offense.
High School: Lettered in football at Redondo Union High School, playing football for coach Matt Ballard.
Personal: Full name is DaJuanye Wingfield … parent is Ebonie Mathias … birthday is January 13, 2001.
6-3, 170, Fr, HS
High School: Lettered in football at Fremont High School, playing for coach Omarri Murphy … earned First Team All-OAL honors as a senior defensive back … turned heads with a wild performance against Oakland High late his senior season, picking off four passes, returning two for touchdowns in a 42-0 shutout win.
Personal: Parents are Leman Woods and Enrica Knapp … birthday is February 7, 2004 … is one of seven siblings, and is right in the middle … is interested in social justice, African-American/ethnic studies or communications as a major.
Quoting Kalen: “It feels like home and I feel like I can be a great impact on the UNM football team.”
6-1, 205, Fr, HS
High School: Lettered in football at Irvine High School, playing football for coach Thomas Ricci … also lettered in baseball … helped lead Irvine to Pacific League titles in 2020 (spring of 2021) and 2021 … lettered four years in football … also with earning Pacific League MVP honors as a senior, he was named Defensive Team MVP and First Team All-League as a junior … was the league Defensive MVP as a junior as well … named Honorable Mention All-League and Special Teams Player of the Year as a sophomore … recorded 236 total tackles for his career with 11 total touchdowns.
Personal: Parents are Kyle and Holiday Zimmerman … birthday is May 23, 2004 … brother Kade played at Black Hills State and plans on joining Tate with the Lobos.
Quoting Tate: “My official visit there confirmed that this was the type of football family and culture that I was looking for. It has always been a dream for my brother and I to play Division I football together so we see it as a gift and a blessing to do this at UNM.”
6-5, 250, So, JC
City College of San Francisco
West Albany HS
JC: Lettered in football at City College of San Francisco, playing for coach Jimmy Collins … saw action in five games, recording eight receptions for 125 yards, a 15.6 yard per catch average … had a long of 25 yards … caught a pass in every game he played … best game was a three-catch day for 52 yards against San Joaquin Delta as CCSF went 13-0 on the season, winning the CCCAA State and National title.
High School: Lettered in football at West Albany High School, playing for coach Brian Mehl … also lettered in basketball … twice named First Team Mid-Willamette Conference in football and named First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-State in basketball … his football teams went 21-4 his final two seasons … graduated in the top 50 in his class.
Personal: Parents are Todd and Tracy Zimmermann … birthday is January 6, 2003.
Quoting TJ: “Coach Gonzales and Coach Warehime brought me to campus, and I instantly loved the energy here. I’m excited to be a part of something big here at UNM.”