Tag:New Mexico State
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:29 pm
 

Add New Mexico St RB Turner to "early entry" list

On Thursday the NFL announced that a record 65 underclassmen had officially been declared eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. 

New Mexico State junior running back Kenny Turner's name was not on the list but due to the fact that he is five years removed from his high school graduating class, it didn't need to be. This is the same reason why Utah State's Robert Turbin's name was not on the list. 

Turner has had an circuitous route to the announcement, which was made via the official New Mexico State Athletics website. As NFLDraftScout.com's No. 32 rated running back of the class of 2013, the decision may at first appear surprising. 

Turner, 26, was viewed as one of the best athletes in the state of Florida when he allowed a momentary act of youthful self-preservation change his life. 

Turner and a group of friends, including current Jacksonville Jaguar wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker got into a heated verbal altercation with another group of young men outside of a Orlando, Florida gas station in July of 2002. The argument escalated into violence when a member of the other group fired a gun. Thomas, then 16, took a gun from the car in which his group was riding in and fired back, injuring two from the rival group. Despite his young age, the seriousness of the crime led to Turner being tried as an adult and for two counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors were willing to drop the two attempted murder charges if Turner agreed to plead guilty to one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. 

Turner was sentenced to and served five years in prison. 

Upon his release and with the urging of his friends, Sims-Walker and Tennessee Titans star Chris Johnson, Turner enrolled at Fullerton College. Before the first game of their season, however, Turner tore the ACL in his right ACL. After a year of rehabbing the injury, Turner now 22, was back at it. On a kick return in his second season with the Hornets, Turner again tore the ACL. Later that season he also tore the LCL (lateral collateral ligament), which required another surgery. 

Turner returned for a third season with the Hornets and enjoyed an All-American season, rushing for 1,513 yards and 18 touchdowns and helping lead Fullerton to a 10-2 record. His statistics caught the attention of FCS teams. So too did the fact that at 5-10, 192 pounds he ran a 4.37.

Turner signed with New Mexico State and took the first carry of his FCS career 18 yards for a touchdown. His statistics in 2010 were solid (461 rushing yards and two touchdowns and 25 receptions for 203 yards) but pale in comparison to Turner's breakout campaign this past season in which he led the Aggies with 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also finished second on the team with 46 catches for 514 yards and three scores. 

"First of all I would like to thank Coach Walker, Dr. Boston and the NM State administration for giving me the opportunity to play Division I football at New Mexico State," Turner said. "Coming out of junior college I had a few other offers to play Division I football, but after I visited New Mexico State I felt that it was home and I felt that it was the right decision for me. This was a very difficult decision I had to make but when it came down to it I was going to be 27 years old, and in the NFL and at the running back position, age is a factor. So I need to make the jump from college to the NFL. Again, I appreciate all the support and I enjoyed my time as an Aggie."

Considering Turner's age and past, he's going to have a difficult time finding a team willing to invest a draft pick in him, especially considering the running back position may just be the strength of the 2012 draft class. That said, look at the burst and agility he shows as a runner in scoring this touchdown as well as the ability to track the ball over his shoulder on this score. At minimum he'll get a tryout and should Turner get a real opporutnity (like the Scouting Combine) who knows what could happen.

One of the most tried and true strategies I use when evaluating prospects is to listen to other players. Who knows better than they which athletes really are a step ahead of the others? 

Sims-Walker certainly is going to be loyal to his friend but his strong words predicting Turner's future success in the pros doesn't just sound like loyalty. It sounds like an NFL athlete who knows the goods when he sees it.

"I keep telling everybody it's just a waiting game," Sims-Walker told Geoff Grammer of The New Mexican in August of 2010. When he (Sims-Walker), Turner and [Chris] Johnson work out together, he said, it is Turner who sets the pace. "New Mexico State got a steal, and I promise you he'll be (in the NFL). I'll put my house on it. Kenny Turner will be in the league."

Posted on: March 18, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Underrated CB Davon House runs 4.32 at Pro Day

Prior to the Combine, there was plenty of buzz in the scouting community that New Mexico State cornerback Davon House was going to run very well in Indianapolis.

Though he did run well (4.44-4.50) there, the 6-0, 200 pound House had been expected to be among the fastest cornerbacks tested in Indianapolis and elected to run again Friday at his Pro Day, recording times in the 4.32-4.35 second range, according to a source at the scene.

House elected not to do any of the other measureable drills Friday. He was run through a positional workout by Chicago Bears' assistant defensive backs/safeties coach Gill Byrd and "did good, caught everything," according to the source.

Catching everything isn't a surprise for House. What he might lack in national name recognition, he made up for with a stellar career.

House, a four year starter for the Aggies, was a two-time First-Team All-WAC pick who leaves with 198 career tackles, along with 46 passes broken up and 11 interceptions -- three of which he returned for touchdowns.

There were approximately 15 teams on hand for the workout, according to the source, including representatives from the Chicago Bears (scout, as well as Byrd), Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills and New York Giants.

House is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 rated cornerback for the 2011 NFL Draft and is expected to be selected in the 2nd round.
Posted on: February 17, 2011 12:55 pm
 

Pre-Indy buzz- Baldin, Smith, House running well

Agents and athletic trainers preparing their athletes for the annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis are generally hesitant to put expectations on prospects prior to their official workout.

That said, each year in the week leading up to the Combine there is a buzz in the scouting community of prospects who are already turning heads in the pre-Combine preparation.

This year three players generating quite a lot of buzz are Pittsburgh wide receiver Jon Baldin , Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith and New Mexico State cornerback Davon House .

The 6-5, 230 pound Baldwin is reportedly running in the 4.4s and could push the 40" mark in the vertical jump. Results such as this could push Baldin into the first round.

Smith, a 6-2, 205 pound cornerback, has received a lot of national attention in recent weeks as some analysts have finally got around to reviewing his game tape. Graded as a top 40 prospect by NFLDraftScout.com since September, Smith could move into the top 20 if the early reports of his speed are true. Smith, according to sources, has been running in the high 4.3s to low 4.4s. If he runs that well in Indianapolis, Smith will only have to ease scouts' concerns about his off-field behavior to guarantee himself a spot in the draft's opening frame.

Just as many were slow in recognizing Smith's talents, don't be surprised if Davon House is suddenly cast as a draft "riser" if he runs in the high 4.3s to low 4.4s at the Combine, as he's been doing in preparation for the event, according to sources.

House didn't get much national attention playing for the Aggies, but like Smith, he has been highly rated by NFLDraftScout.com all year long. The First-Team All-WAC defender had signed on to play in the Senior Bowl before a recurring ankle injury forced him out of it.

The Combine always reveals some surprises. If these three players work out well, they'll be labeled as surprises by some. NFL scouts and those of us with an ear to the action won't be... 


Posted on: December 24, 2010 2:28 pm
 

Hawaii RB Green moving up boards

Fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter did a great job of highlighting the prospects to watch in the upcoming bowl games , but scouts tipped me off just last night of another talent that is quietly shooting up draft boards.

It just so happens that he plays tonight.

Hawaii running back Alex Green (6-1 and 230 pounds) is coming off as dominant a two-game stretch as you'll see in college football. Over the past two games (New Mexico State, UNLV), he's averaged 231.5 yards and two touchdowns.

Now, before you dismiss his numbers as a product of the Warriors' dynamic offense, recall that Hawaii's spread attack is pass-heavy, inflating the numbers of their quarterbacks and wideouts, but deflating the production of their running backs. In fact, since June Jones implemented Hawaii's spread offense in 1999, Green is the first back to ever surpass the 1,000 yard mark. Hawaii's historical struggles running the football go back even further. They haven't seen a 1,000 yard runner in nearly 20 years (1992).

Scouts are encouraged by the fact that Green, who is surprisingly agile and explosive for a back his size, is playing better as the season ends. When others were struggling down the stretch, he's getting stronger.

Some of the reason for that is he's fresh. Green has rushed for 1,168 yards this season despite getting only 10 carries a game (133 carries in 13 games). That equates to an average of 8.78 yards per rush, far and away the highest production of any qualified runner in the FBS.

The JUCO transfer only saw 86 rushes (for 453 yards, two touchdowns) in his first season at Hawaii. With "only" 219 carries during that time, he has more tread on his tires than many of the other big backs available in 2011. Consider the rushes just this season from some of the other top rated big backs like Kansas State's Daniel Thomas (276), Anthony Allen (217) and Evan Royster (188). 

Tonight's showdown in the Hawaii Bowl should be the highest scoring bowl game of the year. Both offenses rank in the top ten in the country. Hawaii ranks 9th, averaging 39.9 points per game. Tulsa is just a tick behind, averaging 39.7. On an evening when many of us will be enjoying the bright lights around the tree, the offensive fireworks in Hawaii could be even more spectacular display. 

Hawaii head coach Greg McMackin surely recognizes this fact. As such Green could be a focus of the Warriors' attack tonight, as McMackin reverts back to his defensive roots, (he's the former defensive coordinator of Hawaii, the Seattle Seahawks, etc.). Don't be surprised if McMackin puts the ball in Green's hands to make time of possession more of a factor than it might normally be for his team. 

In doing so, Green's production and draft stock should continue its late season rise.

Remember that for complete draft coverage, be sure to check out NFLDraftScout.com or simply click here. 

Posted on: October 20, 2010 9:06 am
 

Strong individual performances highlight weekend

Some of you may have noticed that my fellow Senior Analyst Chad Reuter took over the blog for the past few days. He did an admirable job with a detailed breakdown of Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn as the Prospect of the Week and Slippery Rock center Brandon Fusco as our Diamond in the Rough .

Chad took over because I was on a short deer-hunting trip in Washington state with my father, brother and a few close friends. The annual trip is one of the reasons I have not accepted an NFL scouting position. I love football, but my family and our annual trips together come first.

Getting back yesterday, I spent much of the evening reviewing film and talking to contacts within the league. While I absolutely agree with selection of Clayborn as our senior prospect of the week, here are several other players that caught my (and scouts') attention with strong performances on Saturday.

OLB/DE Chris Carter, Fresno State : Carter registered nine tackles, including four tackles for loss and three sacks and forced two fumbles in the Bulldogs' 33-10 win over New Mexico State.

DT Guy Miller, Colorado State: The 6-3, 302 pounder broke the CSU record with 4.5 sacks against UNLV Saturday. He'd been rated as a likely free agent prior to the contest and had only two sacks to this point, but the dominating effort left a strong impression on two league insiders I spoke to who attended/viewed this game.

WR/RS Jerrel Jernigan, Troy : Jernigan, previously highlighted as Diamond in the Rough , deserved consideration again this week after a 188 all-purpose yard, two touchdown performance in the 31-24 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. Jernigan caught six passes for 77 yards, including the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also returned a punt for a 75-yard touchdown. Jernigan has been invited to the Senior Bowl .

WR/RS Dwayne Harris, East Carolina: Against quality ACC competition, Harris exploded for a career-high 260 all-purpose yards Saturday versus North Carolina State. Harris caught nine passes for 91 yards in ECU's thrilling 33-27 victory and contributed another 95 on kick returns and 75 on punt returns.

WR Armon Binns, Cincinnati: Binns caught a career-high eight passes for 175 yards and three scores in the Bearcats exciting come-from-behind win over Louisville Friday night. For his efforts Binns also was recognized as the Big East's Offensive Player of the Week.

S Mark Barron, Alabama: Scouts love Barron's instincts and versatility and both were on display Saturday against Ole Miss. Barron registered seven tackles, including five solos, an interception, tackle for loss and a quarterback pressure.

ILB Chris White, Mississippi State: White was all over the field for the Bulldogs in their impressive 10-7 win over Florida, Saturday. He earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors with 11 tackles (including nine solos), as well as 4.5 tackles for loss against the Gators. White is among the conference leaders with 57 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and five sacks so far this season.

OLB Blake Sorensen, Wisconsin: Sorenson's game-clinching interception with only a few minutes remaining sealed the Badgers upset bid over Ohio State Saturday, but was only part of his impressive game. Sorensen also registered a career-high 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss.





Posted on: September 13, 2010 9:58 pm
 

Diamond in the Rough -- SDSU WR Vincent Brown

As I mentioned in my last post, we thought that the Player of the Week and Diamond in the Rough deserved more acknowledgement than they received in the past as part of our Draft Slant coverage. Thus, each Monday I'll highlight the award recipients here on the blog.

Player of the Week, along with The Diamond in the Rough (small school prospect), used to be features of Draft Slant . This PDF file can be purchased as an individual issue or one can purchase the entire year (16 issues). Or, if you just want to see an example, you can download this free sample of Week One here .

I considered several prospects for Diamond in the Rough this week. One strong candidate was cornerback Cortez Allen from The Citadel, who enjoyed a strong game against Arizona. Considering James Madison's stunning upset of Virginia Tech, I'm looking forward to breaking down that film, as well.

However, as I scouted New Mexico cornerback Galen House Saturday (he'll be featured in this week's issue of Draft Slant), I couldn't help but be impressed by the all-around game of San Diego State Aztec wideout Vincent Brown. With the opportunity to scout both legitimate NFL prospects head to head, it was just too much to pass up, even if the Aztecs of the Mountain West Conference won't qualify for some as a true "small school." Regardless of your feeling on that particular debate, Brown, currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a 4th-5th round pick, deserves recognition.

Diamond in the Rough -- September 11, 2010
WR Vincent Brown, San Diego State 6-0 / 195 / 4.52
-- opponent New Mexico State
 
One of ten semifinalists for the coveted Biletnikof Award last year, Brown caught 45 passes for 778 yards and six touchdowns. Those might not sound like the type of numbers that would typically earn recognition as the nation's most prolific wide receiver -- until you realize that Brown's production came in just over six games. Brown began the 2009 season with touchdown receptions in his first five games and at least 100 receiving yards in his first four contests. He was sidelined with a season-ending thumb injury early in the Aztecs' seventh game of the year (Colorado State). Brown started slowly in 2010, catching "only" five passes for 39 yards in a 47-0 thumping of Nicholls State. Despite First-Team All-WAC cornerback Galen House shadowing him for much of their matchup Saturday night, Brown proved back to his playmaking self, snatching another five passes for 99 yards. Brown has good size and isn't afraid to use it or his strength to help escape the jam. He shows good foot quickness and lateral agility to generate separation in the short to intermediate routes and has the straight-line speed to attack deep. I was also impressed with Brown's hands and toughness. Brown showed the ability to extend and snatch the ball out of the air; showing these skills when making his most impressive catch of the game while going over the middle in the second quarter. Earlier in the game he'd made his most productive grab (55 yards) by beating three Aggie defenders (including House) deep on a trick play. Aztec junior quarterback Ryan Lindley, himself a talent to keep an eye on, handed the ball off and ran left -- to have the ball thrown back to him -- where he unloaded the long strike to Brown. Despite Brown's success as a receiver, the Aztecs rode a strong ground game to their victory over the Aggies. Running back Ronnie Hillman's 150 rushing yards and four touchdowns certainly stole the show, but Brown was a factor as a downfield blocker, proving to be a more well-rounded wideout than most "small school" receivers.


 
 
 
 
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