At 5:45 a.m. the faxes started coming in.
On Wednesday, national signing day, the men’s football team signed 24 players to national letters of intent for the upcoming season.
Head coach Bob Davie said even though he has signed some quality players, it doesn’t mean anything until the players sign again on the field, in a Lobo uniform.
“We were able to put 24 names on a dotted line,” he said. “It’s not where they are — nothing they have done in the past matters — they are all the same from this point forward.”
Davie replaced former head coach Mike Locksley on Nov. 17, but said he was not able to get started on recruiting until this past month.
Davie said he waited to get a complete coaching staff and steady the program before he brought in potential players on recruiting trips.
“We took it down to the last three weeks in January,” Davie said. “I probably rolled the dice a little bit. Rather than run out recruiting, I wanted to stabilize this program and get around the players before I ran out the doors trying to replace these players.”
Defensive coordinator Ron West said he expects the players at UNM right now to take control of the program next year and will not be relying on recruits.
“We are 100 percent on trying to take what we have and try to build it from right where we are at,” West said. “We want them to do what we ask them to do and what we coach them to do right the first time.”
Davie signed three players each from Arizona and California, one from Louisiana, one from New Jersey and 12 from Texas. He said he focused his recruiting trips around the southwestern states because of how close they are to Albuquerque.
Davie concentrated on signing defensive linemen because he said they were short in that position, with many of the current Lobo defensive lineman graduating after this season.
“We had to go recruit four defensive linemen,” Davie said. “If you don’t go get some defensive lineman next year, we don’t play football. I think we signed a talented group of defensive linemen.”
UNM will welcome two players from New Mexico, quarterback Cole Gautsche and center Josh Baggett.
Gautsche was verbally committed to New Mexico State before Davie was hired, but soon changed his mind after Davie made him a high priority.
Baggett is the only one of four players that was recruited under Locksley and chose to still sign with UNM after Davie became head coach.
Davie said he was pleased with the class he was able to sign in the short amount of time and thought it will help with future recruiting classes.
“I do appreciate this class,” he said. “I think more than anything what it’s done is really solidified the potential, in my mind, that we have in this program.”