The University of New Mexico Lobo football team landed 23 new recruits last week — 22 being high school recruits.
Of the recruits, 11 are for the offensive side of the ball, while 12 of the recruits are for the defensive side of the field, an area that the Lobos struggled in last season.
For the offense, incoming head coach Danny Gonzales was able to ink five offensive linemen, three receivers, two tight ends and one running back.
The five offensive linemen are Leke Asenuga from George Bush High School, Jer’marques Bailey from Atascocita High School, Greg Brown II from Shadow Creek High School, Ben Davis from Minnesota University and Isaak Gutierrez from Butte College.
The three wide receivers are Elijah Queen from Narbonne HS, Jace Taylor from Lake Havasu High School and Bobby Wooden from Dawson High School, while the lone running back is Nathaniel Jones from St. John Bosco High School.
The two tight ends are Connor Witthoft from Salpointe Catholic High School and Connor Kinslow from Obra D. Tompkins High School.
Defensively, Gonzales was able to sign five linebackers, four defensive backs and three defensive linemen.
The linebackers are Dion Hunter from Cleveland High School, Elijah Lash from Las Lomas High School, Ray Leutele from Mater Dei High School, Syaire Riley from Palisades High School and Semaj Sims from McClymonds High School.
Leutele, who had an offer from Washington State, said that "I want to be a part of that first wave coming in to change things around."
The rest of the Lobo recruiting class is as follows: defensive tackle OJ Bartley from Edison High Schol, safety Tavian Combs from Randall High School, cornerback Donald Jones from Broadmoor High School, cornerback AJ Odums II from Westfield High School, safety Quinn Potts from Dominguez High School, defensive end Bryce Santana from Los Lunas High School and defensive lineman Ian Shewell from Williams Field High School.
Three of the 23 recruits come from New Mexico high school programs, an area that Gonzales said he would focus on.
None of these recruits came from the early recruiting class period of Dec. 18-20. This may be due to Gonzales only being hired as the next head coach of the Lobos on Dec. 17.
The highlight of the class is Jones, who ranked as a four-star recruit by ESPN and de-committed from UCLA only two weeks ago.
Coach Gonzales said that his coaching staff's focus was on the line, as the Lobos lost many players on the offensive and defensive line since the end of last season.
"I’m proud of the hard work of our coaches and everyone at UNM. Our recruiting weekends were very positive for us, and there were a lot of people that helped make our new student-athletes feel at home and a part of our family. It's a great day for Lobo football, and for our school, city and state," Gonzales said.
Spencer Butler is a sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @SpencerButler48