Bob Davie is pleased, but it would be a total surprise if he weren't.
As the head football coach of the New Mexico Lobos, Davie uses glowing terms when he talks about the recruiting class he signed on Wednesday. He is genuinely happy with the 25 new players he will have for the fall season. And he needs to be happy because they'll have to have an impact right away.
``When you recruit a better quality of guys, the competition is going to be stiffer. We know what we have in this program,'' Davie said. ``Last year, we were just trying to get 25 guys.''
Davie was hired very late in the recruiting season last year. He took over a program that had gone 1-11 for three seasons in a row, and losing was pretty well accepted as a way of life. The Lobos weren't in a position to be particularly choosy last year.
After going 4-7 last year and showing definite improvement, Davie and his staff found they were much better received. ``No. 1, we have some credibility for what we're doing here. Secondly, the culture of this program has been changed. The thing I've been most proud of is how we made the transition.''
Davie's third reason for success is very key. The Lobos are concentrating in Texas. Eleven of the freshmen who signed are from Texas. ``We've assigned some go-to areas,'' said Davie, who at one time was defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. ``We have some areas that we'll keep going to.''
Only one of the 25 players is from New Mexico, and he doesn't even know what position he'll be playing. Romell Jordan is from Rio Rancho's Cleveland High. He's a very fast 170-pounder who was a running back. He rushed for 1,649 yards and 25 touchdowns for the Storm but also caught passes for 291 yards and four TDs. He could run, catch, do returns or even play some defensive back.
Included in UNM's signees are five junior college players and three of them already are enrolled.
``We'd rather go the high school route,'' Davie admitted. ``Our two junior college offensive linemen will be very important to us.''
UNM signed five players listed as either a defensive back or cornerback. ``Defensive back is probably the biggest position on this team,'' Davie stated.
There are three quarterbacks, including junior college transfer Clayton Mitchem of Northeastern Oklahoma. The Lobos signed three defensive linemen, three linebackers and three offensive linemen.
``We got a lot more credit for a four-win season than we probably should have,'' Davie said.
All 25 players Davie brought in last season are still in school and all of them are eligible. And if you add in the 25 this season, the heart of UNM's team will be sophomores and freshmen.
``We have a total of only 24 players who will be in their third, fourth or fifth year. There is no question we are light years ahead of where we were a year ago. We'll be the youngest team in America.''