Fleming Trying To Make Mark At Wide Receiver

Written by: Felix Chavez/Sun-News Reporter

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A main theme so far in spring football for the New Mexico State Aggies has been speed at the wide receiver spot.

One of those speedsters is redshirt freshman Julius Fleming, who is battling for a spot at an outside receiver spot.

The 5-foot-8, 162-pounder from Baton Rouge, La., arrived on campus as a talented running back, but made the switch to receiver last fall.

"It hasn't been a huge switch to receiver, I played some there in high school," Fleming said. "I'm working on my route running and trying to get more comfortable each day."

Fleming is healthy after recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

New Mexico State head coach Hal Mumme said Fleming has been timed at 4.35 in the 40 and compares him to NMSU senior wide receiver Chris Williams, who is the team's top receiver and very similar in size.

"Julius had a good practice Monday," Mumme said. "He has good speed and he's making improvements all the time. We just waited to see how things worked out when he got here and he wound up at receiver."

Fleming rushed for 1,386 yards in 2005, averaging 8.5 yards per carry, but he also caught 27 balls for 605 yards and eight touchdowns.

"I didn't have a problem making the move to receiver," Fleming said. "I just want the chance to improve and make an impact."

Fleming is one of a handful of new receivers trying to make an impact for NMSU. Junior college transfer Marcus Anderson has had a good camp so far according to Mumme and freshman LaVorick Williams has also been impressive.

"Marcus has had the best workouts so far," Mumme said. "He has good speed, he has caught 80-plus passes on this level and that experience will help us. LaVorick has is making strides all the time. He has good speed as well and you look up and think he's not going hard, but he is. He sort of glides out there and he has the potential to do well and he has good size. The new receivers are the guys we want to see and will get a lot of reps."

New Mexico State will host its first spring scrimmage Saturday at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The first play is scheduled for 10 a.m., ending around noon. The scrimmage is open to the public.

The Aggies have another scrimmage scheduled for April 19 before the annual spring game on April 26.

Following the scrimmage this Saturday head coach Hal Mumme and the Aggie football players will host a free kids clinic. The clinic will start approximately 1 p.m. and continue until 2 p.m. The Aggies will also be signing autographs following the scrimmage.

Felix Chavez can be reached at fchavez@lcsun-news.com