New Mexico State Aggie Football Team Set To Kick Off First Spring Scrimmage Of Season

Written by: Felix Chavez/Sun-News Reporter

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Today, the New Mexico State Aggies will get an early look into how much they have improved so far in spring practice.

The Aggies will engage in the first of two scrimmages before their spring football game on April 26.

New Mexico State head coach Hal Mumme said the defense has improved in the first few days of spring practice in the new 3-5-3 defense, but he noted he'd like to see the defense continue their upward climb. First-year defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn installed the new defense after being hired to replace the retiring Woody Widenhofer.

"The defense is working hard," Mumme said. "They are still learning."

The defense returns seven starters from last year's 4-9 team and with a new philosophy in place throughout the entire unit, learning a whole new system is the main objective of the spring.

"We're eager to get out there and go up against the offense to see where we are it," NMSU junior linebacker Nick Paden said. "This scrimmage is a chance to see where we are at and what areas we have improved on. Learning the defense is something we'll be doing all spring and improvement will happen, but we want to take some steps forward this weekend."

The Aggies defense will be going up against an offense that returns eight starters, including quarterback Chase Holbrook and wide receiver Chris Williams. The Air Raid offense will certainly test the new Aggies defense, but that is fine with sophomore defensive back Davon House.

"We want to help the offense get better and we want the offense to help make us better," House said. "We're looking forward to the challenge of going up agianst our offense, we have some very talented players on that side of the ball."

Meanwhile, the Aggie offense is trying to fit in some new pieces as well. There are openings along the offensive line at right and left tackle. In addition, the Aggies are trying to fit in new receivers Marcus Anderson, LaVorick Williams and Julius Fleming and running back Seth Smith.

Mumme said he'd like to get backup quarterback J.J. McDermott plenty of reps in today's scrimmage as well.

"Chase wanted to get in some work with the new guys and that's important," Mumme said. "But we want J.J. to get some work as well. We have new guys that are trying to learn our system and they need to get in a lot of work. The scrimmage will be good for us in that aspect."

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Following the scrimmage, Mumme and the Aggie football players will host a free kids clinic. The clinic will start at 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