Aggie Offense Is Solid, Explosive In Opening Scrimmage

Written by: Felix Chavez/Sun-News Reporter

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State head football coach Hal Mumme has been high on freshman wide receiver LaVorick Williams since he signed with the program last December.

On Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 178-pounder from Odessa, Texas, and who played for one of Texas' most storied programs at Permian High School, shined big-time in his first scrimmage. He caught seven passes for 167 yards and a score, showed good speed and good leaping ability.

"LaVorick has all the attributes of a good receiver," NMSU safety Derrick Richardson said. "He's going to be a good one for this program."

Williams had arguably the play of the day when he caught a short pass, broke a tackle and went 75 yards for a score.

"LaVorick brings a big-time play ability to our offense," backup quarterback J.J. McDermott said. "He did a good job and he's getting better."

Mumme got on Williams early in the 110-play scrimmage when Williams didn't execute a crossing route.

After the scolding, Williams responded with several big plays.

"LaVorick responded and that's what you hope for," Mumme said. "He's picking up on the offense really well."

The sophomore McDermott got most of the snaps under center and competed 37-of-64 passes for 498 yards and three scores. Starting quarterback Chase Holbrook played a limited role in Saturday's first scrimmage and went 12-for-13 for 135 yards.

McDermott was last year's backup to Holbrook and this is his first full spring with the team.

"I feel a lot more confident," McDermott said. "I have a better understanding of the offense and it was good to get out there and get some work in. We have new guys that we are trying to fit in."

McDermott and Holbrook spread the ball around on the day. Receivers Chris Buckner, Julius Fleming and Marcus Anderson had good days. Buckner caught seven balls for 101 yards, Fleming caught six balls for 95 yards and Anderson had five receptions for 59 yards. Buckner played last year for NMSU, while Anderson and Fleming are trying to fit in as first-year players.

"I thought our new guys did a good job, particularly Marcus and Julius," Mumme said. "They came in and did a good job and made some plays."

Mumme was also happy with the play of the offensive line, which returns three starters, but must replace both starting tackles.

"Our depth is beginning to show there," he said. "We made some mistakes, but we're improving and getting better each time we workout."

Former Hatch Valley standout Ryan Franzoy, who is recovering from a knee injury, had a good day with five catches for 34 yards and one touchdown.

"Ryan has good hands," Mumme said. "He's done a nice job this spring, it's good to see him out there contributing."

The Aggies didn't run the ball much, rushing 21 times for 78 yards. Tonny Glenn led the way with 33 yards rushing, while newcomer Seth Smith scored twice.

"The effort was good and the intensity was solid," McDermott said. "We had some guys step up and that's what we are looking for."

The Aggies will scrimmage again next Saturday at 10 a.m.

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