Mumme Happy With Early Signees

Written by: Felix Chavez/Sun-News Reporter

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State football coach Hal Mumme hasn't had the luxury of signing a lot of players in the December signing period.

On Thursday that changed. Mumme, who just finished his third season as the team's head coach, signed six players to national letters of intent and one to a Grant Aid for the 2008 season. All seven will enter school for the spring semester and will go through spring practice, which will start in April. Mumme said the Aggies could sign more players before the start of the semester.

Mumme said the Aggies can sign a total of 18 for the 2008 season. New Mexico State will announce its full 2008 recruiting class in February.

"We had a good mix of players signed," Mumme said. "Usually at this time of the year we've only been able sign one or two. It's nice to bring this many in."

The Aggies beefed up the defensive front, as NMSU signed three defensive players - a linebacker and two defensive linemen. The Aggies also added two wide receivers, a running back and an offensive lineman.

The wide receivers coming in are 5-foot-7 junior college transfer Marcus Anderson and 6-foot-3 prepster LaVorick Williams, who attended Permian High School in Odessa, Texas.

Anderson played two seasons at Pasadena (Calif.) City College and caught 84 balls for 846 yards. He was one of four players from the school to sign with Division I schools.

"Marcus is similar to Derek Dubois (former Aggie receiver) in size, but he's faster," Mumme said.

Williams was originally headed to Texas Tech to run track, but instead chose football. He helped lead Permian to the state playoffs in 2006, ending a seven-year playoff drought for the school. As a senior, he caught 49 passes for 907 yards.

The offensive lineman that NMSU signed is 6-foot-6, 330-pound Joe Suder, who hails from Santa Rosa, Calif., and who played JUCO ball at Arizona Western College. He'll get a look at left tackle and get a chance to replace the departed Mike Martinez, a four-year starter.

Mumme said he signed with Duke out of high school and also considered Washington State.

The Aggies also added running back Seth Smith, who played the past two years at the College of Sequoias. The 5-foot-9 back ran for 580 yards this past season.

"He comes from an offense that is similar to ours," said Mumme of Smith. "He's got potential to do well for us."

On defense, the Aggies signed a pair of rush ends for new defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn. Mumme said Dunn liked both of them on tape. Chris Romero comes from a talented Snow College team in Utah, a two-year school. The team played in the Junior College national title game this past season and in 2006. The 6-foot-4, 257-pound Romero had four tackles for a loss and one sack this past season.

Jonathan Davis, a 6-foot-1, 221-pounder from Marion, Iowa, led Feather (Calif.) River College with nine sacks in just seven games.

The other signees for Mumme was 6-foot-1, 221-pound middle linebacker Justen Alford, who hails from Dillon, S.C. He was a teammate of Davis at Feather River College. He had 78 tackles and had three sacks and one interception.

"We addressed needs on both sides of the ball," Mumme said. "We're still working on signing more kids down the road. There are a couple of big visit dates, Jan. 18 and Jan. 25 ahead of us. We'll sign a mix of kids. Coach Dunn will evaluate the players on defense."

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Mumme said former New Mexico State and University of Miami receiver Aikeem Jolla recently had a good workout for scouts in the newly formed All American Football League, which begins play in the spring.

Jolla caught 23 passes for 135 yards for NMSU in 2006, but struggled with a knee injury for much of the season. Mumme said Jolla has gotten better health wise since the end of his collegiate career.

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