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2013 New Mexico State Preview – Offense

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted May 18, 2013


CollegeFootballNews.com 2013 Preview - New Mexico State Aggies


New Mexico State Aggies

Preview 2013 - Offense

- 2013 New Mexico State Preview | 2013 New Mexico State Offense
- 2013 New Mexico State Defense | 2013 New Mexico State Depth Chart

What You Need To Know: The offense fully made the change last season to more of a deep passing attack, and it worked relatively well with Andrew Manley throwing for 2,764 yards and receiver Austin Franklin turning into a statistical star. New offensive coordinator and former Bowling Green head man Gregg Brandon will change things up to more of a spread, Pistol-like attack. Because of the switch, Manley transferred, but Franklin is still around to lead a decent-looking receiving corps. The line that was a disaster last season gets everyone back, but there has to be more production for the ground game. The running backs are thin, needing options to emerge behind Germi Morrison, but the real key is the quarterback situation hoping for Travaughn Colwell to step into the role and shine.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Travaughn Colwell
6-13, 66 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Rushing: Germi Morrison
159 carries, 767 yds, 2 TD
Receiving: Austin Franklin
74 catches, 1,245 yds, 9 TD

Star of the offense: Junior WR Austin Franklin
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior QB Travaughn Colwell
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OG Isaiah Folasa
Best pro prospect: Franklin
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Franklin, 2) OT Davonte Wallace, 3) RB Germi Morrison
Strength of the offense: Line Experience, Receivers
Weakness of the offense: Running Back, Quarterback

Quarterbacks

With leader and bomber Andrew Manley transferring, it’ll be up to junior Travaughn Colwell to take over the attack. The 6-3, 185-pounder is the better fit for the attack with better running skills than Manley, finishing third on the team with 139 yards on 31 carries in his limited action. He only completed 6-of-13 passes for 66 yards and a score, and he’s never going to bomb away, but he has a decent, accurate arm showing decent all-around skills two years ago.

Now that Colwell is moving up, it’ll be a fight for the No. 2 job with the position wide open. 6-2, 210-pound senior Andrew McDonald got plenty of work this offseason after coming in from Santa Ana College where he threw for 2,033 yards and 22 scores a few years ago. He’s a good runner who can take off from time to time, but it’s not like he’s dangerous out of the backfield. He’ll fight with redshirt freshman King Davis III, a 6-1, 180-pound speedster and playmaker who needs work on his accuracy, but can make things happen on the move.

Watch Out For … lots and lots of jockeying for position. Colwell is the natural No. 1 option now, but the offense needs someone, anyone, who can move the chains. It’s an open casting call now with the job wide open.
Strength: Mobility. As the Pistol-like offense will dictate, the quarterback has to be able to take off from time to time. All the Aggies can run far, far better than Manley could, and there should be an added dimension to the attack.
Weakness: Andrew Manley. The new offense didn’t fit Manley’s skills in any way, but he was one of the few positives for the attack, throwing or 2,764 yards and 18 touchdowns. His loss takes away a big bomber of a playmaker – the offense can’t afford to lose the production.
Outlook: Can the Aggie quarterbacks fit the spread offense and run like the coaching staff wants them to? It’s possible that Colwell does a nice job right away, and while the passing numbers will fall off the map, the offense might move.
Unit Rating: 4.5

Running Backs

The running game will take on a new look, but it has a decent option to kickstart the attack in senior Germi Morrison, a 6-0, 195-pound senior who became the lead back halfway through last season finishing with a team-leading 767 yards with two scores, and caught 13 passes for 94 yards. The JUCO transfer out of Los Angeles Valley College is a slippery runner who was originally supposed to be a backup and third down option, but he got the opportunity to take over and literally ran with it, rushing for 96 yards against a good Utah State defense and finishing up with season with 123 yards and a score against Texas State.

Is Jeremy Fielder a running back or a receiver? After not seeing the field for the first three years, the cousin of baseball star, Prince Fielder, was tried out as a quick rushing option, but he’ll likely end up as a slot receiver. At 5-7 and 180 pounds he’s not all that big, but he’s a flash who can do a little bit of everything. Ready to start being a part of the mix is 5-9, 200-pound JUCO transfer Yolandus Pratt, a great special teamer for Hudson Valley CC. A scout teamer last season, the offense needs him as a backup, but freshman Xavier Hall could make the bigger impact after rushing for 2,080 yards and 32 touchdowns as a home run hitter for the local Las Cruces High.

Watch Out For … Marquette Washington, possibly the most talented back on the roster from Day One. The 5-11, 213-pounder from California tore off 1,850 yards and 19 scores while taking his team to a championship. With good power inside and decent quickness outside, he has the tools and ability to become the team’s signature star right out of the box.
Strength: The offense. The new attack will be a running back friendly offense that should crank out big yards in chunks if it works properly. The backs will be the stars of the show with big holes to fly through, again, if it all works.
Weakness: Experience and depth. There’s Morrison, and there’s … uh … Morrison. It’s a woefully thin area considering how much work the backs will need to do, and it’ll take some untested freshmen – or some untested veterans – to be able to take on the workload.
Outlook: Eventually, the numbers should be there as the offense balances out a little bit and relies more on the ground game. However, the backs and talent aren’t there yet. The opportunities will be there for one back to step up and become a superstar.
Unit Rating: 4.5

Receivers

The offense is changing things up, but it still needs receivers who can produce. Fortunately, there’s a great No. 1 target to build around in junior Austin Franklin, a 6-2, 175-pound deep threat who dominated throughout last season catching 74 passes for 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns with a 236-yard, two score day against Sacramento State to open up the year, and with seven 100-yard games on the season. A strong high school defensive back, he’s a physical target with excellent quickness and great size for this corps. He can work at any of the receiver slots.

6-2, 190-pound junior Joseph Matthews only caught eight passes for 133 yards last season, but now he’ll be a No. 3 target on the other side of Franklin. With good size and nice toughness, he’s a big, physical receiver who won’t be shoved around. The No. 2 man should be senior Jerrel Brown, a 6-0, 180-pound veteran who tied for third on the team with 10 catches for 250 yards and a score. He has the hands and route-running ability to do more as a reliable go-to receiver on third downs.

Senior Perris Scoggins will take over the starting tight end job from Trevor Walls after catching 11 passes for 115 yards and a score. At 6-3 and 250 pounds he has nice size and good blocking ability, and after transferring over from Mt. San Jacinto College last year, he has the experience. He’ll be backed up by 6-4, 245-pound redshirt freshman Zach Jones, a nice recruit last year with the upside to be a big receiver.

Watch Out For … Prentavious Morehead. Greg Clark is a nice pickup, too, with 6-0, 172-pound size and tremendous deep speed, but Morehead was the shocking get with 6-3, 175-pound size and the talent to have gone to any one of a number of BCS schools. Not just a high school receiver, he was a great defensive end with the physical ability to shove some people around for the ground game.
Strength: Franklin. The offense changed and his numbers won’t be anywhere close to as good as 2012, but he’s a legitimate threat who has to be accounted for. He’ll stretch the field enough to take away attention from the rest of the receivers.
Weakness: The change. The offense will go from trying to stretch the field with deep passes to more short-to-midrange passes. With Andrew Manley gone and more of an emphasis on the ground game, there’s a chance the 2,853 passing yards last year could drop by 1,000 yards.
Outlook: The receiving corps turned out to be a positive last season with Austin Franklin turning into a star, and while the production won’t be there again, if the new recruits can factor in right away, and if some of the older veterans can fill a role, this should be a decent lot.
Unit Rating: 5

Offensive Line

The offensive line has to change up what it does, and it can’t be much worse. The leader up front will once again be Davonte Wallace, a 6-4, 272-pound senior who’s been a solid starter for the last few years at left tackle. While he’s not all that great in pass protection, he’s strong and versatile enough to pound away when needed. Even though he has consistency issues, he earned Second Team All-WAC honors last year. Adding more size is 6-3, 315-pound junior Dada Richards on the right side after starting every game last season. The former JUCO transfer from Diablo Valley College is huge and can hit, but he has problems with speed rushers.

Sophomore Isaiah Folasa-Lutui will add his bulk at left guard. At 6-3 and 335 pounds he’s a big blaster who can see a little time at tackle if needed but is far better suited for the interior. He got into the rotation for half the year, but now the spot is his in the interior where he has to be an anchor for the ground game. 6-4, 300-pound sophomore Andy Cunningham was the starting left guard for most of last year, but now he’ll likely move to the right side. Built like a tackle, he’s a quick blocker who should be great for the new system. Versatile, he can play almost anywhere on the line.

Junior Valerian Ume-Ezeoke has been moved around over the course of his career, seeing time at both guard spots before taking over the starting enter job. Smart and tough, he’s better when he gets to blast away for the ground game using his 6-2, 285-pound size and good strength to generate a push. He beefed up, got stronger, and now he should be a major plus.

Watch Out For … the sophomores. The Aggie line might be full of veterans, but nothing is set in stone. 6-4, 310-pound Peter Forman and 6-6, 300-pound Faison McKinnis have the size and upside to push for tackle jobs, while Alexander Trujillo and Houston Clemente will see time in the interior.
Strength: Experience. Everyone is back. For good and bad, the line needed experience last season and it got it. The hope has to be for the growing pains to subside just in time for the new offensive style to kick in.
Weakness: Blocking. The pass protection was non-existent, allowing 42 sacks, while the ground game almost never found a groove. The line struggled in all areas last season and has to hope for the experience to translate into production.
Outlook: The line doesn’t have to do much more than wall off people. It doesn’t have to bury defensive lines, and it won’t have to do as much to hold off speed rushers. Generate one pop and then hope for the best.
Unit Rating: 4.5

- 2013 New Mexico State Preview | 2013 New Mexico State Offense
- 2013 New Mexico State Defense | 2013 New Mexico State Depth Chart