New head coach DeWayne Walker enters the 2009 season with a lot of rebuilding to do at New Mexico State. The Aggies are coming off a 3-9 season where they finished 118th in the nation in rushing offense, but 10th in passing. Walker will bring a more defensive mind-set to the Aggies, who finished fifth in the conference last season in total defense, giving up close to 380 yards per game.
The starting spot at QB will be between Junior, Jeff Fleming and freshman Tanner Rust. Fleming is a transfer from Fullerton JUCO, where he threw for 1,900 yards, 24 touchdowns and was named the Southern Conference Player of the Year in 2008. Rust is an incoming freshman who will be a dual threat through the air and the ground.
Whoever is the starter will have Marcus Anderson as their number one target. Anderson found the end zone nine times last season which tied him for first on the team. Another JUCO transfer, Marcus Allen, looks to make an impact in 2009 as another wide out who can get it done on the ground.
Marquell Colston is back in the backfield where he led the team with 384 rushing yards and four touchdowns. We should see a lot more of Colston this season as Walker is known for having a balanced attack. A group of experienced linemen should help pave the way for Colston and keep defenders off the quarterback.
With the addition of Walker, the defense should make significant progress this season. They must improve on the line in order to do better against the run, put pressure on the QB and get some sacks. Linebacker, Jason Scott, will lead the middle of the defense. He had 84 tackles and two sacks last season and hopes to improve on those numbers this season.
The playmakers in the secondary will be Davon House and transfer, Lorenzo Caldwell. House recorded two interceptions, 40 tackles and two fumble recoveries last season. Caldwell brings experience, speed and is a leader on the field.
Coach Walker has his work cut out for him, and it we won’t see major improvements for at least a couple of years for the Aggies.Prediction: 3-9