Snap de­ci­sion

UNM kicker San­ders con­fi­dent in his new deep snap­per, holder

Albuquerque Journal - - SPORTS - BY RICK WRIGHT JOUR­NAL STAFF WRITER

Jared EnRico didn’t see the schol­ar­ship com­ing. He’s oh, so glad it did. EnRico, a red­shirt fresh­man deep snap­per from La Mi­rada, Calif., who joined the Univer­sity of New Mex­ico foot­ball pro­gram last year as a walkon, was told Wed­nes­day morn­ing that he’s been placed on schol­ar­ship. His re­ac­tion? Tears of joy. “I was in a (team) meet­ing, just like ev­ery other meet­ing,” EnRico said after Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice. He was lis­ten­ing to coach Bob Davie speak, he said, not ex­pect­ing any­thing in par­tic­u­lar.

Sud­denly, Davie be­gan talk­ing about “a walk-on from Cal­i­for­nia.”

“I was like, ‘Wait a minute,’ EnRico said. “And then he said, ‘We’re go­ing to put him on full schol­ar­ship.’

“I started cry­ing, just be­cause it’s kind of a big deal. It takes weight off my par­ents’ shoul­ders, and that’s what I had in mind when I first got here.”

Through­out spring prac­tice and pre­sea­son work­outs, EnRico and ju­nior-col­lege trans­fer Lon “L.C.” Hamp­ton had en­gaged in a ra­zor­close com­pe­ti­tion for the right to suc­ceed Steven Romero as UNM’s deep snap­per. Though Hamp­ton en­tered the pro­gram on schol­ar­ship, EnRico won the job.

On Satur­day, when UNM opens the season at home against Abi­lene Chris­tian, he’ll be snap­ping to se­nior Corey Bo­jorquez, who will dou­ble as UNM’s punter and as the holder for kicker Jason San­ders’ field-goal and point-after at­tempts.

Last year’s bat­tery — Romero to holder Sam Gen­try to San­ders’ ed­u­cated toe — was vir­tu­ally flaw­less. San­ders was 12-of-13 on field goals and 61-of-62 on PATs. The missed PAT was blocked.

San­ders said he’s con­fi­dent after months of work that, though the names in front of him have changed, the re­sults will not.

“It’s a bit of a change, but it’s not a change for the worse,” he said. “I

think we’re all con­sis­tently as good as we were last year.”

After last year’s suc­cess, Davie said, San­ders prob­a­bly is UNM’s top NFL prospect.

Bo­jorquez could be a NFL prospect as well, Davie said. Last year, his first at UNM after trans­fer­ring from Cer­ri­tos (Calif.) Col­lege, he av­er­aged 42.2 yards per at­tempt.

His 80-yarder at Colorado State last fall is the stuff of leg­end, but Davie would like to see more con­sis­tency.

“He cer­tainly has that kind of leg strength,” Davie said. “And he’s im­proved . ... He’s come a long way.”

Bo­jorquez said he’s been more con­sis­tent dur­ing the off­sea­son than last year — “Way more con­sis­tent. Place­ment’s been a lot bet­ter, more turnover, hang time, ev­ery­thing.”

Talk of the NFL and post­sea­son hon­ors, San­ders said, won’t al­ter the fo­cus that made him so suc­cess­ful last fall.

“If I’m not fo­cused on what I’m do­ing now, what’s go­ing to hap­pen in the fu­ture?” he said. “If I’m not fo­cused, I might not make that kick.”

EnRico, mean­while, is look­ing at a fu­ture dra­mat­i­cally changed by Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment.

“I had to pay, I think, like 11 grand this se­mes­ter, and I was talk­ing with my dad, try­ing to fig­ure out how we were gonna take care of that . ... (The schol­ar­ship) is def­i­nitely a bless­ing.”

THE DEPARTED: Davie had little to say about the de­par­ture of se­nior cor­ner­back Jadon Boa­tright and red­shirt fresh­man of­fen­sive line­man Jonathan Brys.

The two play­ers, he said, opted not to come back after the team’s 4½-day break from pre­sea­son prac­tice (Aug. 16-20).

“Both de­cided they didn’t want to be part of the team any­more,” Davie said.

Brys said he wanted to be closer to his home in Jack­son, Mich., Davie said.

Of Boa­tright, he said, “I’m not ex­pand­ing (on his com­ments). It’s his de­ci­sion.”

JIM THOMP­SON/JOUR­NAL

New Mex­ico kicker Jason San­ders was 12-of-13 on fields goals and 61-of-62 on PATs last season. The se­nior may be UNM’s top NFL prospect.

Jared EnRico

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