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Aggies’ Turner to enter NFL draft this year
LAS CRUCES — New Mexico State University football head coach DeWayne Walker announced today that running back Kenny Turner has declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL draft.
Turner played two seasons for the Aggies as a running back and slot receiver.
“First of all I would like to thank Coach Walker, Dr. Boston and the New Mexico State administration for giving me the opportunity to play Division I football at New Mexico State,” Turner said. “Coming out of junior college, I had a few other offers to play Division I football, but after I visited New Mexico State I felt that it was home and I felt that it was the right decision for me. This was a very difficult decision I had to make but when it came down to it, I was going to be 27 years old, and in the NFL and at the running back position, age is a factor. So I need to make the jump from college to the NFL. Again, I appreciate all the support and I enjoyed my time as an Aggie.”
Walker said he understands Turner’s decision and wishes him well.
“I walked through this process with Kenny (Turner), explaining the pros and cons of declaring for the NFL, and at the end of the day it was his decision and we will support him in any way we can to help him fulfill his dream of being an NFL player,” Walker said. “He understands through this process that he must graduate and Kenny promised me that he would take care of that piece of it. There is life after football and he understands that as well. We hate to see him leave but I do understand his decision and we are going to support it and we want to make sure he graduates from college.”
Turner (Orlando, Fla.) led the Aggies with 1,074 yards rushing in 2011, becoming just the second Aggie running back since the 2000 season to rush for over 1,000 yards.
Turner accounted for 10 rushing touchdowns on the year as well, while averaging 82.6 yards a game, fourth best in the WAC.
Lobos add QB Gautsche, three others to spring football roster
ALBUQUERQUE — The University of New Mexico football team has added four midyear players who are enrolled in school for the spring semester and will participate in spring football.
The four players include defensive back Darien Brunson of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, quarterback Cole Gautsche of Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, quarterback David Vega of New Mexico Military Institute and defensive end Richard Winston of Chandler (Ariz.) High School. Brunson will be a sophomore after playing at Mesa his freshman season. He had 19 tackles with one interception and one fumble recovery in 2011.
He played high school football at Higley High School in Gilbert, Ariz., where he recorded 108 tackles with four interceptions and four forced fumbles his senior year.
Gautsche, the 2011 New Mexico Gatorade Player of the Year, threw for 3,087 yards with 39 touchdowns and four interceptions as a senior, leading the Storm to the 5A New Mexico state championship in December.
He also had 23 rushing touchdowns as the Storm went undefeated this past season.
Gautsche also had offers from UNLV and New Mexico State University.
Vega set a New Mexico Military Institute school record with 2,829 passing yards in 2010 with 22 TDs and 13 interceptions in 2010. Last season, Vega threw for 2,819 yards with 28 TDs and 12 interceptions.
Gautsche and Vega represent two of the more decorated QBs in recent New Mexico high school football history.
Winston was an honorable-mention All-District I performer in 2011, as voted by the Arizona Republic. Chandler High School coach Shawn Aguano called Winston “a great character kid who wants to work.”
NMSU men’s hoops tops San Jose State
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The New Mexico State University men’s basketball team coasted to a 79-63 win at San Jose State.
The Aggies (14-5, 4-0) earned their second WAC road win of the year for their sixth straight victory. Forward Wendell McKines scored a game-high 24 points, while senior center Hamidu Rahman had a season-high 20 points.
Senior guard Hernst Laroche added 15 points. With his second field goal of the game, Laroche became the 29th member of the 1,000-point club at NM State. He is the second player to join the elite club this season. Laroche also broke the school record for career minutes played (3,811) that Eric Channing previously held (3,783).
The Aggies led the entire game and opening with a 9-0 run. The Aggies used a 16-3 rally to build an 18-point lead, 31-13, with 5:27 to play in the first half.
The Aggies had a 41-26 halftime advantage behind 16 points from Rahman. McKines was also in double figures with 10 points.
NM State continues its road trip at Hawai’i, Saturday, Jan. 21 in Honolulu at 10 p.m. The game will be televised on Comcast in Las Cruces.