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Four-star DT snubs 'Bama, Vols for… Lobos?

Yeah, that is not an egregious typo, and you did not misread the headline.

In the biggest surprise of signing day thus far — and one that likely won’t be topped, unless Seantrel Henderson throws on a UTEP hat later on today — four-star defensive tackle Calvin Smith announced that he was signing a letter of intent to attend New Mexico.  And he did it live, on national television.

(As it wasn’t a wide-angle shot, we’re unsure how many laser-guided weapons were trained at his head as he uttered the inexplicable words.)

Smith, who hails from Hialeah, Fla., had been chased by heavyweights such as Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina before opting for the Lobos.  (I had a hard time not chuckling while typing that last sentence, and not because of the word “Hialeah”.  Mostly.)

Apparently, his father’s relationship with New Mexico head coach Mike Locksley played a big role in Smith’s decision.

Again, a player chose the New Mexico Lobos over the defending national champions, among others.  For those keeping score at home, that is the fifth sign of the apocalypse.

I’d stock up on spam post haste if I were you.

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13 Responses to “Four-star DT snubs 'Bama, Vols for… Lobos?”
  1. Ruidoso Kid says: Feb 3, 2010 3:44 PM

    Wow Mr. Taylor, You should be ashamed of yourself as it sounds like you are almost making fun of the New Mexico University but I trust that since you have an education you would refrain from showing your ignorance… Please prove to us what is so bad about the college..? Just because they don’t win championships every year – certainly you can find something else.. They have great classes and it’s a wonderful place to earn a degree.. You do remember now that everyone does go to college to get a degree don’t you..? It’s not just to play sports – or Do You..?
    In my opinion this is exactly what needs to happen in these college programs and that way it would not only benefit people like you because then you would get to really find out who has the best coached teams instead of who has the best talent.. Talent is great but unless you have a coaching staff that is capable of leading young men and helping them grow and mature – all you have really is a bunch of talented kids that can play a sport separately.. So how about it Mr. Taylor – perhaps in your next column you can shed a little more positive light on New Mexico University by actually taking a visit there and then you will know because as it stands – I am not sure if you know where it is or the state for that matter..

  2. Deb says: Feb 3, 2010 3:58 PM

    @Ruidoso Kid …
    You might want to cut Taylor a little slack. After all, he’s writing a football blog, not a selection on pretty schools for Architectural Digest or a dissertation on academic All-Americans. And when a player is interested in showcasing his football talents to perhaps win a coveted spot on an NFL roster, he generally chooses a top-flight football school.
    Now … regarding that comment about you not winning championships “every year.” Um, I’m just a bit curious … Do you ever win championhips? I mean, that post is a little misleading, isn’t it? When did New Mexico last win an NCAA National Championship in football? No it’s not the most important thing to look for in a school … unless you’re a FOOTBALL PLAYER.

  3. TheJesster says: Feb 3, 2010 5:00 PM

    Wow settle down Ruidoso Kid…. What he is saying is the level of a program like Alabama who has won championships and went undefeated last season. Is clearly levels and levels ahead of New Mexico who won 1 game last season. 1!!!!! That also doesn’t include a lot of off the field issues the program had. I mean you cant admit choosing New Mexico over some of those programs isn’t surprising at all???? Come on bro? You need to get out of Ruidoso a little more often. Ill tell you what this would have never happened in Rocky Long’s day.

  4. Ruidoso Kid says: Feb 3, 2010 5:16 PM

    Hmm, Well Deb, you sound like his girlfriend but alas I will respond anyway since he may not be able to defend himself… It does not matter what kind of blog he is writing for it’s how you make statements.. and his statements were akin to making fun of the school because he feels that all good football players should go to the best football schools.. I simply disagree.. Gee, ever heard of Brian Urlacher ..? If you have then you also know he went to school there and not only did he graduate he was also drafted into the NFL.. So that disproves your theory that a player has to attend a “football school” as you say in order to showcase their talents.. If you have talent, you can showcase it anywhere and I give big props to those that do take the less traveled road because it takes more character to do so and you have the opportunity to become a leader as well whereas most big schools do not have that option… Unfortunately, the school is on probation and will not be able to select the talent necessary to compete evenly for a few more years but that is not the current coach’s fault. He is a very good coach and recruiter and he is simply leading by example to pull this kid into the program to not only play but to grow and mature with less of a spotlight than the other schools.
    As for the historical winnings of New Mexico, I am not sure how you interpreted my statement but it was not stating that NM wins every year.. It is stating that the other schools win every other year or so and when they do not they become like spoiled brats and start firing everyone because they did not produce a winning championship… Sometimes everyone needs to be put in their place and get back to producing the real product and that is; educated people who can make this world a better place instead of some kid who barely got passing grades but yet he got into a “Football School” and got drafted only to end up carrying hand guns around or doing drugs or what not and making such an excellent example of themselves for all of our other kids to follow… Rarely do I see an interview of a young player in the NFL that can actually speak correctly and have an intelligent conversation… Yes, perhaps you are right.. Let us keep sending the kids to football factories and hope for the best shall we… and stay away from the perfectly good “other schools” that produce Doctors, Scientists, and such…

  5. Ruidoso Kid says: Feb 3, 2010 5:41 PM

    Hey Jester, I am not sure I can agree with you either… Although Rocky Long is not directly responsible for the losing record because of his NCAA sanctions that the school and new coach have to deal with.. It happened on his watch.. They will lose 5 scholarships for 3 years in a row thanks to those two assistant coaches… Any first year coach walking into that mess would not only have to deal with morale issues but that of convincing the current kids to stay and turning the program around and going out and trying to get new talent.. Of course we will have to wait and see what happens down the road but at least one kid was brave enough to give it a shot.. Yes, Alabama won and they have a good program but again they were able to lure better athletes… All I am saying is give the NMU folks a break and if given the same level of talent options they would be winning championships as well but don’t degrade someone for going there..To me it makes sense to go to a smaller school and make a bigger impact and play right away instead of the other way around.

  6. Deb says: Feb 3, 2010 6:10 PM

    John, darling, our secret is out. Hope the wife doesn’t mind that you have a girlfriend on the boards to defend you since, bless your heart, you can’t defend yourself.
    Ruidoso Kid, I should just paste the link from PFT where I’m embroiled in a debate about the sad state of an educational system that simply passes elite athletes without worrying about whether they can string together a coherent sentence. Nowhere in my post did I suggest I would condone sending kids to football factories and hoping for the best. While they may not have the reputation of the Ivy League, the schools at the top of the BCS polls are fine educational institutions. Alabama, Florida, Texas, Ohio State, USC, and the other teams that have won National Championships in recent years compare quite favorably on the academic scale with New Mexico. Please. You aren’t advocating for Dartmouth.
    Yes, I’m familiar with Brian Urlacher. Was the school on probation when he was there? Many of these young men wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting into any of these schools but for their athletic gifts because they don’t have the academic foundation to earn, say, an MBA. The best chance for the most talented is a shot at the pros. They have JUST as much opportunity to learn leadership and discipline at top-flight schools that consistently graduate pro prospects as they do at rinky-dink schools that graduate one Urlacher a generation. But they DON’T have the same opportunity to make it to the pros when they’re not playing on the national stage.
    Alabama will still be in contention next year with or without this young man. But he may have just blown his ONE shot at a dream career–a shot thousands of kids would give the world to have. You’re throwing tantrums that have no basis in reality. I’m simply being practical.

  7. Ruidoso Kid says: Feb 3, 2010 6:46 PM

    Hi Deb, Say hi to John for me…LOL.. Anyways, at least we agree on something.. on the educational front at least.. But I think you still missed the point.. Mr. Taylor starts off by stating he Snubbed the other schools and then adds that (jokingly) it’s a sign of the Apocalypse for making his choice..? C’mon.. no need to go there.. Everyone has choices to make and I disagree with your assessment that he has Blown his shot..My god, did I miss something or are there players in the NFL that are from “Other Schools” besides the big 10 you mention.. Please do your math and tell me what percentage of NFL players are from the top 10 schools.. You will be surprised… you will find that most are from smaller schools and yet they are still stars and did not Blow their chance as you say… No tantrums here… Just reality… I realize that most Bloggers like this one cannot make a living by just stating the facts – they have to dramatize it and make it other than what it really is in order to get people to read it. As long as they avoid defaming or degrading someone I have no problem with it.. Otherwise, I do and I stand up for what I believe is right… Just as you are defending your stance… Have a great week…

  8. Deb says: Feb 3, 2010 7:47 PM

    Ruidoso Kid …
    A girl once became a star after being discovered sitting on a stool in a drugstore. So a lot of ambitious girls started sitting on stools in that same store. But the smart ones went to New York and found work on the stage where the agents and producers were more likely to spot them. Yeah, talent will find a way. But it helps to play the percentages.
    BTW, just ran through the rosters of a few NFL teams and by far most of the players are from major Division I schools.
    That “sign of the Apocalypse” thing is just John’s wacky little sense of humor. Stick around–it will grow on you :-)

  9. Ruidoso Kid says: Feb 3, 2010 8:50 PM

    There was an article printed back in 2004 showing that the avg number of players that went to Div 1 schools and actually graduated was around 30%….!! Staggering is it not … Back in 1993, the NFL in it’s wisdom decided to start a continuing education course that requires players or offers the option to go back to school and they would arrange internships, course selection and other things so that they could graduate. This brought the avg number of players that graduate to 46%… Perhaps that explains why most rookies when interviewed on national television look so crippled when trying to gather their words to explain what just happened on the field just 10 minutes earlier… It is a shame but hey, the school is glad because they won and the alumni is glad and will offer more money the next year. But yet the kid will probably get stuck in a dead-end job somewhere long forgotten for what happened in college because without a degree, it’s very hard to climb up unless of course you take the alternative route and steal from everyone else instead…
    I will check out John’s columns in the future and see how he is.. (;-)

  10. Deb says: Feb 3, 2010 10:46 PM

    Yes, I’m aware of the low graduation rates. But on the plus side, the graduation rates are higher for the NFL than for the other major sports. The NFL is trying to encourage players to go back and get their degrees. And without their football talents and athletic scholarships, few of these kids would likely get near a college–let alone a Division I school. Their athletic abilities give them chances other kids born into their circumstances don’t have. Some wind up in dead-end jobs after their playing days are over, but they’d have ended up there anyway–at best. Others parlay their NFL careers and the money they’ve put aside into much better opportunities.
    As for the belief that the NFL is a haven for thugs … the league is largely populated by people who quietly do their jobs. But sportscasters and bloggers don’t report on those players. They report on the gun-toting clubbers. The troublemakers get the press–that doesn’t mean most of the players are troublemakers.
    You’ll find John frequently types with tongue firmly planted in cheek :-)

  11. TheJesster says: Feb 4, 2010 4:08 PM

    My point about the off field issues were not Rocky Long’s fault. I suppose you forgot about Locklsey punching his assistant coach in the face? That is what I was referring to. Brian Urlacher isn’t a great example seeing as he received only 1 D 1 scholarship offer(from Rocky). He was a diamond in the rough not a 4 start recruit be chased by some of the greatest programs in college football. We are trying to point out that this is a little bit shocking. UNM is not a football powerhouse and very much in the rebuilding stage as a program. You think the original author of this post was disrespectful. Try actually living in Alabama and talking to them about Lobo football. I know for a fact they would laugh at you. We are nothing back east. The SEC still thinks the MWC is small potatoes. I am glad this kid is here as I am a Lobo fan who actually lives in Burq so im not some goob from back east trying to argue with you.( Not saying you are though deb ;)

  12. Deb says: Feb 5, 2010 2:42 PM

    @TheJesster …
    No, not an eastern goob–to me, the ACC is small potatoes LOL Actually, I love Arizona, and New Mexico is among the top five places I most want to visit, so I’m not disrespecting the region or even the school. This is purely a business argument. I think the kid and his dad have made a poor business decision. Time will tell.
    And from a topographical perspective, Hialeah boy is probably going to get pretty homesick. I’m a Florida native and went to school in the Midwest. I felt so landlocked. The desert will be worse than the prairie. He may regret this decision on many levels.

  13. Former four-star recruit now an ex-Lobo | CollegeFootballTalk says: May 28, 2011 9:37 AM

    […] of 2010, four-star defensive tackle Calvin Smith stunned most everyone in the recruiting world by picking New Mexico over the likes of Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and North […]

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