Lobos' Madrid Earns Scholarship

Feb. 23, 2013

By Greg Archuleta
Assistant Director of Communications

If it were strictly a football decision, giving junior Xavier Madrid a scholarship might seem like a head-scratching decision.

The University of New Mexico football team, after all, is stacked at the running back position, where Madrid plays. Kasey Carrier will return for his senior season in 2013, coming off a single-season, school-record 1,469 yards last year.

Behind Carrier, Jhurell Pressley (a sophomore in 2013), Chase Clayton (a junior in ’13) and Crusoe Gongbay (a junior in ’13) also return, as will senior Demarcus Rogers, who had a 100-yard day in the 2012 season opener against Southern but was limited to two games because of a knee injury.

Madrid? The only time the Albuquerque native and St. Pius X graduate saw in 2012 was a few plays in mop-up duty in UNM’s 66-21 victory over Southern.

Even second-year UNM coach Bob Davie notes that Madrid isn’t necessarily in line for a lot of playing time in 2013.

“He may never step on the field for us,” Davie says of Madrid in a worst-case scenario possibility.

“But,” Davie adds, “he earned it.”

Davie announced earlier this week that Madrid will be a scholarship student-athlete in 2013. Because Madrid has been with the program at least two years, he will not count against this year’s 25 initial scholarship total.

Despite his walk-on status, the 5-foot-8, 170-pound Madrid approached every practice in 2012 with a passion, Davie says. His energy rubbed off on his teammates, several of whom are on scholarship.

Not only did Madrid come to every practice ready to work, he also usually came after having worked the night before. Madrid had a job to pay for his tuition.

Madrid worked four or five nights a week as a bail bondsman, then had to take a full course load at UNM before heading out to practice each day.

“Just his story; it’s a heck of a journey,” Davie says when asked why he decided to put Madrid on scholarship. “I made the announcement that I was putting Xavier on scholarship during a team meeting. The players went crazy; they were so excited for him. You love to reward a guy like that.”

The soft-spoken Madrid was as gracious as could be expected about no longer having to pay for school.

“I really didn’t know what to say,” Madrid said. “I was just so relieved and felt blessed to get that opportunity to come out and represent the city and the state on scholarship.”

If Lobo fans see a No. 20 on the field next season, it likely will be on special teams. If not, rest assured that Madrid will have earned his new status from Monday-Friday before each game on Saturday.