Stevens: David Guthrie Plans To be a Big Hit Lobo

April 12, 2013

New Mexico Lobos Football --- 2013 Spring Ball

Lobo Lettermen: Offense - 24 back, 7 lost. Defense - 23 back, 12 lost
Lobo Starters: Offense - 7 back, 6 lost. Defense - 3 back, 7 lost.
Starters Back (7 or more starts): Offense -- Kasey Carrier (RB), Dillon Farrell (C), Garrett Adcock (OG), LaMar Bratton (OG), Darryl Johnson (OT). Defense - Jacori Greer (DE), Dallas Bollema (LB), Rashad Rainey (LB
Special Team Starters Back: Ben Skaer (punter), Justus Adams (kicker),

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

In looking to establish a bring-the-hit brand of smash-mouth, intimidating football in 2013, one of the Lobos expected to help establish this identity on defense isn't exactly a monster of the turf.

But New Mexico fans are going to love this guy - David Guthrie, a 5-foot-10 package of bring-the-hit dynamite.

"He's not the biggest guy," said Lobo Coach Bob Davie. "But he has ability."

Guthrie also has a love for physical football. Maybe that is a necessity when you are two inches shy of 6-feet and playing a game where size and weight usually are an advantage. However, Guthrie has an equalizer. There is a whole lot of fight -- and hit -- in this Lobo.

"Physical," said Guthrie of a one-word way to describe his style on the field. "That's the way I've always tried to play the game. I was a physical player in high school and in college I was a smash-mouth safety who would hit people.

"That's my game -- hit people hard. I think a great hit can be one of the biggest impacts in a game. You can change the atmosphere and you can change a receiver's mentality. If you hit him hard enough, he's not going to want to come over the middle again. I try to bring a physical presence to the defense.

"We go over that in about every meeting, talking about establishing an identity. We want to bring a defense that is all about smash-mouth football. We plan to come out and hit hard and try to wear teams down."

Guthrie might stand only 5-10, but he is powerful-looking defensive back with a compact, sturdy frame. He might give away a few inches to receivers, but any receiver that pulls down a pass in front of Guthrie will pay the price.

Guthrie is one of several Lobos that UNM will be looking at to improve a defensive secondary that gave up too many passing yards and too many big plays in 2012. There also are some holes to fill as that unit lost Destry Berry, DeShawn Mills, Matt Raymer and Freddy Young.

"I'll always be about physical, smash-mouth football. In junior college, I was looked at as a hitter. That's what I hope to bring here."
First-year Lobo David Guthrie

Guthrie said one factor in becoming a Lobo was seeing an opportunity to play. But he said the main reason he picked New Mexico over Illinois was the family feeling he got from Coach Davie and his future band of Lobo brothers.

"When you come out of a junior college, you know you only have a few years to play, so (playing time) is something you look at," said Guthrie. "That's a factor, but that family thing is what I was looking for most and I could see it here."

The switch from Illinois to UNM even surprised Guthrie. At one point in his recruiting process, he thought that there was no way he would not be playing football at Illinois.

"The week before my visit to Illinois, I had set my mind that this (Illinois) is where I'm going to play football," said Guthrie. "And I was happy with that decision."

But things change.

Guthrie said he got a phone call from a UNM assistant who told him that Davie was offering Guthrie a full-ride scholarship. "It was like an out of nowhere thing. I was really excited," said Guthrie.

"The next day Coach Davie called me and we talked about everything and he said, `Just promise me you'll give us a chance and you'll give Albuquerque a chance."

Guthrie, coming out of the College of Siskiyous (Calif.), agreed to give UNM a fair shake and a good look. He visited Illinois and liked it just fine. "But when I came here everything felt right," he said. "It felt like a home and that's what I was looking for, like a family to be with.

"Coach Davie then came to my junior college and we talked for about an hour and a half. He just wanted to know everything about me and my family and my upbringing. I was looking for a family to play for and he made it feel like that's what I'd find at New Mexico. He made it an easy decision."

Of course, things haven't been all that smooth for Guthrie at UNM. There is a new defense to learn. There are new responsibilities to master. He also is facing a "Pistol" offense with a variety of faces.

"His head is swimming right now," said Davie. "He not only is learning a new defense but he's going against an offense that is multiple formations. He's about where I thought he would be with the complexity of things he's being introduced to right now."

Said Guthrie: "It's a little frustrating. In junior college, I knew the defense and I was the guy who was telling everyone what to do. Now, I don't know the defense and it's frustrating not to know as much as you want to know. Everything is coming at you fast. But I know it will come with time and watching film."

That's another thing you have to like about Guthrie. In post-practice meals, Guthrie often grabs a plate of food and hits the film room. You see, there is a family that Guthrie does not want to let down.

"One of the best things about being on a team is getting to know everybody, getting to know your teammates," he said. "This is going to be like your family, like your brothers. I think that's an important part of being on a team. You never play this game just for yourself."

Editor's Note: Richard Stevens is a former award-winning Sports Columnist and Associate Sports Editor at The Albuquerque Tribune. You can reach him at