Fifth-Year Football Seniors Armed With Renewed Enthusiasm

Aug. 3, 2012

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M --- They've seen just about everything during their five years, and what they haven't seen, yet - consistent on-field success - they hope will come during the 2012 football season.

The University of New Mexico football team roster includes 11 players who came to the squad in 2008 with the hope of adding to the tradition of five bowl-game appearances in six seasons.

Since then, they have watched their team experience just seven wins in its last 48 games.

First-year coach Bob Davie, however, has vowed to make 2012 the best football experience the seniors have ever had.

For the fifth-year seniors, their last go-around is filled with as much enthusiasm as it is with a sense of urgency.

"We had to approach it differently," cornerback DeShawn Mills said. "I think the whole team did, actually. Things have been rough around here these past couple of years; everybody knows that. We've got a brand new coaching staff, a brand new attitude."

The seniors understand Davie when he said, "If you're not happy with the way things are, you have change everything you do, from A to Z."

"The plan that the coaches have is amazing," senior tight end Lucas Reed said. "The discipline that's going through the system is correcting a lot of issues. I can't wait for the season to start. I'm sure it's that way for every other player on this team, too."

Some of the players have looked inward, trying to assess what they themselves can do to help get the program going in the right direction.

"For me, I felt like there was more urgency (during the offseason), safety Freddy Young said. "I really had to get on myself more. It's all or nothing for us this year. It's like we're hanging off a cliff so we've got to get together and make the best of it."

Some are trying to take on more of a leadership role.

"Back in the past, I've never been much of a vocal guy," Mills said. "But me being a senior this year, I've got to find a way to step and lead the younger guys in the right way for the future."

It wasn't so much that the offseason approach was different for other players; they just learned how to extract some fun out of the process.

"I think you just enjoy those moments a little more, the long hours you're out there practicing long routes with the wide receivers, all the film room hours," quarterback B.R. Holbrook said. "I think you just enjoy it a little more. You cherish it a little more."

With the seniors going through their last collegiate fall camp, they are definitely more in-tuned with how they're practicing.

"Like today, coach Davie said the offense had a good day," outside linebacker Joseph Harris said. "So tomorrow, it's important for the defense to come out and have a good day."

How the change in the coaching staff and its mannerisms affect the team, the players already have a strong belief in themselves and in the program for the coming years.

I'm excited for the future; I'm excited for this program," Holbrook said. "When I'm gone, I want to come back and be proud of the team."

FRIDAY'S PRACTICE: The offense had a good day with big plays, with junior college transfer Saqwan Edwards and freshman tight end Christen Rebhun both scored on deep passes that beat the coverage.

Senior Lamaar Thomas also made a nice grab of a well-placed deep ball by Holbrook.

The offense, however, also had four false-starts in a half-hour stand.