Aggies ‘excited and ready to go’
By Krysta Quinonez
Las Cruces Bulletin
The New Mexico State University football team enters the 2015 season full of optimism.
Head coach Doug Martin — whose team started fall practice Wednesday, Aug. 5 — said he is very pleased with how things look.
“For the first time we look like a real college football team, both size and number wise,” said Martin, who is entering his third season as head coach on the Aggies’ sideline.
Last season NMSU won its first two games but then dropped 10-straight to finish 2-10.
The Aggies open their 2015 schedule Saturday, Sept. 5 at the University of Florida. Their first home game is Saturday, Sept. 12 against Georgia State.
“We are going to be talented enough to compete against anyone we play,” Martin said.
The players believe that not only are they clicking on the field, they are creating great chemistry off the field as well.
“We’re one big family,” said returning starting quarterback Tyler Rogers. “We’re a brotherhood who has each other’s backs.”
In his first year with NMSU after transferring from Arizona Western, the 6-3, 208-pound junior from Peoria, Ariz., played in all 12 games last season, with 11 starts, and threw for an average of 248 yards per game with 19 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
He said the team wants to finish at the top of the Sun Belt Conference standings.
'Our main goal is to win the conference and we have a long way to go, but I believe just as well as the team does, that we can achieve that goal,” Rogers said.
Fellow junior Rodney Butler led the team in tackles with 119 in 2014. The 6-1, 235-pound linebacker from Palms Springs, Calif., said fans should pack Aggie Memorial Stadium.
“I want people to be excited for this program; we play our hardest (and) I would like for them to just enjoy the season.” Butler said.
A major inspiration for Butler is his father.
“My dad is my inspiration,” he said. “He drives eight hours to watch me play and never misses a home game. He encourages me and supports me in whatever I do.
“I know that no matter what the record is, or the score of the game, I'm always going to have at least one person rooting for me, and that's my dad,” Butler said.
Las Cruces High School graduate Xavier Hall said the team is anxious to get started.
“We’re all excited and ready to go; let’s get the season started,” the running back said.