Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Aggies Ink 29 on National Signing Day

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LAS CRUCES, N.M. – On Wednesday, Jerry Kill and the NM State football coaching staff saw 29 student-athletes sign a Letter of Intent to play football for the Aggies. NM State’s 28-member class will be the first to play in Conference USA. Among C-USA schools, the Aggies had the largest class, followed by Sam Houston’s 23 members and FIU’s 20.
The Aggies are set to play in the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26 in Detroit, Michigan against Bowling Green. Fans can catch all of the bowl game action on ESPN, beginning at 12:30 p.m. MT.
Name                          Pos.     Ht.       Wt.      Hometown/Previous School
Ishmael Aceves           LB        6-2       215       Denver, Colorado/Mullen HS
Tayden Barnes            S          5-10     175       Amarillo, Texas/Tascosa HS
Blaze Berlowitz            QB       6-3       195       Cushing, Oklahoma/Cushing HS
Josiah Charles             CB        6-0      175       Arlington, Texas/Arlington Martin HS
Cedric Claiborne*        OL       6-4      300      Houston, Texas/Trinity Valley CC
Quincy Davis               LB        6-1       205      Las Vegas, Nevada/Bishop Gorman HS         
Donovan Faupel          WR      6-1       195       Corona, California/Corona Centennial HS
Quintin Fowler             OL       6-2       304      Kiln, Mississippi/Jones College
William Gipson*           WR      6-3       205      Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania/Fullerton College
Jacob Golden*             OL       6-5       300      Phoenix, Arizona/Boise State
Mason Graham            ATH     6-5       225      Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo HS
Trent Hudson^             WR      6-3       180       Killeen, Texas/Trinity Valley CC
Gabriel Iniguez^          DT        6-1       260      Pittsburg, California/City College of San Francisco
Shamarr Jackson^       OL       6-3       260      Loris, South Carolina/Iowa Western CC
Gabe Jones                 DT        6-4      270      Dallas, Texas/WT White HS
Anthony LaFrance*     OL       6-4      290      Chino, California/Riverside City College
Naeten Mitchell            DB       5-11      175       Temple, Texas/Temple HS
Keuan Parker^             CB        5-10     178       Tulsa, Oklahoma/Arkansas
Adam Parks                 LB        6-3       225      Kansas City, Kansas/Blue Valley North HS
Kai Sevy                      OL       6-4      270      Salt Lake City, Utah/Corner Canyon HS
Jordan Smith               WR      6-1       188       Slidell, Louisiana/Fullerton College
Kaden Stanton            OL       6-5       315       Beggs, Oklahoma/Beggs HS
Eli Stowers^                 QB       6-4      215       Denton, Texas/Texas A&M
Elijah Thomas              DB       6-1       190       St. Louis, Missouri/De Smet Jesuit HS
Zyier Thornton*           LB        6-4      255      Los Angeles, California/Cerritos College
Jeremiah Vessel          DB       5-11      185       Baton Rouge, Louisiana/Bishop Gorman HS (Nevada)
Jordan Vincent*          S          5-10     195       Chicago, Illinois/Eastern Illinois
Dion Wilson, Jr.*          DT        6-4      295      Perris, California/Arizona
^- Sophomore class standing
*- Junior class standing
Jacob Golden | Offensive Line | Phoenix, Ariz.
Golden comes to NM State as a transfer from Boise State. Golden committed to Boise State as a three-star prospect, choosing the Broncos over Washington State, New Mexico, and more. In 2021 as a redshirt sophomore, Golden appeared in nine games for the Broncos. He made his collegiate debut against Air Force on October 31, 2020 as he played in three games as a redshirt freshman.
Kai Sevy | Offensive Line | Salt Lake City, Utah
Rated as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports and On3 Sports, Sevy looks to make an immediate impact for the Aggies up front. Sevy was named to the Utah All-State team as a tackle this season, in addition to a pair of First Team All-Region selections. Coming from Corner Canyon High School, Sevy was the 22nd ranked player in Utah according to 247 Sports Compositie.
Kaden Stanton | Offensive Line | Beggs, Okla.
Coming in at 6’5″ and 310 pounds, Stanton has all the makes of a Division I offensive lineman. Stanton came in at No. 2 on the Tulsa World’s preseason rankings for offensive linemen in Oklahoma. A three-year starts for Beggs High School, Stanton is also an outstanding student with a 4.05 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Blaze Berlowitz | Quarterback | Cushing, Okla.
Berlowitz put together a tremendous high school career in Oklahoma that included 9,878 passing yards and 114 touchdowns. The 9,878 passing yards ranks seventh in Oklahoma high school football history for any level. Berlowitz helped lead Cushing to a 13-1 record as a senior, taking his team to the 2022 OSSAA Class 4A State Championship game.
Ishmael Aceves Jr. | Inside Linebacker | Denver, Colo.
After committing months ago, Aceves Jr. was finally able to put pen to paper on Wednesday. Aceves hails from Denver and joins Jaxon Heil as an Aggie from Mullen High School. Aceves Jr. also held offers from Kansas and Nevada before selecting NM State as his future home.
Naeten Mitchell | Defensive Back | Temple, Texas
A 5’11” defensive back from Temple, Texas, Mitchell put together an impressive senior season. The future Aggie had 57 tackles, including seven for a loss, five interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles. Mitchell chose NM State over Arkansas, Army, Navy, and more.
Elijah Thomas | Defensive Back | St. Louis, Mo.
Thomas is a three-star recruit our of De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis. The defensive back chose the Aggies over Kansas, Arkansas, West Virginia, and more.  Thomas saw time at running back, wide receiver, kicker, and more before becoming one of the top recruits in Missouri as a safety.
Gabe Jones | Defensive Tackle | Dallas, Texas
Jones is a 6’4″ defensive tackle from W.T. White High School in Dallas, Texas. As a senior, the 270 pound lineman had 64 tackles, 47 assists, eight sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown, a forced fumble and 11 quarterback hurries. For his monster season, Jones took home District 6-5A Defensive Player of the Year honors. Jones selected the Aggies over Oklahoma State and others.
Zyier Thornton | Outside Linebacker | Los Angeles, Calif.
Totaled 36.0 tackles in 11 games for Cerritos College in Cerritos, California this season, also notching four sacks.
Mason Graham | Athlete | Amarillo, Texas
This season, Graham completed 62% of his passes for 2,166 yards, 21 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He also was the second-leading rusher for Amarillo High School with 278 yards and five rushing touchdowns.
Jordan Vincent | Safety | Chicago, Ill.
Vincent heads to Las Cruces from Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Illinois where he was a two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference selection. This season, Vincent was selected as a Hero Sports FCS Sophomore All-American at Safety. Vincent led the Panthers with 84 tackles, ranking fifth in the Ohio Valley.
Eli Stowers | Quarterback | Denton, Texas
A consensus four-star quarterback out of high school, Stowers comes to Las Cruces from Texas A&M. Stowers played in five games throughout his time in College Station, including a pair of SEC games against Florida and South Carolina. A dual sports athlete in high school, Stowers also won the Texas 6A high jump state championship. Out of high school, Stowers was ranked No. 234 in the ESPN 300 and chose the Aggies over Georgia, TCU, LSU, Oregon, and more.
Quintin Fowler | Offensive Line | Kiln, Miss.
Fowler was named a 2022 NJCAA First-Team All-American on the offensive line. Fowler played in all ten games for the Bobcats this season, paving the way for a tremendous season of success on the ground. In addition to the All-American selection, Fowler was also an All-Conference, All-District, and honor roll selection.
Adam Parks | Outside Linebacker | Kansas City, Kan.
Parks is a sought after linebacker from Kansas City who is heading to Las Cruces. The 6’3″, 225 pound linebacker was one of the first to sign on the dotted line for NM State on Wednesday. Parks chose the Aggies over Southeast Missouri State, among others.
Anthony LaFrance | Offensive Line | Chino, Calif.
Another three-star offensive lineman is joining the offensive line for the Aggies! Out of Riverside City College, LaFrance was a 2021 Second Team Junior College Gridirion Preseason All-American. LaFrance was also recruited by Buffalo, Fresno State, and others.
Jeremiah Vessel | Defensive Back | Las Vegas, Nev.
A consensus three-star recruit, Vessel even snuck into four-star territory by some recruiting services. Vessel heads to Las Cruces after choosing the Aggies over Arizona State, Colorado, Kansas, Louisville, Mississippi State, and over 20 other schools. With a composite score of .8428 by 247 Sports, Vessel enters as one of the top ten recruits in NM State history.
Quincy Davis | Inside Linebacker | Las Vegas, Nev.
Rated as a three-star recruit by 247 Sports, Davis was the top-ranked linebacker in the state of Nevada, according to MaxPreps. Davis will join his high school teammates Jeremiah Vessel and Jonathan Brady in Las Cruces. The 6’1″, 210 pound linebacker also held an offer from Idaho.  
Jalen Brown | Inside Linebacker | Chicago, Ill.
Brown is a 6’2″, 205 pound linebacker out of Glenbard South High School in Chicago, IL. Most of Browns snaps came out of the backfield as a running back his senior year. He led the Raiders offence with 1,418 rushing yards and 19 total touchdowns last season while averaging 157.6 yards per game. This dominating stat line helped his team to a 7-3 overall record and a third-place finish in the Upstate Eight Conference this past season
Josiah Charles | Cornerback | Arlington, Texas
Charles is a 6’0″ cornerback from James Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. The Lone Star native amassed 42 solo tackles, five interceptions, two forces fumbles, and three touchdowns, including a kickoff return during his three-year tenure playing for the Warriors. Charles drew interest from one other D1 program before ultimately deciding to commit to NM State for the 2023 season.
Tayden Barnes | Safety | Amarillo, Texas
Another defensive back making the transition from the Lone Star State to the Land of Enchantment – Tayden Barnes is a 5-10 safety out of Tascosa High School in Amarillo, Texas. During his two-year career with the Rebels, Barnes saw time at both the safety and running back positions. As a safety, Barnes collected 79 total tackles (48 solo), two interceptions and 11 pass deflections. As a runner, he accumulated close to 1200 rushing yards, including 866 his senior year, and a total of 21 touchdowns over a two-year span.
Keuan Parker | Cornerback | Tulsa, Okla.
Parker comes to Las Cruces having spent his first two collegiate seasons at Arkansas for the Razorbacks. The 5’11” defensive back only saw the field five times during his sophomore campaign after redshirting his freshman year. Prior to Arkansas, Parker was touted as one of the top overall recruits in all of Oklahoma, even being rated as high as the No. 2 prospect in the state by Rivals, and the 32nd best corner in the nation by 247 sports. The former three-star recruit graduated from Booker T. Washington High School where he recorded 80 tackles (63 solo) and six interceptions across 26 games played for the Hornets.
Cedric Claiborne | Offensive Line | Houston, Texas
Claiborne is 6’3″, 300 pound offensive lineman who spent this past season as a Roadrunner at UTSA. The Houston, Texas native saw no playing time in San Antonio last season after being redshirted. Prior to becoming a Roadrunner, Claiborne was a First-team All-District 16-6A offensive lineman at Westfield High School where he was a pivotal piece to an explosive offence that amassed 4,337 yards, 2,1222 through the air and 2,215 on the ground. He helped the Mustangs to a 23-3 record during his two years, including two district championships, and an appearance in the Class 6A Division II regional final.
Gabriel Iniguez | Defensive Tackle | Pittsburg, Calif.
The Hawaii transfer appeared in no games for the Rainbow Warriors during his two years at the program. The 270 pound lineman attended Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, Calif. prior to committing to Hawaii. During his high school career, Iniguez was named a first-team all-league and CIF North Coast Section honorable mention after recording 41 tackles (12 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, eight QB hurries and one fumble recovery.   
Donovan Faupel | Wide Receiver | Corona, Calif.
Faupel comes to NM State from Corona Centennial High School in Corona, California. A standout student, Faupel also boasts a 3.5 GPA. Faupel also had an offer from Idaho, among others.
William Gipson | Wide Receiver | Pittsburg, Pa.
Gipson will transfer to NM State from Fullerton College – A junior college in California. This season, Gipson hauled in 34 catches for 403 yards and led the Orange Empire Conference with five touchdowns. A Pittsburgh native, Gipson signed with Pitt out of high school but did not see action before entering the transfer portal.
Zyier Thornton | Outside Linebacker | Los Angeles, Calif.
Thornton saw action in all 11 games this season for Cerritos College, totaling 36 tackles and four sacks. Thornton went to Cerritos for Las Angeles Harbor College, where he notched 14 tackles and three sacks as a freshman.
Jordan Smith | Wide Receiver | Slidell, La.
Smith caught 28 passes this season for 421 yards as a member of Fullerton College. The Slidell, Louisiana native caught four touchdown passes as a true sophomore.
Trent Hudson | Wide Receiver | Killeen, Texas
As a true freshman, Hudson was named an NJCCA All-American earlier this week. Hudson ranked fifth nationally with 778 receiving yards this season, tallying eight touchdowns. Hudson finished his first collegiate season averaging 77.8 receiving yards per game.
Dion Wilson Jr. | Defensive Tackle | Perris, Calif.
The Aggies added another playmaker and a Power Five transfer when they inked Dion Wilson Jr. The sophomore defensive tackle played in ten games this season for Arizona, making a career-high 19 tackles. Wilson initially chose Arizona over Arizona State, New Mexico, Hawai’i, and others.
Shamarr Jackson | Offensive Line | Loris, S.C.
Jackson helped pave the was for Iowa Western Community College to take home the 2022 NJCCA National Championship. The 6’3″, 290 pound offensive lineman selected the Aggies over a dozen other Division I programs. Jackson is a native of Loris, South Carolina and will make an immediate impact for NM State with a proven background at the collegiate level.

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