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NMSU loads-up on defense with recruiting class

NMSU signed 10 players on signing day.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – New Mexico State head football coach Doug Martin inked 10 players for the 2018 season on National Signing Day. Martin added eight Aggies out of high school and two JUCO transfers.

“I would like to congratulate our outstanding coaching staff on putting together an incredible class of Aggie Football players,” said head football coach Doug Martin. “We were able to ride the wave of enthusiasm and excitement from the Arizona Bowl win and wins over rivals UTEP and UNM to attract this group of players that will help NM State football continue its success. This is the beginning of a great story! Go Aggies!”

Mike Edwards

6-3 | 230 | Freshman | DE

Muskogee HS | Muskogee, Okla.

High School: Lettered three times at Muskogee High School… Played in nine games as a senior with 67 tackles… Had 18 sacks and two fumble recoveries in 2017… Named to the 2017 All-Phoenix Team and was a runner-up for Defensive MVP… Had 42 tackles with three for loss through eight games as a junior… Recorded six sacks with three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2016… Earned a spot on the 2016 All-Phoenix Team.

Kai Golden

6-3 | 290 | Freshman | DT

Mountain View HS | Tucson, Ariz.

High School: Four-year letter winner at Mountain View High School in Tucson, Ariz. Rated as the No. 2 defensive lineman in the state by azcentral sports in 2017… Played in all 21 games for the Mountain Lions during his final two season… Recorded 63 tackles with 8.5 for loss and 10 sacks as a senior… Named to the Arizona All-State Team… Earned recognition as conference defensive MVP… Totaled 40 tackles with five for loss and 4.5 sacks as a junior.

John Graves III

6-1 | 290 | Freshman | DT

Lancaster HS | Lancaster, Texas

High School: Played two years of varsity football at Blue Springs HS in Missouri before transferring to play at Lancaster HS in Texas… Ranked as the No. 124 defensive tackle in the country and No. 246 overall prospect in the state of Texas… Helped the Blue Springs Wildcats to an 11-3 record and appearance in the 2016 Missouri High School Football Playoff Semifinals… Played in seven games as a sophomore with 21 tackles and six for loss with one sack.

Xzavier Guyton

6-0 | 175 | Freshman | DB

Arlington HS | Arlington, Texas

High School: Played three years of varsity football at Arlington High School… Helped the Colts to a 10-3 overall record and appearance in the UIL Football Conference 6A D2 Regional Finals… Named to the All-District 4-6A First-Team Defense as a senior… Finished his junior season with 38 tackles with one for loss and 10 passes defended over 11 games… Was named to the All-District 4-6A Second-Team Defense in 2016.

Donavan King

6-2 | 230 | Freshman | DE

Shadow Creek HS | Pearland, Texas

High School: Played two years of varsity football at Shadow Creek High School under head coach Brad Butler… Helped the Sharks to a 12-5 record over his two seasons… Listed as a top-130 defensive end nationally by 247Sports… Played both defensive end and linebacker during his time at Shadow Creek.

Rodney McGraw II

6-2 | 180 | Freshman | SAF

Elkins HS | Missouri City, Texas

High School: Played three years of varsity football at Elkins High School under head coach Dennis Brantley… Recorded 53 tackles with two for loss over seven games as a senior… Made two interceptions for 25 yards and one fumble recovery in 2017… Had a breakout junior season with 72 tackles with one sack in 12 games… Added three interceptions for 93 yards and two fumble recoveries brought back 14 yards in 2016… Recorded a pick-six during his junior season… Had five tackles with one interception over five games as a sophomore.

Caleb Mills

6-5 | 195 | Sophomore | WR

Dodge City CC | Dodge, Kan.

2017 (Dodge City CC): Played in all 11 games as a freshman for the Dodge City Conquistadors… Made 39 receptions for 514 yards and three touchdowns… Had a season-high eight receptions at Iowa Western on 10/7… Reeled in seven catches for a season-high 122 yards at Garden City on 10/21… Made his first touchdown reception on 9/30 against Independence.

High School: Competed for Forestview High School in Gastonia, North Carolina… Posted 40 receptions for 774 yards and six touchdowns through 14 games as a senior… Made 23 catches for 310 yards and two scores during his junior campaign… Finished his high school career making 53 tackles with four interceptions and two fumble recoveries.

Naveon Mitchell

5-10 | 155 | Freshman | RB

Travis HS | Richmond, Texas

High School: Was a three-year letter winner at Fort Bend Travis High School… Named to the 2017 Texas Associated Press Sports Editors Class 6A All-State Second-Team Offense… Had 101 receptions for 1,296 yards and 12 touchdowns through 10 games as a senior… Added 240 rushing yards with seven touchdowns in 2017… Scored seven touchdowns in a 58-28 win over Austin during his senior campaign… Ran for 1,086 yards with eight rushing scores in nine games as a junior… Hauled in 32 receptions for 312 yards and two touchdowns in 2016… Played seven games as a sophomore with 112 carries for 694 yards and 10 touchdowns… Named to the All-District 23-6A Second-Team Offense in 2015.

Eric Pulliam

6-5 | 305 | Junior | OL

Fullerton College | Fullerton, Calif.

2017 (Fullerton): Helped lead the Hornets to an undefeated 13-0 season and California Community College Athletic Association State Championship as a sophomore… Led an offensive line that allowed for 294.3 passing yards and 262.3 rushing yards per game… Anchored a line for an offense that averaged 54.2 points through 13 contests.

2016 (Fullerton): Played as a freshman on a 12-1 Fullerton College team that won the 2016 California Community College Athletic Association State Championship… Protected for an offense that produced 503.2 yards of total offense per game… Played on an offensive line that led an offense to 40 passing touchdowns and 38 rushing scores.

High School: Three-year letter winner at Sonora High School with head coach Paul Chiotti… Helped the Raiders to a seven-win improvement from his sophomore to senior season finishing 9-3… Played in all 11 games in 2015… Had 37 tackle with 14 for loss a four sacks as a senior… Added 12 pancake blocks on the offensive line in 2015… Played in 10 games as a junior with 36 tackles and 10 for loss.

Evan Tafoya-Vallo

6-3 | 280 | Freshman | OL

Rio Rancho HS | Rio Rancho, N.M.

High School: Competed for four seasons of varsity football at Rio Rancho High school under head coach David Howes… Helped the Rams to a pair of 6A State Championships and undefeated seasons in 2014 and 2016… Was named to the USA Today 2017 All-USA New Mexico First-Team… Earned a spot on the 2017 All-Metro 6A First-Team during his senior campaign… Anchored a line that allowed the offense to pass for 229.1 yards per game and rush for 120.4 yards as a senior… Blocked for an offense that accumulated 31 passing and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2017… Named to the USA Today 2016 All-USA New Mexico First-Team.

The New Mexico State football team is scheduled to host a signing day reception at the NMSU Golf Course Players Grill on Friday, Feb. 9, starting at 4:30 p.m. MT. This event begins with a social hour at 4:30, followed by the signing day program at 5:30. For more information contact Nicole Gomez at nicolemg@nmsu.edu.

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