Asked whether he had a letter grade for his 2013-14 recruiting class, coach Bob Davie of the New Mexico Lobos had a simple answer on Wednesday for those gathered at the Tow Diehm Football Complex.
"You can go ahead and rank ‘em," said Davie toward the end of his 35-minute press conference. "And you know what, you'll rank ‘em on that score board, what that scoreboard says at the end of the games."
The Lobos brought on 24 players on Wednesday, the first day of the college signing period that ends in April. UNM landed 25 recruits total: five junior college players, 24 high schools players and one transfer.
The class largely came from the football-crazy state of Texas – 11 all-told. Four players came from California and one player each came from the states of Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and New Mexico.
"I think the one thing we have done is... we honestly evaluated," said Davie. "There's not another staff in the country, I'll make this statement, that evaluated guys as hard as we evaluated. I mean we were relentless on every one. I had Josh, everybody, sit in and watch from an evaluation standpoint to see if they fit."
As of 6 pm Wednesday, Scout.com had the UNM recruit class ranked as the 98th best in the country, good for seventh in the 12-team Mountain West Conference. Boise St. was rated the best with 19 three-star players. New Mexico, by contrast, landed one player evaluated at three-stars – cornerback Isaiah Brown from Katy High School in Katy, Texas.
Davie expressed disdain for the recruiting "star" system and even the competition for players that goes on in college football.
"I didn't care, who's recruiting or who isn't," said Davie candidly. "I'm not going to fall into that trap. Because, after today, does it matter? Does it matter if Rivals rates us 1, 6… 8? It doesn't matter!
"You get caught up in that trap and then you have head coaches working the guys who're doing the survey or the ranking because it make them look better on signing day," said Davie. "It's all BS. It's taking the guys that fit what you do. And that's what I'm most proud of."
All the other players brought in were at least two-star players, including the lone New Mexico recruit, Rio Rancho resident Romell Jordan.
Jordan, who comes from Cleveland High in Rio Rancho was a 2012 first team All-State selection who rushed for 1,649 yards and 25 touchdowns in his seniors season as well as catching four touchdowns and racking up 291 receiving yards.
"Romell Jordan has been over here on on campus at camps, watching us play, a guy we felt very strongly was a great fit for us," Davie said. "But he's a great kid. Really excited to have him - never wavered from his commitment and a good player. Really good player. Put his tape on and he lines up with anyone else we signed in this class."
Some observers thought UNM may go more into the junior college ranks to shore up the program, but Davie only brought in five players – key among them were offensive linemen Reno Henderson and Solomon Normore and quarterback Clayton Mitchem.
"I wouldn't go beyond the five we have," said Davie. "I would just rather go the high school route and build this thing and have guys that are going to be here for a longer period of time.
"But there are certain needs you have to go that route - like quarterback," said Davie. "I think we had to get one quarterback. ... Each junior college player has a different path, and we research that path, but I wouldn't want to go more than five."
The Lobos brought in 14 defensive players and 8 offensive players in the 2013 class. UNM brings in mostly skill players on offense with three quarterbacks, two wide receivers and two running backs with two offensive linemen.
On defense, the Lobos were very even, bringing in five defensive linemen, five players in the defensive backfield and four line backers.
Davie said the team may take a step back due to it's youthfulness – he emphasized the Lobos would likely be the youngest team in Division I on 2013. But the team is developing quickly.
"We're just young," said Davie. "(But) there's no question we're light years ahead of where we were a year ago in every phase. It's just we're going to be a young football team. There's no way around that."
Fans can see the entire list of UNM recruits at the football recruiting page: http://www.golobos.com/signingday/nm-13-signing-day-central.html