NM State Football Media Day

Courtesy of NMSU

Las Cruces, N.M. – NM State football head coach Doug Martin, along with several players, met with members of the media on Tuesday for NM State Media Day to kick off Fall Camp for the 2015 season.

The event included an opening statement and questions for Martin as well as individual player interviews.

Players reported back to campus this week and will start practices on Wednesday afternoon. Practices begin at 3:00 p.m. and are open to the public and the media until approximately 4:10 p.m.

The team opens the 2015 season on Sept. 5 as they travel to Gainesville, Fla. to take on the Gators in a 5:30 p.m. (MT) kickoff. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Below are quotes from Media Day.

2015 NM State Football Media Day
August 4, 2015

Head Coach Doug Martin

Opening Statement…

“Great to see everybody. I appreciate you coming down. We are really excited about the football season coming up on several fronts. When you look at the last two years of our football program, and putting a program together… the facilities that have been improved here have been remarkable. It’s still ongoing with the luxury boxes that are being put in the stadium as we speak, along with the weight room and the field improvements. We have had a huge gift for our locker room that will be done after this season, so that part of things has been great. The talent upgrades that we have with these two recruiting classes that we’ve brought in are really exciting. As you guys know, last year the freshmen played a huge role for us, too big of a role, actually, for us to be competitive. But when you look at what some of those guys did, like Larry Rose III, who was the Newcomer of the Year in the Sun Belt Conference, and Tyler Rogers at times looked outstanding at as a quarterback, and we had several other freshmen help, like Dalton Herrington and Derek Ibekwe. We had a lot of guys that really stepped forward for us. And when I look at the freshman class that we just brought in, for the first time in a long time around here, we really look like a college football team, size wise and numbers wise. It’s no secret that in the last two years we’ve been playing with about 62 scholarships when you should have 85 and everyone else that we’re playing has that. This will be the first year, in maybe 10 or 12 years, that this has been fixed around here. And our staff has done a great a job of addressing that. We will be right at 80 scholarships here ourselves for the first time. Depth wise, size wise, all those things that we have been able to address have put us in a position, really for what I feel like is the first time that we can go out and compete with anybody. The defensive line, we’ll average close to 300 lbs. per man this year. The offensive line will average about 315, which is much bigger than we’ve ever been around here. The freshmen that played last year have probably been the most remarkable. Stody Bradley played at 235 last year, he’s right at 260 right now. Kourtland Busby was a defensive lineman who played at 255 last year. He’s at 290 now, and right on down the line if you look at those guys. Larry (Rose III) is 14 pounds heavier than he was last year, so what coach Decker, our strength coach, has been able to do with those freshmen who had to play last year, what they look like now is really exciting. I think we have a great schedule and there’s a lot of energy and excitement being produced by our new Athletic Director Mario Moccia and the Stuff the Stadium campaign for the Georgia State game. There’s a lot of great things going on, so we are looking forward to a great year.”

On having a win total for the upcoming season…

“We have to take steps forward, and I don’t really look at it in terms of win totals. I felt like last year, we were capable of winning two or three more games. I don’t know what the win total for this season is, but I do know that we’re going to be talented enough to compete with anybody that we play, especially within our conference. I think how we develop as a team, character wise, is going to be huge.”

On offensive productivity…

“I really believe that how many times you score 30 points, that’s how many games you’re going to win. That’s just how it works out for any team. We scored over 30 points in three games last year and we won two. For us to get to that, the turnovers is number one and we’ve got to get the turnover numbers down. I also think we’ve got more playmakers than we’ve ever had. And defensively we’ve got to stop the run, and cause turnovers like we did last year.”

On the improvements on defense…

“We’re just bigger this year. The guys that played last year are all bigger now, and I think we can be much better, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do on that side of the ball to really get where we want to be. If we can just get to the middle of the pack in the conference defensively, that really gives us a chance to compete.”

LB Derek Ibekwe

On being one the premier players on defense…

“I have bigger responsibilities this season and I’m in a position that requires me to play at a higher level.”

On having a season of experience to adjust to the college level…

“It helped me because now I know what to expect. Coming in as a freshman, I didn’t know what to expect and going up against big opponents like LSU I think really helped me be prepared for the speed of the games and helped me to be prepared for this upcoming season.”

On stopping the run…

“I feel like we’re all more confident and our team chemistry is a lot better as well. Everyone has a job and a responsibility, and now we can just depend on each other to make plays. We’re really trying to come together as unit and get the job done.”

WR Teldrick Morgan

On improving from last year’s play…

“It’s a lot different this year than it was last year. It’s a whole other level now, because the expectations are higher for me. I feel like I’ve improved in my rout running and my blocking.”

On the season’s conference schedule…

“The Sun Belt is the Sun Belt and it’s a conference that can change within a week. I feel like it’s to come down to who works the hardest and who can come up with big plays.”

On the offensive expectations…

“Like coach Martin said, we’re really trying to shoot for 30 points a game. We know that if we can produce on offense, we’ll give our defense more rest and we’ll have a better chance to win more games.”

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