Sports Desk: Lobo Football hard at work recruiting during offseason

Local Sports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the “Sports Desk” we start with UNM Football, as they have been on the move this offseason when it comes to recruiting. Head Coach Danny Gonzales said that his staff would dive into recruiting hard right away, and he has done just that, as they have already signed a couple of guys for 2020 and have racked up 8 commitments for the class of 2021.

“We set out in April and May to reach 1,500 schools and we are on task to do that. So, I am really excited about that, and then the coaches have done a great job creating relationships, building relationships with these young men, and showing them what the future of Lobo Football holds,” said UNM Head Football Coach Danny Gonzales.

UNM signed one player on Thursday, Jake Saltonstall, and he comes in as a Junior College All-American. Saltonstall is 6″4, 250 lbs., and in his only season in junior college he recorded 52 tackles, with 18 tackles, and 9 sacks on the season. “He’s a 3 for 4 junior college kid, and those are the only junior college kids we are going to take in our program right now. We kind of treat those guys like freshman, so he has the one year of junior college experience, which is a little bit faster game speed than high school. So, he will have a better chance to step up and compete right away and help us in the immediate future,” said Gonzales. UNM now has one remaining scholarship for 2020.

UNM Track and Field also added a strong athlete to their roster for 2020, as Fiona O’Keeffe, officially announced on Friday that she will transfer to UNM from Stanford for her final year of competition. O’Keeffe joins the Lobos with a long list of accolades after spending four years at Stanford in both track and cross country. O’Keeffe is an eight-time All-American, a PAC-12 champion in cross country, a two-time MPSF champion in the indoor 3,000-meters, and holds the Stanford program record in the indoor 5,000-meters.

We finish on the track. Four years ago, KRQE Sports did a story on local race car driver Joshua Jackson and how he went from almost not being able to walk or talk, to now racing once again.

Jackson was involved in a serious accident during a race in 2015, but he has never quit pursuing his dream, as he is now back to racing and winning on the track as well. “Yeah, 30 races since the wreck happened yeah, I’ve won over 30 races. It’s been pretty good, like last season we won 10 out of 13. So we have been pretty good,’ said Joshua Jackson.

Jackson has proven to be a figure of perseverance for the racing community, and his story is now being told on the big screen, as a film crew filmed Josh and told his story in a documentary. “They said, ‘hey, you want to start with a camera following you and all of this stuff,’ and I said yeah. And I guess they were also sponsored by YETI. So, they ended up buying it from the camera crew to YETI, and that’s just where it’s at right now,” said Jackson.

YETI has picked up Josh’s documentary called “A Prayer for Joshua Jackson.” The film has not been released but YETI is doing a film tour with the film. This was a big deal to Josh, but the 22-year-old race car driver also just found out last week that the documentary has been picked up by the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, CO.

“I just can’t believe that like my whole life story has come this far. I am so proud of what happened you know, with the supporting of the people. I mean, that’s the whole idea of it and I can’t wait to see how far it’s going to be,” said Jackson.

The film festival will now be held virtually, due to the pandemic, but will be held over Memorial Day Weekend. Josh is definitely doing great, but his story isn’t over yet, as he is now eyeing his dream. “Well, my dream is to make it to NASCAR, you know most people really want to do that. I kind of have a lot to do to even try and attempt, but I went to Phoenix with NASCAR and a bunch of people said they wanted to help me. They want to get me up there or into a car and maybe we can try that,” said Jackson.

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