NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – In his third season as lead man of the Lobos, Danny Gonzales signed 24 players to his 2022 squad on Wednesday. Four of those players are from New Mexico, but possibly the biggest name is former Los Lunas Tiger, Tyler Kiehne, a UCLA transfer.
“Tyler Kiehne is looking really forward to September of 2025 and he brings that attitude,” said Gonzales. “He obviously brings some size. He’s a good athlete. He’s a New Mexico kid. The thing I warned him about coming home is everybody knows who you are so they’re going to celebrate you but guess what. You better stay on the straight and narrow because they’re going to know who you are.”
Joining Kiehne is a pair of Rio Rancho Rams, Zach Vigil and Cayden Romero. Vigil is excited about having his high school teammate block for him at the next level. “He’s a major reason I can make these big runs,” says Vigil. “I mostly run behind him. The holes are very easy to run behind him. You can drive a freight train through that hole. So, I’m just glad I get to run behind him for the next couple of years now.”
Rounding out the list of local players joining the Lobos is La Cueva linebacker Hunter Haemker. The Lobos have eight more scholarships to give out in January.
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Meanwhile, UTEP arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday ahead of this week’s PUBG MOBILE New Mexico Bowl. The Miners are led by former Hobbs quarterback Gavin Henderson, and his goals are set on bringing UTEP its first bowl trophy in almost 60 years. “It’s a cool experience to come back here in my home state and come back here to compete in a bowl game with my team and just bring a bowl win back to El Paso is a big thing for us and obviously like you said it hasn’t happened in a long time,” says Henderson. “So, that’s a big goal for us to accomplish this year.”
The 16th annual New Mexico Bowl kicks off on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.
In other news, the Lobo women’s basketball team looks to defend an undefeated record at home against UTEP on Sunday. The team is coming off a road loss to nationally-ranked Arizona, which was a breakout game for freshman Paula Reus. The Spain native scored a team and career-high 15 points on 7-8 shooting. “You know, she’s playing with a lot more confidence,” said coach Bradbury. “She was really good again today in practice. She’ll just keep getting better and better the more confident she gets.”
Tipoff against the Miners is Sunday at 6 p.m.