ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – During his first three seasons with the University of New Mexico Lobos, Isaiah Chavez has experienced the highs and lows of college football. He became the first freshman walk-on to start a game as quarterback for UNM. Chavez also led UNM to back-to-back victories to close out their season.
However, he has struggled to get on the field since. Now, as he heads into his redshirt junior season, in an effort to simply take the field, he is working as long snapper and trying to play in every aspect of special teams.
“I will be one of the first quarterbacks in a while to be on special teams, but I don’t like being on the sideline,” said Chavez. “That frustrates me, so I asked Coach Gonzales and Coach Christian, the Special Teams Coordinator, to put me on special teams this year. It doesn’t matter what it is and hopefully I get some spin at that too.”
Regardless of where Chavez plays, or how often, he still has the reputation of one of the most genuine players on the team. His teammates have taken notice of his determination and ability to lead.
“Isaiah’s leadership skills are one of the best I have ever seen. That’s what makes him stand out from others,” said former Rio Rancho and current UNM teammate Zach Vigil. “He gets guys going and whenever he says something everybody listens.”
“I don’t really want to call myself a team leader. I want to have people call me brother. But as far as being on the field, you have to be a leader,” Chavez said. “You can’t really hang your hat on the last play. You cant hang your hat on the next play. You have to be where your feet are and keep going.”