ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The early Signing Period for college football began on Wednesday. Top recruits around the country were able to sign their letters of intent (NIL), with many having connections to New Mexico.

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Starting off with a local signing, Rio Rancho running back, Zach Vigil will be staying in New Mexico and joining the Lobos. The Gatorade New Mexico Football Player of the year and Football Friday Night Player of the Year will come to a UNM team fresh off of a season in which he ran for 1,553 yards and 26 touchdowns. Vigil is the third straight New Mexico player of the year to join the Lobos. The running back will be accompanied at UNM by fellow Ram and one of his lead blockers, Cayden Romero. The offensive lineman is one of six to sign his NIL with the Lobos this week.

La Cueva High School linebacker, Hunter Haemker will be playing collegiately in Albuquerque as he signed his NIL with UNM. The linebacker had an impressive senior season for the Bears, racking up 78 total tackles, six sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and an interception. “Rocky Long, I’m really excited to play for him,” says Haemker. “I’m going to work as hard as I can, do my very best to play on their defense. I’m a physical player, so the defense fits me pretty well. They like to blitz a lot and I love blitzing, so it should be fun.”

Another local player has committed to the Lobos as a transfer. Former Los Lunas High School defensive star, Tyler Kiehne announced on Twitter Tuesday night that he will be joining Danny Gonzales’ squad after spending his freshman year with UCLA. Kiehne did not appear for the Bruins in 2021 and took a redshirt year.

In total, the Lobos added 24 players on NLI day — 12 on offense and 12 on defense.

New Mexico State has yet to sign a player from the Land of Enchantment, however, the Aggies still had an active NIL day on Wednesday. This is the first group of commits for new head coach, Jerry Kill, and the list includes eight offensive players and six on defense.

The Football Friday Night Class 3-A player of the year has signed in the Mountain West. Jal offensive lineman, Roger Carreon, verbally committed to Boise State over the summer but made it official on Wednesday.

College programs will continue to announce signings until the end of the week. This is only the first signing period, with the next coming on February 2, 2022.