He hasn't taken his first game snap yet as the Aggies' starting quarterback, but Chase Holbrook already has earned the confidence of his teammates.
Holbrook, a sophomore transfer from Southeastern Louisiana, and senior outside linebacker Nathan Nuttall have been voted team captains by their New Mexico State football teammates.
"I didn't really expect it, but I like that it shows they believe in me," said the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Holbrook. "I think it makes it easier to be more vocal, now. It shows me that they want me to be a leader."
Nuttall, who was standout prep star for Clovis' 2001 Class 5A state championship team, is a converted safety who has proven this offseason to be every bit the leader off the field as he is on it. He was recently named by NMSU strength and conditioning coach Matt Walter as the team's lifter of the year.
"I'm really excited by (being voted captain) and humbled by it," said Nuttall, who is expecting with his wife the birth of their son Dayten in November. "... I think it has to do with my work ethic and I'm a pretty positive guy. I think players tend to perform better when they're around positive players and that's the was I try to be."
Both Holbrook and Nuttall said they will be more vocal with their teammates in the future, while trying to continue doing whatever it was as players and teammates that earned their teammate's respect in the first place.
"I'll try and set an example out there," Nuttall said, "but that's the way I always play. I just try and do things the right way, every time."
Also voted as co-captains for the team were senior cornerback Courtney Bryan and senior defensive tackle Jeremy Weeks.
The team voted on the captain and co-captain positions by secret ballot while at an eight-day training camp in Gallup last week.
Head coach Hal Mumme said the Aggies' camp in Gallup last week was far more successful than a year ago.
"Guys just didn't complain as much as last year," Mumme said. "We got a lot done and some guys did a good job of establishing themselves for the season."
One such player is true freshman Alex Gibson who has been named the team's second-string quarterback behind Holbrook. Gibson (6-5, 240), is from Holland Hall Prep in Tulsa, Okla., and won the job over another true freshman, Matt Parsons (6-6, 200) from Fort Union Military Academy in Orlando, Fla.
Mumme said he will now try to redshirt Parsons and a third freshman, Baer Phillipbar, from Rio Rancho.
"For the most part, I think Alex is doing a real good job picking up the offense," Holbrook said. ".. But our offense is all about repetitions in practice. It's not all that hard to learn, but it takes practice to get right."
The Aggies are down to their final six practices of the offseason before their Aug. 31 opener against Southeastern Louisiana. That game begins at 7 p.m. in Aggie Memorial Stadium.