New Mexico State coach Tony Samuel was happy when he got the national letter of intent of Carl Nicks on Wednesday. He feels it's another step forward in the progression of his football team.
Nicks, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound defensive lineman out of North Salinas High School in Salinas, Calif., became the 11th high school or junior college player to sign to play for the Aggies next fall.
"Carls was someone we had our eye on from the start," said Samuel on Thursday afternoon. "He's a great athlete, he can run, he's aggressive. Now we got two defensive lineman coming that we are very high on and feel that can contribute to our program. We feel good about our class and we feel this signing helps complete what we wanted for the future."
On Wednesday, Jarod Naylor of Tulsa, Okla., signed with NMSU. Naylor stands 6-2 and 270 and last year had 121 tackles for Union High School.
Nicks was the Tri County Athletic League defensive lineman a year ago.
"Me and coach Glover (Richard, defensive line coach) saw Carl play basketball and we were even more impressed with his abilities," Samuel said.
Nicks nearly wasn't an Aggie. After committing to NMSU, other schools began to make their pitch to the defensive lineman, including Southern California and Fresno State.
"Coach Glover did a great job recruiting him and Carl comes from a great family," Samuel said. "He made a commitment and he stuck with it. But Richard was great with Carl and really sold him on the program and that made an impression. He developed a good relationship with Carl and the family."
2003 NMSU Football Recruiting Class
Nick Cleaver, S, 6-3, 195, San Diego, Calif.
Alex Gottlieb, OL, 6-4, 275, Valencia, Calif.
Dominique Jacobs, S, 5-11, 200, Phoenix, Ariz.
(St. Mary's HS/Scottsdale Community College)
Travis Johnson, CB, 5-10, 175, Harbor City,
Calif. (Norbonne HS/El Camino Junior College)
Cole Leslie, OL, 6-7, 285, Tolleson, Ariz.
(Tolleson HS/Glendale Community College)
Mike Martinez, OL, 6-4, 270, Aurora, Colo.
Spencer McIllwain, RB, 5-9, 190, Tulsa, Okla.
Jarod Naylor, DL, 6-2, 270, Tulsa, Okla.
Carl Nicks, DL, 6-4, 280, Salinas, Calif.
(North Salinas HS)
Kyle Smith, OL, 6-3, 265, Guthrie, Okla.
Steven Smith, P, 6-3, 190, Duncanville, Texas
(Duncanville HS/Trinity Valley College)