On Tuesday June 23rd I had the amazing opportunity to interview current University of New Mexico walk on safety Montez Wright who also happens to run track for the school. Montez transferred to UNM after playing at D3 school Aurora University where he mostly returned on special teams having 10 returns for 216 yards. UNM is coming off a 3-9 season and is hoping to improve upon that in Coach Gonzales 3rd season. Below is the transcript of said interview.
Joseph Settle- “You started your football and track career at Aurora University. How did they help you prepare for D1 sports?”
Montez Wright- “Aurora didn’t really prepare me for D1 and I’m not saying that to be rude, I’m just saying that because I didn’t know I was going to transfer until Covid happened and I was at home.”
JS- “You’re a graduate from Clovis High School here in New Mexico. Whats it like playing in and running track in the same state you graduated from?”
MW- “It’s nice trying to make a name for yourself. Some coaches already knew who I was so that helped, but im just trying to show other people that New Mexico has talent.”
JS- “Coach Gonzales has made it a goal to recruit New Mexico kids. You know first hand how under recruited New Mexico kids are. How exciting is it to finally see the kids get what they deserve?”
MW- “I like that he is giving New Mexico kids a chance. There is a lot of talent here but no one wants to take the shot just because they don’t hear about New Mexico a lot, so I’m coach is showing a lot of interest in local kids.”
JS- “The Lobos go on the road to Las Cruces this year. UNM won this game last year, is there any pressure in trying to repeat?”
MW- “No. We know we are the better team, and better athletes. We train hard everyday, we know what it takes and what it’s going to take.”
JS- “You walked on to the UNM football team. Can you tell me little bit about that process?”
MW- “They treat you like you are already one of them. You get the exact treatment, the gear, all the things. You just have to show you really want it, and be one of them the whole spring practice, and after spring ball you find out the results.”
JS- “What’s your expectations this season for both the track and football team?”
MW- ” Football just be the best teammate/brother I can be. Help out where I can, and also be coachable, always trying to get better everyday. Track I got to step it up, I had a good season last year and went downhill. I switched my event to a multi and I want to be one of the best to do it.”
JS- “Is there anything you want to end with?”
MW- “Mountain West Championship. We have 4, and are trying to win 5.”
Those are high goals for UNM, to win the Mountain West. They went 1-7 in Mountain West play last season only beating Wyoming. Their only other wins were versus NMSU, and Houston Baptist. They open the season versus Maine in Albuquerque before Boise State comes into town. Putting my Aggie bias aside I see them winning 4-5 games beating Maine, UNLV, Wyoming, maybe NMSU (depends how Coach Kill has the boys. But they should win) and maybe beating Colorado State. Athlonsports.com has the projected to finish last in their division but says they should be a tougher opponent this season. I agree with those predictions.