Three-star offensive tackle Arturo "A.J." Rodriguez (6-5, 300, 5.3) from Las Vegas, Nev., made his college choice shortly before Christmas. Rodriguez had offers from San Diego State, Utah, Colorado State, New Mexico, UNLV, Nevada, Oregon, and Oregon State.
"I committed to New Mexico on Dec. 22," Rodriguez said. "They have a great program for me, showed the most interest and I am excited to be a part of their program. I don't plan on taking any other visits."
Rodriguez went into the 2004 season rated by Rivals.com as the Silver State of Nevada's second rated prospect as any position and he did not disappoint.
In an earlier interview with Rivals.com Las Vegas coach Chris Faircloth said had this to say about his top-flight offensive lineman, "What separates A.J. from the rest is he has a real mean streak. He plays offense with a defensive linemen's mentality."
"A.J. is a great finisher of blocks," Faircloth said. "He is relentless in finding another opponent once he knocks his first man is down."
"A.J. is a monster on the line and can't keep him out of the weight room," Las Vegas offensive line coach Art Plunkett said. "He could be the best lineman we have had in my eight years as an assistant coach here."
High praise indeed, the reason Plunkett's statement is so powerful is that his own son Richie Plunkett was an all-state and all-region offensive tackle a year ago for Las Vegas high. Plunkett's son signed with the Colorado Rams last February.
Plunkett should know about offensive linemen he played in a super bowl with the New England Patriots. He also played for the Los Angeles Rams and the St. Louis Cardinals after standing out for UNLV.