football

Three-star quarterback picks New Mexico

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Dustin Walton likes the New Mexico coaching staff, thinks the program is headed in the right direction and is a December graduate so he wanted to figure out his recruitment early in the fall.
The Raton, N.M., pro-style quarterback decided New Mexico was the spot for him so the 6-foot-4, 223-pound three-star prospect committed to the Lobos and is excited about the future - and getting to campus for spring practice.
"I took a couple visits down to UNM and I was really impressed with everything," Walton said. "I really like the coaching staff. Out of the three offers I had I felt they were going in the right direction more than the other two.
"Coach (Mike) Locksley is a great coach and an even better recruiter. The coaching staff he has around him really impressed me. He has a lot of good guys at UNM. It just fit. It seemed like the right time."
Colorado State and New Mexico State had also offered Walton, who has completed about 60 percent of his passes through five games this season and has thrown for 1,569 yards with 18 touchdowns and one interception.
Others were showing interest but had not offered and Walton wanted to wrap up recruiting so he decided to commit.
"Me and Arizona State were talking for a long time and they just never really did anything," Walton said. "I was tired of waiting around. I graduate in December and I had to make a choice and it felt like UNM was the best fit for me."
Walton, who threw for 3,381 yards with 39 touchdowns and nine picks in his junior season, is rated as the sixth-best recruit in the Mountain States preseason top 8 by Rivals.com. He's the only quarterback on that list.
Getting to New Mexico for the spring will be crucial for Walton, who said getting used to the speed of college football will be important. Since New Mexico is still rebuilding, there's a chance Walton could be in the mix for early playing time.
"Getting there in the spring and starting to learn the offense and getting reps in the offense and getting used to the speed of the game will be important," Walton said.
"From high school to Division I will be a big leap so that was one of the big reasons I wanted to graduate early. I just wanted a head start on the rest of my class coming in August."
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