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July 23, 2014

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings 1-5

About The Tour: During the months of June, July, and August NMPreps.com's Publisher Kyle Henderson will travel the state to preview over 40 high school football programs on their home campus. Hendo's Summer Tour Home Here

Over the next few weeks we'll be releasing our summer New Mexico High School Football Rankings. The Rankings are based off incoming seniors, rising juniors and sophomores, and losses to graduation.

NMPreps.com's Top 50 Countdown
1 6A
Las Cruces Bulldawgs
Head Coach: Jim Miller
The Las Cruces Bulldawgs are 24-2 in the last two seasons and have brought home the last two Class 5A State Titles. Last year after graduating a ton of talent from the 2012 season, the Bulldawgs never skipped a beat outscoring opponents 588-163. In the playoffs the made it clear this was their year with a 56-8 win over Sandia and a 68-36 win against Valley. In the finals against Mayfield it came down to a blocked extra point to beat the Trojans 27-26 in an epic ending. So what's in store for this year? Has their talent finally ran out? The short answer is no with returning quarterback Kameron Miller back. Miller the son of Head Coach Jim Miller grew up a ton last year and is a pure game breaker when it's crunch time. Also returning is New Mexico State commit in athlete Isaiah McIntyre who we hear will be moving to running back this year. Up front they will be led by one of the best offensive linemen in the state in 302 pound Carlos Campos. Don't expect the Dawgs to be called off in 2014, this team will be very capable of pulling off the near impossible three peat.
2 6A
Mayfield Trojans
Head Coach: Michael Bradley
Mayfield Football is a Machine. Yearly, their top tier coaching staff filled with former and future head coaches transitions wide eyed freshmen into game changing impact players over a three year period to gear up the Trojans for Friday Nights. Reaching the State Title 10 times over the last 13 seasons says it all about the program. As long as a Bradley is at the helm, Mayfield is going to be at the pinnacle of New Mexico High School Football. On offense they are led by NMPreps.com Preseason Mr. Football Candidate Kavika Johnson who blew the roof off as a junior. A+ there. In the backfield they have Payson Rogers who has a massive offensive line to run behind. A+ on the offense because of their linemen. Offensive Coordinator Greg Hennington should be able to drop the hammer when needed. Click Here For A Complete Team Preview of the Mayfield Trojans
3 6A
Cleveland Storm
Head Coach: Heath Ridenour
Hands down Cleveland is the best team I've seen on my early High School Football Tour. Maybe it's a numbers game, maybe it's the quality of the program, likely a combination, but whatever it is Cleveland has something special going on. They have a ton of offensive and defensive linemen, tons of depth as well, which will help protect some rising junior offensive skill position players. Taking over at quarterback is Gabe Ortega who is one of the best overall play-makers from the Class of 2016. Their offense will likely be 50/50 pass and run and they have weapons to score quickly and the size to run out the clock when needed. On defense they lose guys like Desmond Branch and Sterling Napier, but they don't drop off as much talent wise as you would think. With Henry Hattis, Demetry Rodriguez, and Matthew Cook all taking over starting roles, it's hard to believe that they lose many battles inside the trenches. Complete Cleveland Storm Football Preview Here
4 6A
Atrisco Heritage Jaguars
Head Coach: Patrick Johnson
Last year Atrisco Heritage was pretty good, not a top 10 team in my opinion and it showed in the playoffs against Sandia. That's in the past, year their under Coach Patrick Johnson will be impressive. This year, Atrisco Heritage has re-vamped their schedule adding some big dogs to the line up throughout. I've been around the State quite a bit this summer and no one has the team speed that Atrisco Heritage has, no one. They are going to line up with three running backs and a dual threat quarterback and run the option to perfection. It's literally three backs on top of each other with some counter mis-direction and option. They nearly scored 40 points per game last year and they return 9 starters. Their defense needs to be highlighted a bit more, James Romero at the defensive end position is going to be a tough match up for any two linemen you place on him. Linebacker Andre Sanchez is a hard nose back with a great nose for the football. Complete Atrisco Heritage Jaguar Preview Here
5 6A
Rio Rancho Rams
Head Coach: David Howes
Despite their losses on graduation, I think Rio Rancho will be a step up from last year. Their offense is always going to be there, but if they can step it up on defense, I mean become a A+ defense Rio Rancho is going to win a ton of games and make a real run at it. Their schedule is loaded with Valley, EP Americas, La Cueva, Las Cruces, Clovis, and Atrisco Heritage all in consecutive weeks. Though they likely won't go undefeated they should be battle tested for their loaded district schedule. This was my first time this year watching quarterback Easton Burere and he is the second best pocket style quarterback behind Gentry in the State of New Mexico. He throws a wonderful ball, quick release, and A+ throwing motion. Last year Rio Rancho was hit an ACL tear plague, this year if they can keep guys like Miguel Barreras, Luis Torries, and Ikaika Watters healthy they'll be as good as anyone in the District. Click Here For A Complete Team Preview of the Rio Rancho Rams Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings: 6-10 Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings 11-14 Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings 15-19 Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings: 20-24 Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings 25-36 Here

Top 50 Countdown: Rankings 37-50 Here

Kyle Henderson is the New Mexico recruiting director for NMPreps.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.



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