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5 NMSU Aggies land on Phil Steele’s preseason All-Independent Team

Las Cruces, New Mexico - The preseason accolades for the New Mexico State Aggies keep rolling in.

Five NM State football student-athletes were named to Phil Steele's 2020 Preseason All-Independent Team, headlined by redshirt junior long snapper Austin Reeves' first-team selection.

Redshirt junior running back O'Maury Samuels, redshirt senior offensive lineman Sage Doxtater, senior linebacker Rashie Hodge Jr. and redshirt sophomore linebacker Devin Richardson, meanwhile, all earned second-team recognition.

Reeves, a native of Huntersville, N.C., transferred to NM State from Virginia Tech and made his Aggie debut last season.

He played in all 12 games as the starting long snapper for punts and placement kicks during the 2019 campaign.

Samuels, the Michigan transfer who has garnered much preseason hype, spent the two first seasons of his collegiate career in Ann Arbor, where he played in 16 games over two years.

The Los Lunas, N.M., native rushed for 66 yards on 13 attempts (5.1 avg.), including a career-long 18-yard scamper against SMU, when he last saw action as a sophomore in 2018. 

Lindy's Sports previously tabbed Samuels as the Aggies' top newcomer entering the 2020 campaign.

Doxtater is fully recovered and ready to go after battling a nagging injury one year ago.

The Welland, Ontario, Canada, native played in only four games with three starts after missing the first half of last season due to the injury.

The Canadian Football League's top offensive line draft prospect, Doxtater made an immediate impact in his first start of last year. NM State generated a season-best 611 total yards of offense in the win over UIW, rushing for 295 yards and throwing for 316 yards behind his blocking.

Hodge Jr. is the Aggies' top returning tackler entering the 2020 campaign. The Phoenix, Ariz., native recorded 90 total tackles, including a team-leading 10.0 tackles for loss, one year ago.

The junior-college product also forced and recovered two fumbles, broke up two passes and snagged an interception during his first season in Las Cruces.

Richardson made program history last year, becoming the first Aggie in school history to claim All-America honors as a freshman.

 He finished tied for third on the team in total tackles (69) in 10 games, and his 2.0 sacks were tied for second most on the team.

The Klein, Texas, native also led the Aggies in forced fumbles with three.

He was the only freshman linebacker in the country to force three fumbles last year.

New Mexico Sports / Sports

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.

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