Does Eli Stowers want in on NMSU’s spring football starting quarterback competition?

Does Eli Stowers want in on NMSU’s spring football starting quarterback competition?

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – One of the most impactful players on the New Mexico State football team last season — a historic season where the Aggies went 10-5, played for the Conference USA championship, and qualified for the New Mexico Bowl — was Eli Stowers.

Stowers was the Aggies’ ultimate athlete in 2023 as he was capable of playing any position on offense NMSU needed him to.

Prior to the 2023 season, Stowers transferred from Texas A&M to New Mexico State, joining the team as a quarterback. At that point, Stowers had never really played any other position except quarterback throughout his football life.

But with New Mexico State already having Diego Pavia as its starting quarterback for the 2023 season, Stowers wasn’t getting much play at QB. So, Stowers made the sacrifice of giving up reps at QB and started playing wide receiver and primarily tight end for the Aggies.

It was a mid-season move that garnered him a lot of respect from then-head coach Jerry Kill and the rest of the NMSU football team.

“He is one of my pride and joys. He’s a great Christian kid, he does everything right, he’s given up some things, he’s a great person,” New Mexico State football head coach Jerry Kill said. “If I had a son, I’d want him to be like Eli Stowers. If I had this lunch bucket, he’s in my lunch bucket. I’d want him in my foxhole.”

Former NMSU football head coach Jerry Kill on Stowers moving to tight end (Quote from Oct. 2023)

In 2023, Stowers became one of Pavia’s top targets as he caught 35 passes for a total of 366 receiving yards and had two touchdown catches. He also rushed for 113 yards on 29 attempts and found the end zone twice.

Stowers is back at New Mexico State for 2024 but things look quite different for the program.

The major changes: Tony Sanchez is the team’s new head coach after Kill’s departure last December; Pavia transferred to Vanderbilt; and NMSU has a completely new-looking quarterback room with Deuce Hogan, Brandon Nunez, Parker Awad, Jeff Davison, and Paul Cieremans vying for the starting spot in 2024.

With Pavia gone, and the starting quarterback spot up for grabs, you would think Stowers would want to immediately return to the position he’s been playing most of his life and compete for the starting quarterback spot at NMSU.

At last check in NMSU’s final week of its spring football season, that is not the case.

Stowers has his sights set on playing primarily at the tight end position and continuing to play wherever NMSU needs him to.

“I think I’ve kind of made the decision to switch to that tight end role. Praise God and thank you to [former NMSU head coach] Jerry Kill and [former NMSU offensive coordinator] Tim Beck for allowing me to be able to have the opportunity to do that,” Stowers said. “Obviously, if there are some things they want me to do at quarterback or wherever, I’ll do it. I love football, I like to play but I think that’s where I feel most comfortable at, at that tight end position.”

Stowers is keen on staying at tight end and NMSU will gladly keep him there.

“He hasn’t got a rep at quarterback the entire spring camp,” NMSU head coach Tony Sanchez said. “Last year, he made such an impact on our offense playing tight end. We probably should have practiced him there more. We probably should’ve started him there a lot earlier, but I think him going through this spring ball, then going through [fall] camp and being a full-time tight end, he’ll add so much value to this team and he’ll be a special guy.”

Stowers has been putting in a lot of work this spring football season to improve every aspect of his game at the tight end position.

Stowers’ first chance to show it off will be at New Mexico State’s spring football game on Saturday at Aggie Memorial Stadium. NMSU says kickoff for the spring game is at 10:30 a.m. MT.

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