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Jacory Croskey-Merritt, Lobos leading rusher, enters transfer portal

Jan. 25—New Mexico running back Jacory Croskey-Merritt has entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer, a program spokesperson confirmed to the Journal Thursday.

Croskey-Merritt did not immediately respond when reached by the Journal for comment. He has one year of eligibility remaining after the completion of his degree this spring.

"Thank you New Mexico," he wrote in a post announcing his decision on X. "This place will always have a TRULY special place in my heart and I'm thankful for every single moment here ... Respect my decision and know I will continue to be great."

After transferring to UNM from Alabama State last summer, Croskey-Merritt turned heads as he rushed for 1,190 yards and 17 touchdowns — the seventh-most productive season from a running back in program history. The Montgomery, Ala., native notably rushed for 200-plus yards in the Lobos' final two games of the season, earning second team All-Mountain West honors in light of his efforts.

In the wake of former head coach Danny Gonzales' dismissal, Croskey- Merritt told the Journal in December that he preferred to see who UNM hired as his replacement before making a "fast decision" in entering the portal.

"A good caring guy, a winning guy," Croskey-Merritt said when asked about preferred qualities in the Lobos' next head coach. "A guy who's been around here, knows the program."

Croskey-Merritt — the 22nd player to enter the portal from UNM's 2023 roster — departs a running back room featuring Andrew Henry, Javen Jacobs, Eli Sanders, Dorian Lewis, Jaylen Morgan and Ray Iwai. Henry (350 yards, three touchdowns with the Lobos last season) is set up to compete for the lead back role with Iowa State transfer Sanders and Arizona State transfer Jacobs.

UNM started offseason workouts last Monday and have not yet announced a starting date for spring practice.

Croskey-Merritt wasn't the only Lobo to announce they were transferring Thursday. Via a post on X, cornerback Hunter Sellers said he was entering his name in the portal after spending the last two seasons with UNM. A Pittsburgh transfer, Sellers tallied nine solo tackles over eight games last season.