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UNM football: Lobos land commitment from former Campbell running back

May 13—New Mexico's running back room — perhaps the Lobos' most intriguing position group — got a little bit deeper over the weekend.

Former Campbell University running back Na'Quari Rogers committed to UNM on Sunday evening via a post on social media. The 6-foot, 205-pound junior from Virginia Beach, Virginia is set to join the Lobos with two years of eligibility after entering the transfer portal in April.

In two seasons with the Fighting Camels, Rogers rushed for 829 yards and 10 touchdowns with 25 receptions for 224 yards. He finished second on the team in rushing last season (478 yards) and tied for the team lead in rushing touchdowns (6) despite playing only eight games.

After former head coach Mike Minter resigned in December, Rogers decided to stay with Campbell, an FCS program based in Buies Creek, North Carolina, for the time being. Spring under a new staff didn't go as planned, he told the Journal, and Rogers entered the portal right after the spring window opened.

With former Campbell offensive line coach Famika Anae on staff, it didn't take long for UNM to show interest.

"(They) were the ones that really showed the most love, and they were the first ones to reach out ... just for them to kind of keep track with me, that really stuck out to me," Rogers said, adding that running backs coach Kirk Garner was his primary recruiter. "They told me what I didn't want to hear. They told me, as far as what it was gonna be like, they told me the real."

Rogers said he played running back growing up and shifted to quarterback at Portsmouth Christian (Virginia) High School — where he drew a brief recruitment from current UNM head coach Bronco Mendenhall's previous staff at Virginia. A "calm" and "patient" running back, he said he's "progressed" each season and prides himself on his versatility above all.

"Somebody that moves the chains," he said. "A utility player, you know. I want to be the most efficient player on the field. So it's like, wherever they feel that they need to use me at — I'm primarily a running back but if it's slot (receiver), kick return, (punt) return — it don't matter, I'm gonna make it happen."

Rogers is poised to compete with running backs Andrew Henry, Eli Sanders and Javen Jacobs at a position that broke spring practice without a clear leader in the clubhouse. He also represents the Lobos' fourth public commitment via the transfer portal, joining former BYU running back/quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters, former West Virginia linebacker Tirek Austin-Cave and former Texas Tech defensive back Cam Watts.

While Mendenhall has declined to disclose how many scholarships UNM has open entering the summer — "enough to make a significant difference," he's previously said — the first-year Lobos coach has noted that further additions to the roster are to be expected.

"We have specific needs, have specific filters and exact identities that we're looking for," Mendenhall said at the end of spring practice. "So, this isn't just a random take from whomever, this is a targeted approach: the specific positions, body types and skill sets that we need."