Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Mike Locksley hasn't enjoyed many successes during his troubled two-year tenure at New Mexico. So it has to sting that one of the biggest of those precious few has come undone.
That ex-success is sophomore defensive tackle Calvin Smith, who Locksley recently announced had asked for (and been granted) his release from the Lobo program. Smith leaves with 13 tackles and one sack recorded in his only season in Albuquerque. He is expected to transfer somewhere closer to his Miami-area home.
This would be an easily-ignored, minor story if not for the unusual circumstances regarding Smith's arrival at New Mexico in the first place. A four-star recruit with offers from across the country and legitimate interest from multiple SEC programs, Smith was widely expected to sign with Tennessee when he appeared on national television (alongside high school teammate and current Auburn defensive end Corey Lemonier) on National Signing Day 2010. Instead, Smith provided a shocker by donning a Lobos hat and announcing he was headed west to play for Locksley.
It was a stunning glimmer of hope for a program coming off a winless season with an already-unpopular coach. But as with seemingly everything at New Mexico under Locksley, that glimmer proved all to be nearly all Smith's abbreviated Lobo career would amount to.