LOS LUNAS — The Los Lunas football program has produced another player who will go on to the next level.
Offensive lineman Christian Griego has signed to play college football for the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds, a division two program.
Griego made his commitment official on Feb. 4, the first day of the regular signing period for football, before celebrating with a ceremony at the Los Lunas High School football field on Tuesday, Feb. 9.
Griego, who stands 6-foot, 4-inches tall, and weighing in at 300 pounds, is the second member of the LLHS Class of 2021 to sign to play in college, joining Tyler Kiehne, who will play at UCLA.
“We are fired up about Christian becoming a Greyhound,” wrote ENMU head coach Kelley Lee in a press release. “Christian is big and skilled and can move for a guy his size.
“He is also a very high IQ football player and we think it won’t take him very long to adjust to our scheme.
“We look forward to Christian being on the field early and often for the green and silver, and helping to continue our tradition of being one of the best rushing offenses in the nation.”
Griego earned All-State, All-Metro and All-District honors on the offensive line during his junior season in 2019 as he helped the Tigers to a second straight state title game.
Griego also considered attending the University of New Mexico but said the coaches there never reached out to him, making the choice of Eastern, who initially offered him during his sophomore season, easy.
“I got a verbal offer from them my sophomore year,” Griego said. “They stayed in touch with me the whole way.
“I like their stadium, the coaches, the organization,” he said. “That’s what made me decide.”
Another factor that drew Griego to play for the Greyhounds is their offensive scheme.
Unlike the Tigers, the Greyhounds have a very run-heavy offense, which means Griego will be using some different techniques on the line more often, and those things are the focus of the next few months for him before he gets onto campus.
“The big things are to get stronger and to get faster feet,” Griego said. “I need to be able to pull and get the first step in before the defense.”
It won’t be long before Griego is able to contribute to the Greyhounds.
He said the coaches have told him they expect he’ll be able to play a part in the offense as soon as he steps on campus next fall. Griego might not be a starter, but he will be able to contribute, which is a show of confidence he appreciates.
“It means a lot. They’re a great program down there and it means a lot they think I’ll be able to come right in and contribute,” Griego said.
A common refrain across the state has long been that student-athletes from New Mexico are overlooked when it comes to playing college athletics, particularly in football.
Griego is glad he has earned his opportunity to help buck that trend as part of a program that has consistently shown the ability to produce college-level players.
“It’s exciting. Not a lot of kids from New Mexico are able to show they can do it at the next level, so I’m excited to be one of those kids,” Griego said.
As one of five LLHS football players who have gone on to play college football in the last two years, including three division one players, Griego said he feels like that is a testament to the program head coach Jeremy Maupin has built.
“Coach Maupin has done a great job over here, getting us ready for life as well as getting us ready for football at the next level,” he said.