New Mexico State has won 28 football games in the past 10 years, but the struggling Aggies program actually helped one of the top offensive linemen receive interest from the top college football programs in the country.
Kendall Randolph, a four-star offensive tackle from Bob Jones High School (Madison, Ala.), told SEC Country when New Mexico State offered him a scholarship during the spring of his sophomore year, it changed his mindset.
“From that point on, I really started to focus on putting on some more weight and working out more,” Randolph said. “I just pushed myself harder than I could once they offered me.”
Now, Randolph has offers from Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss, among others. He currently claims 13 offers, but no school holds an advantage over the next. Yes, he says New Mexico State is on the same level as Alabama.
“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” he said. “In my mind, everyone is equal. Right now, I’m just trying to build better relationships with all of these schools that have expressed interest in me and have contacted me, so there’s no favorites at all.”
The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder does have strong interest in Alabama, though. The future business marketing major recently made the trek to Tuscaloosa, and there are a few things that stand out about the Crimson Tide.
“The main thing about Alabama is they are really good about developing players and getting them to the next level,” Randolph said. “The thing that stands out to me about Alabama is how they get you ready for life after football, too. It’s a great aspect of their school.
“They are really good about producing NFL offensive linemen. While that is good, my thing is I am focused on getting a really good education first and preparing for life after football.”
Out of the top 10 players in Alabama in the class of 2017 (Randolph is the No. 7 prospect in the state), all of them have strong ties to either the Crimson Tide or the Tigers, which is usually the case. Six out of the top 10 players in 2016 from the Yellowhammer state signed with either Alabama or Auburn. But in Randolph’s case, he’s open to everyone.
“I don’t really think about that,” Randolph said when asked about the elite prospects choosing to play college football in state. “Every school that has offered me and wants me has the same opportunity as (Auburn and Alabama).”
Randolph will be dropping a top five soon, but as of right now, he can’t name one school that will make the cut.
“I’m not sure who is gonna be on that list right now,” he said. “I’m just trying to figure out the schools that really want me. These schools have to be great academically and I have to feel comfortable there and have a good relationship with the coaches.”
Perhaps New Mexico State will see its name with Alabama and Auburn when that list does get released.
Randolph is rated as the nation’s No. 21 offensive tackle in the country, according to the 247Sports composite.