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Latinos in College Football

David Perales, Zach Calzada lead Latinos in College Football

David Perales saves the day for Fresno State

The numbers weren’t as eye-popping as we’ve grown accustomed to in recent weeks for Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Corral or any of the Latinos in college football. But coach Mario Cristobal’s Oregon Ducks got back on track while Baylor coach Dave Aranda had the weekend off ahead of the Bears’ showdown with Texas.

Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada led the Aggies to one of the most dominant performances in college football on Saturday night against South Carolina.

At Our Esquina, where we amplify Latino voices in sports, arts and culture, we’re tracking the more than 100 Latinos playing or coaching college football.

This is our weekly update on Latinos in college football. We want to highlight their achievements and tell their stories during the season.

Latino Offensive Player of the Week, Zach Calzada

Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada, a Cuban American, has the No. 14 ranked Aggies playing their best football of the years. Since upsetting then No. 1 Alabama, the Aggies have routed their last two opponents.

Before a packed house at Kyle Field, Calzada connected on 12 of his 24 passing attempts for 187 yards and two touchdowns and one interception. Calzada played only three quarters before enjoying most of the fourth quarter on the bench while the backups played.

The Aggies will have next week off before facing Auburn.

Latino Defensive Player of the Week, David Perales

This week’s Latino Defensive Player of the Week is Fresno State defensive end David Perales.

In a 34-32 win over the visiting Nevada Wolfpack, the senior from Merced had four tackles and two sacks. He had a strip sack of Nevada quarterback Carson Strong with 1:53 remaining in the Mountain West matchup. 

Latino Special Teams Player of the Week, Matt Araiza.

San Diego State specialist Matt Araiza performs double duty as the Aztecs’ punter and kicker. On Saturday in the Aztecs’ triumph over the Air Force Falcons, Araiza was perfect with two field goals, including a 51-yarder, and two PAT’s. 

Araiza’s most memorable contribution has gone viral. He boomed an 81-yard punt to pin the Falcons deep in their own territory. He averaged 54.8 yards per punt Saturday. 

Other items of note:

It was a challenging week for offense for the other Latinos in college football, but we were impressed with New Mexico quarterback Isaiah Chavez.

In a 14-3 road victory over a stingy Wyoming Cowboys defense, the sophomore Chavez threw for 112 yards and a touchdown on 10 completed passes in 11 attempts. Chavez also ran for 49 yards on 16 carries.  Chavez made his college debut in 2020. The native of New Mexico led the Lobos to a victory over the same Cowboys. 

The former Gatorade State Player of the Year walked on to the Lobos in 2020 and earned Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week recognition last season for his performance against the Fresno State Bulldogs.  

Fresno State kicker Cesar Silva, a “super senior,” hit both field goals, including a long of 47 yards, and all four extra point attempts in a two-point victory over the Nevada Wolfpack.

We wish the best of health to San Jose State offensive lineman Jaime Navarro. He was out of the game and in a sling early in the Spartans’ Thursday night comeback 27-20 win over Marcus Arroyo’s UNLV Rebels. 

Rice University – with Latinos defensive lineman Cole Garcia, Elijah Garcia, linebacker Antonio Montero and tight ends coach Jim Jackson – defeated the University of Alabama- Birmingham 30-24.

The Owls were UAB’s homecoming opponent and 23 point underdogs. The key to the Owls victory was the play of redshirt sophomore quarterback Wiley Green and the Owls’ ball control offense that held the ball for 38 minutes. 

Please let us know of any player we may have omitted from this list of Latinos in college football. 

Aguilar, LuisNAUK0/0- FG 0/0- PATL, 44-0Sacramento State
Alcoser, Joe Houston DFOW, 31-24East Carolina 
Alonso, MandyVirginia DL4 tacklesW, 48-40Georgia Tech 
Araiza, Matt San Diego St.P/KFG- 2/2PAT- 2/25 punts-54.8/avg. .W, 20-14Air Force 
Aranda, Dave Baylor Head Coach BYE
Arias, Daniel Colorado WR 1 rec., 8 yds. L, 26-3California 
Arroyo, ElijahMiami (FL)TE1 rec., 29 yds. W, 31-30NC State
Arroyo, MarcusUNLVHead Coach L, 27-20San Jose State 
Avalos, AndyBoise StateHead CoachBYE
Aybar, WilfredoStanfordLBBYE
Banda, Ephraim Utah StateDef. Coord/SafetiesW, 26-24Colorado State
Barr-Mira, NicholasUCLAKFG- 1/2PAT– 4/4L, 34-31Oregon 
Borregales, AndrésMiami (FL)KFG- 1/1PAT- 4/4W, 31-30NC State
Calzada, ZachTexas A&MQB12/24, 187 yds,2 TD, 1 INTW, 44-14South Carolina 
Camarena, Evan Portland StateCBBYE
Canales, Mike “Chico”Maryland Analyst W, 34-16Minnesota 
Cardenas, OscarUTSATENO STATSL, 45-16Louisiana Tech
Cavazos, LejondOhio State CBNO STATSW, 54-7Indiana 
Chavez, Isaiah New Mexico QB10/11, 112 yds., 1 TD
16 rushes, 49 yds. 
W, 14-3Wyoming 
Coley, JamesTexas A&MTE CoachW, 44-14South Carolina 
Corral, MattOle Miss QB18/23, 185 yds., 1 TD
12 rushes, 24 yds, 1 TD
1 rec., 19 yds.
W, 31-17LSU
Corrales, Beau North CarolinaWRBYE
Cristobal, Mario Oregon Head CoachW, 34-31UCLA
Cropper, Jalen Fresno St. WR1 rush, 1 yard7 rec., 34 yds. W, 34-32Nevada
Cruz, Gunner Arizona  QBNO STATSL, 21-16Washington
Davila, PeterAlbany DB Coach L, 19-16Maine 
Diaz, MannyMiami (FL)Head Coach W, 31-30NC State
Echevarria, Jesus Washington St. DLNO STATSL, 21-19BYU
Escobar, Alex NM StateRB3 rushes, 14 yds. L, 48-34Hawaii
Escobar, Ivan NM StateDLNO STATSL, 48-34Hawaii 
Fernandez, Aaron Southern UtahRGC/OLL, 17-9Northern Colorado
Figueroa, Nick USCDL2 tacklesL, 31-16Notre Dame 
Flores, JoahNew Mexico WRNO STATSW, 14-3Wyoming
Flores, Justin Maine WR coach W, 19-16Albany 
Fuente, Justin Virginia Tech Head Coach L, 41-36Syracuse 
Flores, ReynaldoUTEPRBBYE
Garcia, Albert Fresno St. DPPW, 34-32Nevada
Garcia, Cole Rice DL2 tackles, 1 TFL,  1 PDW, 30-24UAB
Garcia, Elijah Rice DLNO STATSW, 30-24UAB
Garcia, Jake Miami (FL)QBBYEW, 31-30 NC State
Garcia, JulioUNLVOLTotal Offense- 335 yardsL, 27-20San Jose St.
Garcia, Xavier Temple Def. GAL, 34-14South Florida 
Garcia- Castaneda, Isaiah NM StateWR6 rec., 82 yds. L, 48-34Hawaii 
Gonzalez, Billy FloridaWR/ Passing Game Coord. BYE
Gonzales, Christian ColoradoCB4 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 Pass DefendedL, 26-3California 
Gonzales, Danny New Mexico Head CoachW, 14-3Wyoming 
Gonzales, PaulTCUSafeties Coach L, 29-17West Virginia 
Gutierrez, Daniel UNLVKFG- 2/3PAT- 2/2L, 27-20San Jose State
Hernandez, DanEastern Illinois OL CoachL, 28-0Tennessee State
Hernandez, Zach Cal Poly DB1 tackleW, 24-13UC Davis 
Infante, Gabe TempleRB CoachL, 34-14South Florida
Jackson, Jim Rice TE Coach W, 30-24UAB
Longoria, EsaiMontana TechOLTotal Offense – 398 yds.W, 34-14Southern Oregon
Loya, Logan UCLAWRNO STATSL, 34-31Oregon 
Lozano, AlexPortland StateLBBYE
Madrigal, Anthony San Jose St.LBNO STATSW, 27-20UNLV
Magana, Jorge Montana TechLBNO STATSW, 34-14Southern Oregon
Maldonado, DinoNM StateQBNO STATSL, 48-34Hawaii
Maldonado, Gunner Arizona SafetyNO STATSL, 21-16Washington
Martinez, Adrian Nebraska QBBYE
Martinez, Cameron Ohio State SAF1 tackleW, 54-7Indiana 
Martinez, RJNAUQB19-32, 136 yds., 1 INTL, 44-0Sacramento State 
Martinez, MarcTarleton St. LB coachW, 17-14Midwest 
Martinez, Willie TennesseeCB coach L, 52-24Alabama 
Mateos, Eric Baylor OLBYE
Matthews, JesseSan Diego State WR4 rec., 18 yds. W,, 20-14Air Force
Mejia, Christian Washington St. DL3 tackles L, 21-19BYU
Melo, Lucas Davenport University Run Game Coordinator/Defensive LineW, 21-14Northwood
Mendez, Julian Ottawa University Offensive Coordinator W, 28-14Friends University
Mirabal, AlexOregon OL Coach W, 34-31UCLA
Montano, Abraham Fresno StateKNO STATSW, 34-32Nevada
Montero, AntonioRiceLB3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fum. recoveryW, 30-24UAB
Morales, Kamari North Carolina TEBYE
Navarro, Jaime San Jose St. OLTotal Offense- 429 ydsW, 27-20UNLV
Navarro, Juan NCCU DL CoachW, 28-17Morgan State
Navarro, Donny Illinois WR2 rec., 12 yds.W, 20-18Penn State
Nunez, JayEastern MichiganSp. TeamsAssoc. HCW, 55-24Bowling Green
Olave, Chris Ohio StateWR2 rec., 24 yds., 1 TDW, 54-7Indiana 
Ornelas, JesseCentral Oklahoma RB CoachL, 29-17Washburn
Ortega, Josh UTEPDEBYE
Ortega- Jones, Julian Texas St. WR NO STATSL, 28-16Georgia State
Ortiz, AngelOttawa Univ. (AZ)WR CoachL, 44-41Langston University
Pacheco, IsaihRutgersRBBYE
Padilla, DavidCharleston Southern Ass’t AD for FootballL, 45-22North Alabama
Pagan, Justice Portland StateLBBYE
Perales, David Fresno StateDL4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFLW, 34-32Nevada
Ponce, Frank Appalachian State Offensive Coordinator W, 30-27Coastal Carolina 
Ramirez, JoséEastern MichiganDEW, 55-24Bowling Green
Ramirez, Manny Texas SouthernOL Coach W, 44-27Alcorn State
Regalado, MarcoWashington StateDirector of On-Campus RecruitingL, 21-19BYU
Restrepo, XavierMiami (FL)WRNO STATSBYE
Reveles, MiguelLa VerneOffensive CoordinatorW, 50-6Whittier
Rivas, Eddie Texas StateOLTotal Offense- 378 yds. L, 28-16Georgia State 
Rivas- Sandoval, CesarSoutheastern University Head CoachW, 34-6Warner University 
Rodriguez, Anthony Portland StateTEBYE
Rodriguez, Chris Kentucky RBBYE
Rodriguez, DrewTowson St. QB coachL, 40-14William & Mary
Rodriguez, JacobVirginia RBNO STATSW, 48-40Georgia Tech
Rodriguez, JoelFIUOL coach L, 34-19Western Kentucky 
Rodriguez, Juan Fresno State TENO STATSW, 34-32Nevada
Rodriguez, Justin UTSARBNO STATSL, 45-16Louisiana Tech
Rodriguez, MalcolmOklahoma St.LB13 tackles, .5 TFLW, 21-14Iowa State 
Rodriguez, OscarAkronAssoc. HC/ ILBW, 45-10Buffalo
Rodriguez, Robert Arizona St.DL coachBYE
Rojas, Manny Delaware Def. CoordinatorL, 22-10James Madison 
Rubio, Cruz Cal Poly LSL, 24-13UC Davis 
Salazar, Martin Portland StateDLBYE
Sanchez, AngelMontana TechCB4 tackles, 1 TFLW, 34-14Southern Oregon
Santa Cruz, Victor Hawaii Defensive Ends coachW, 48-34NM State
Santana, Bryce New MexicoDENO STATSW, 14-3Wyoming
Santana, JuanCarlos Tulsa WRBYE
Segura, Justin NM StateDLNO STATSL, 48-34Hawaii
Silva, Cesar Fresno StateKFG- 2/2PAT- 4/4W, 34-32Nevada
Small, SethTexas A&M KFG– 3/4PAT- 5/5W, 44-14South Carolina 
Sori-Marin, MarianoMinnesota LB8 tackles, 0.5 TFLW, 34-16Maryland 
Soto, AnthonyLenoir-Rhyne Offensive Coordinator/ /OLW, 45-3 Limestone 
Steele, Chris USCCB2 tackles, 1 PFL, 1 Pass DefendedL, 31-16Notre Dame 
Stone, Jr., Ron Washington StateLB6 tacklesL, 21-19BYU
Umana, Orlando Ole MissOLTotal Offense- 470 yds. W, 31-17LSU
Velazquez, AlonzoWyoming OLTotal offense- 255 yds. L, 14-3New Mexico
Ybarra, AustinMontana TechLBW, 34-14Southern Oregon

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