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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, Luis NAU K 0/0- FG 0/0- PAT L, 44-0Sacramento State
Alcoser, Joe  Houston  DFO W, 31-24East Carolina 
Alonso, Mandy Virginia  DL 4 tackles W, 48-40Georgia Tech 
Araiza, Matt  San Diego St. P/K FG- 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, Elijah Miami (FL) TE 1 rec., 29 yds.  W, 31-30NC State
Arroyo, Marcus UNLV Head Coach  L, 27-20San Jose State 
Avalos, Andy Boise State Head Coach BYE
Aybar, Wilfredo Stanford LB BYE
Banda, Ephraim  Utah State Def. Coord/Safeties W, 26-24Colorado State
Barr-Mira, Nicholas UCLA K FG- 1/2PAT– 4/4 L, 34-31Oregon 
Borregales, Andrés Miami (FL) K FG- 1/1PAT- 4/4 W, 31-30NC State
Calzada, Zach Texas A&M QB 12/24, 187 yds,2 TD, 1 INT W, 44-14South Carolina 
Camarena, Evan  Portland State CB BYE
Canales, Mike “Chico” Maryland  Analyst  W, 34-16Minnesota 
Cardenas, Oscar UTSA TE NO STATS L, 45-16Louisiana Tech
Cavazos, Lejond Ohio State  CB NO STATS W, 54-7Indiana 
Chavez, Isaiah  New Mexico  QB 10/11, 112 yds., 1 TD
16 rushes, 49 yds. 
W, 14-3Wyoming 
Coley, James Texas A&M TE Coach W, 44-14South Carolina 
Corral, Matt Ole Miss  QB 18/23, 185 yds., 1 TD
12 rushes, 24 yds, 1 TD
1 rec., 19 yds.
W, 31-17LSU
Corrales, Beau  North Carolina WR BYE
Cristobal, Mario  Oregon  Head Coach W, 34-31UCLA
Cropper, Jalen  Fresno St.  WR 1 rush, 1 yard7 rec., 34 yds.  W, 34-32Nevada
Cruz, Gunner  Arizona   QB NO STATS L, 21-16Washington
Davila, Peter Albany  DB Coach  L, 19-16Maine 
Diaz, Manny Miami (FL) Head Coach  W, 31-30NC State
Echevarria, Jesus  Washington St.  DL NO STATS L, 21-19BYU
Escobar, Alex  NM State RB 3 rushes, 14 yds.  L, 48-34Hawaii
Escobar, Ivan  NM State DL NO STATS L, 48-34Hawaii 
Fernandez, Aaron  Southern Utah RGC/OL L, 17-9Northern Colorado
Figueroa, Nick  USC DL 2 tackles L, 31-16Notre Dame 
Flores, Joah New Mexico  WR NO STATS W, 14-3Wyoming
Flores, Justin  Maine  WR coach  W, 19-16Albany 
Fuente, Justin  Virginia Tech  Head Coach  L, 41-36Syracuse 
Flores, Reynaldo UTEP RB BYE
Garcia, Albert  Fresno St.  DPP W, 34-32Nevada
Garcia, Cole  Rice  DL 2 tackles, 1 TFL,  1 PD W, 30-24UAB
Garcia, Elijah  Rice  DL NO STATS W, 30-24UAB
Garcia, Jake  Miami (FL) QB BYE W, 31-30 NC State
Garcia, Julio UNLV OL Total Offense- 335 yards L, 27-20San Jose St.
Garcia, Xavier  Temple  Def. GA L, 34-14South Florida 
Garcia- Castaneda, Isaiah  NM State WR 6 rec., 82 yds.  L, 48-34Hawaii 
Gonzalez, Billy  Florida WR/ Passing Game Coord.  BYE
Gonzales, Christian  Colorado CB 4 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 Pass Defended L, 26-3California 
Gonzales, Danny  New Mexico  Head Coach W, 14-3Wyoming 
Gonzales, Paul TCU Safeties Coach  L, 29-17West Virginia 
Gutierrez, Daniel  UNLV K FG- 2/3PAT- 2/2 L, 27-20San Jose State
Hernandez, Dan Eastern Illinois  OL Coach L, 28-0Tennessee State
Hernandez, Zach  Cal Poly  DB 1 tackle W, 24-13UC Davis 
Infante, Gabe  Temple RB Coach L, 34-14South Florida
Jackson, Jim  Rice  TE Coach  W, 30-24UAB
Longoria, Esai Montana Tech OL Total Offense – 398 yds. W, 34-14Southern Oregon
Loya, Logan  UCLA WR NO STATS L, 34-31Oregon 
Lozano, Alex Portland State LB BYE
Madrigal, Anthony  San Jose St. LB NO STATS W, 27-20UNLV
Magana, Jorge  Montana Tech LB NO STATS W, 34-14Southern Oregon
Maldonado, Dino NM State QB NO STATS L, 48-34Hawaii
Maldonado, Gunner  Arizona  Safety NO STATS L, 21-16Washington
Martinez, Adrian  Nebraska  QB BYE
Martinez, Cameron  Ohio State  SAF 1 tackle W, 54-7Indiana 
Martinez, RJ NAU QB 19-32, 136 yds., 1 INT L, 44-0Sacramento State 
Martinez, Marc Tarleton St.  LB coach W, 17-14Midwest 
Martinez, Willie  Tennessee CB coach  L, 52-24Alabama 
Mateos, Eric  Baylor  OL BYE
Matthews, Jesse San Diego State  WR 4 rec., 18 yds.  W,, 20-14Air Force
Mejia, Christian  Washington St.  DL 3 tackles  L, 21-19BYU
Melo, Lucas  Davenport University  Run Game Coordinator/Defensive Line W, 21-14Northwood
Mendez, Julian  Ottawa University  Offensive Coordinator  W, 28-14Friends University
Mirabal, Alex Oregon  OL Coach  W, 34-31UCLA
Montano, Abraham  Fresno State K NO STATS W, 34-32Nevada
Montero, Antonio Rice LB 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fum. recovery W, 30-24UAB
Morales, Kamari  North Carolina  TE BYE
Navarro, Jaime  San Jose St.  OL Total Offense- 429 yds W, 27-20UNLV
Navarro, Juan  NCCU  DL Coach W, 28-17Morgan State
Navarro, Donny  Illinois  WR 2 rec., 12 yds. W, 20-18Penn State
Nunez, Jay Eastern Michigan Sp. TeamsAssoc. HC W, 55-24Bowling Green
Olave, Chris  Ohio State WR 2 rec., 24 yds., 1 TD W, 54-7Indiana 
Ornelas, Jesse Central Oklahoma  RB Coach L, 29-17Washburn
Ortega, Josh  UTEP DE BYE
Ortega- Jones, Julian  Texas St.  WR  NO STATS L, 28-16Georgia State
Ortiz, Angel Ottawa Univ. (AZ) WR Coach L, 44-41Langston University
Pacheco, Isaih Rutgers RB BYE
Padilla, David Charleston Southern  Ass’t AD for Football L, 45-22North Alabama
Pagan, Justice  Portland State LB BYE
Perales, David  Fresno State DL 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2.5 TFL W, 34-32Nevada
Ponce, Frank  Appalachian State  Offensive Coordinator  W, 30-27Coastal Carolina 
Ramirez, José Eastern Michigan DE W, 55-24Bowling Green
Ramirez, Manny  Texas Southern OL Coach  W, 44-27Alcorn State
Regalado, Marco Washington State Director of On-Campus Recruiting L, 21-19BYU
Restrepo, Xavier Miami (FL) WR NO STATS BYE
Reveles, Miguel La Verne Offensive Coordinator W, 50-6Whittier
Rivas, Eddie  Texas State OL Total Offense- 378 yds.  L, 28-16Georgia State 
Rivas- Sandoval, Cesar Southeastern University  Head Coach W, 34-6Warner University 
Rodriguez, Anthony  Portland State TE BYE
Rodriguez, Chris  Kentucky  RB BYE
Rodriguez, Drew Towson St.  QB coach L, 40-14William & Mary
Rodriguez, Jacob Virginia  RB NO STATS W, 48-40Georgia Tech
Rodriguez, Joel FIU OL coach  L, 34-19Western Kentucky 
Rodriguez, Juan  Fresno State  TE NO STATS W, 34-32Nevada
Rodriguez, Justin  UTSA RB NO STATS L, 45-16Louisiana Tech
Rodriguez, Malcolm Oklahoma St. LB 13 tackles, .5 TFL W, 21-14Iowa State 
Rodriguez, Oscar Akron Assoc. HC/ ILB W, 45-10Buffalo
Rodriguez, Robert  Arizona St. DL coach BYE
Rojas, Manny  Delaware  Def. Coordinator L, 22-10James Madison 
Rubio, Cruz  Cal Poly  LS L, 24-13UC Davis 
Salazar, Martin  Portland State DL BYE
Sanchez, Angel Montana Tech CB 4 tackles, 1 TFL W, 34-14Southern Oregon
Santa Cruz, Victor  Hawaii  Defensive Ends coach W, 48-34NM State
Santana, Bryce  New Mexico DE NO STATS W, 14-3Wyoming
Santana, JuanCarlos  Tulsa  WR BYE
Segura, Justin  NM State DL NO STATS L, 48-34Hawaii
Silva, Cesar  Fresno State K FG- 2/2PAT- 4/4 W, 34-32Nevada
Small, Seth Texas A&M  K FG– 3/4PAT- 5/5 W, 44-14South Carolina 
Sori-Marin, Mariano Minnesota  LB 8 tackles, 0.5 TFL W, 34-16Maryland 
Soto, Anthony Lenoir-Rhyne  Offensive Coordinator/ /OL W, 45-3 Limestone 
Steele, Chris  USC CB 2 tackles, 1 PFL, 1 Pass Defended L, 31-16Notre Dame 
Stone, Jr., Ron  Washington State LB 6 tackles L, 21-19BYU
Umana, Orlando  Ole Miss OL Total Offense- 470 yds.  W, 31-17LSU
Velazquez, Alonzo Wyoming  OL Total offense- 255 yds.  L, 14-3New Mexico
Ybarra, Austin Montana Tech LB W, 34-14Southern Oregon

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