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Early signees for 'Stangs have considerable promise

By Neil H. Devlin, Mullen Sports Information Director
During the early signing period for football, Ish Aceves makes it official with New Mexico State and Hunter Lay confirms his appointment to the Ivy League's Penn Quakers.
Mullen’s latest entries to the college-football ranks include the Ivy League and another into a neighboring state.

In a ceremony on Wednesday to celebrate a couple of Mustangs headed for good things, Ish Aceves and Hunter Lay were cited for their play, character and academics that have them on interesting college paths.

During the early signing period for football, Aceves made it official with New Mexico State in Las Cruces and Lay confirmed his appointment to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

A thrilled Mustangs head coach Jeremy Bennett, who organized the ceremony, said “it doesn’t always matter what school it is; it’s where home is.”

And for the two seniors, who also had multiple offers, the destinations may be about 2,000 miles apart, but the targets are the same.

“I’m really excited,” Aceves said. “It’s the next step in the journey of my life, the journey to become a better person. I can’t wait.”

Said Lay: “It’s a little scary, but also exciting. Philly is one of the major cities with opportunities and risk. I think it will pay off.”

Aceves, who played outside linebacker and receiver, was Class 5A honorable mention all-state in 2022 and Lay, a rush end and second team all-Jefferson County League as a junior, re-injured a shoulder in the past season opener as a senior and had to have surgery. He’ll be ready for 2023.

“It’s about education and it’s about being able to use a game to offset paying for your college,” Bennett told an attentive gathering. “Ánd that’s what these two have done. And they both have high character and academics.”