Anthony Rios-Carlsen Headed to New Mexico

Socal LB Going to Mountain West

With National Signing Day in the rear view mirror, programs are solidifying their recruiting classes in anticipation of spring ball.

Canoga Park linebacker Anthony Rios-Carlsen was one of the most productive players in Southern California this past season. Rios-Carlsen on-field exploits earned him City Section Defensive Player of the Year honors and helped lead his team to the City Section Division II Championship Game.

Despite yielding interest from several programs, Rios-Carlsen has decided to attend the University of New Mexico. The addition of Anthony's tenacity and high motor to the Lobos defense will be critical to their success going forward.

Anthony Rios-Carlsen: Senior Highlights

CLA had the opportunity to speak with Anthony and his father John about his commitment.

"He's excited. They're an up and coming program. They went 4-9 last year. They're switching to a 3-4 so he can play safety/outside linebacker type," said John Carlsen.

New Mexico's upgraded facilities made a positive impact in landing Rios-Carlsen.

"They just built brand new housing that just opened about six months ago and the football players stay in there. They have a game room, plasmas and a playstation. Everything just fits. He'll be playing every other year at UNLV, Fresno State, so it's close. Air Force came in late and offered," said John Carlsen.

From Anthony's perspective, the decision was made easier by former Nevada wide receivers coach and new member of the New Mexico coaching staff Scott Baumgartner.

"I started getting a lot more attention as Signing Day went on. He was talking to me about how everything was going and he was wondering what else I was holding (offers). He said that "we've got a spot for you here and we want you to take it."

"I ended up calling him yesterday and told him that I wanted to go. Today I was calling back coaches from the other schools to let them know that I would be going to New Mexico. I had to call Coach Wood from Cal Poly. They were high on my list but I felt like I could do better" said Anthony.

Anthony is thrilled to carry on the success of past teammates.

"I got this hat and I was wearing it to school and now I'm the third player in a row from Canoga Park to go to a Mountain West school," said Rios-Carlsen.

Rios-Carlsen will be joined in New Mexico by fellow local product Bijon Parker of Fairfax.

"I was talking to Bijon Parker from Fairfax and we said that it would be cool to hold down LA. We're going to start working out together and possibly room together out there."

With playmakers and quality student athletes like Rios-Carlsen and Parker headed to Albuquerque, the future is certainly bright for the Lobos.