LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State sophomore quarterback Dino Maldonado made quite the impression in his first FBS collegiate start on Saturday.
After the Aggies’ 43-35 win over South Carolina State, Maldonado was named Independent Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness on Monday. Maldonado threw for 321 yards and three touchdowns in his first collegiate start, becoming the first Aggie to achieve those numbers in his first start since JJ McDermott in 2007.
Despite his work in the win over SC State, NMSU head coach Doug Martin wouldn’t commit to Maldonado as the Aggies’ starter long term on Saturday night. Starting quarterback Jonah Johnson (wrist) and back-up Weston Eget (knee) both did not play due to injury, but Martin said they could have if NMSU needed them.
If Johnson or Eget can play this week vs. Hawai’i, it appears they would get the nod over Maldonado despite his stand-out performance. Martin will address the media on Tuesday and likely provide more clarity then.
“He doesn’t have enough experience to handle everything quite yet,” said Martin. “Both Jonah and Weston could’ve possibly played if we need them but we wanted to try to get out of this game without further injury to those guys to get them healthy and we accomplished that. We’ll see where they are this week.”
It wasn’t all good news for the Aggies on Monday, as defensive back Devlin Kirklin announced on social media that he had entered the transfer portal. Kirklin played in three games for NMSU in 2021, recording seven tackles.
NMSU will host Hawai’i as a17-point underdog at Aggie Memorial Stadium at 6 p.m. this Saturday.