Nogales WR Ricky Hanlan 21st local standout to commit, third to Western New Mexico

The Southern Arizona to Silver City, N.M., pipeline of football talent continues with Nogales receiver Ricky Hanlan committing today to Western New Mexico.

Hanlan is the third Class of 2021 prospect to make a commitment to Western New Mexico. Cienega linebacker Isaiah Webb and defensive tackle Hunter Schagel have also made a pledge to the Mustangs.

Ricky Hanlan was one of Arizona’s top kickoff returners in 2019 (Nogales photo)

“I chose Western New Mexico not only to pursue my dreams in football but to also further my education,” Hanlan mentioned in a text message. “(WNMU has a) great reputation and great football program. It was a long talk with my family and (assistant) Coach (Eddie Rosas III), but we saw this was in my best interest and being close to home, it adds to my excitement.

“Not having a senior year for football I took a huge hit in my recruiting process. Long and hard workouts through the off season and during the season helped me not only become a better football player but kept me in shape and has allowed me to get in contact with college coaches. I want to thank Coach (Buddy) Blevins and the whole Western New Mexico football staff for giving me an opportunity to compete! Being from a small town I hope to show younger kids in my community that there’s always a way out. Putting Nogales on the map for future generations!”

Western New Mexico already has 11 players from Southern Arizona on its roster, including Webb’s older brother Thomas Webb Jr., also a former Cienega standout who is a defensive back.

Hanlan is the second Nogales player to make a commitment. The Apaches did not play a game this season because of COVID-19.

Rene Urias Jr., a linebacker with the Apaches, committed to Grinnell (Iowa) College last October.

As a junior in 2019, Hanlan caught 18 passes for 308 yards and a touchdown. He also made 25 tackles as a defensive back. He averaged 24.3 yards per kickoff return.

Here are the 21 Class of 2021 local players who have committed or signed:


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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