Thanks to the 2016 recruiting class, the UTEP football team just got much faster.
Head Coach Sean Kugler said the team upgraded its speed after receiving 24 total letters of intent, and emphasizing the importance of recruiting local talent. That talent includes 19 recruits from Texas, including seven from El Paso.
“The guys that we got, we’re very excited about. Seven players, that gives us 17 that we’ve signed since we’ve been here as a staff,” Kugler said. “That will continue, that’s where recruiting starts for us. We just don’t pay lip service to it, it means something to us. I really have a goal to have a player from every single high school in El Paso on this team at some point.”
The seven El Paso recruits are the most under Kugler in his four seasons at the helm and the most for UTEP since 1999.
The Miners got help on both sides of the ball by signing 12 defensive players and 12 offensive players. Something Kugler wanted from this class.
“We do want to be more balanced offensively and it does start with getting playmakers that can do different things,” Kugler said. “We’ve added several different types of playmakers.”
Of those playmakers, the Miners were able to land three of the top recruits in El Paso in Eastwood quarterback Mark Torrez, fellow Trooper receiver Richie Rodriguez and defensive back Eric Foster from Americas.
Kugler showed excitement when talking about the offensive line recruits the program signed saying the team got that added depth they were looking for.
Another recruit Kugler praised was running back Quadraiz Wadley from Kennedale, Texas, who he said reminds him of his current running back Aaron Jones. Jones missed most of the 2015 season with an ankle injury.
The Miners will now prepare for their spring camp to commence on March 14 at Glory Field.
“It’s a long process and it take a lot, sometimes you don’t find out until the night before, sometimes you find out the day of,” Kugler said.
He added, “There’s some heartaches too, you lose some guys and you put a lot of work into, but it’s very rewarding to put in all that work and have the young men stay loyal to your program. Unfortunately some kids aren’t that loyal and they switch sides, but if they’re not wholeheartedly here, we don’t want them in our program anyway. We want the guys that want to be Miners.”
To read about all of UTEP’s 2016 Signing Class, click HERE