Five Miners earned a spot on the 2016 Conference USA Football preseason award list on Wednesday.
Leading the way on offense is Aaron Jones and Will Hernandez. Jones was recently named to the Doak Walker and Maxwell Award Watch List. The junior looks to make his return after suffering an ankle injury early in the season last year. Jones currently ranks eighth on the program’s all-time rushing list and has accounted for 20 touchdowns in 23 games.
Hernandez is a two-year starter for the Miners and looks to guide the offensive unit to another productive season. The unit is known for protecting the field, tying for sixth nationally in fewest sacks allowed per game.
On defense, captains Nick Usher and Alvin Jones garnered recognition. Usher will be making the move from defensive lineman to linebacker this season. Last season, the senior ranked second on the team in sacks with 3.5 for 21 yards. He also notched 46 tackles (27s/19a), 10 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, five quarterback hurries and a blocked kick.
In 2015, Jones led the team with 93 tackles (48s/45a), 14.5 tackles for loss (59 yards), 6.5 sacks (41 yards) and two safeties, while adding four quarterback hurries.
On special team, underclassman Warren Redix garnered punt returner honors. The all-around player was asked to step in on punt return late in the season and registered four punts for 24 yards.
UTEP will open the season at home against I-10 rival NM State on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. MT. Call 747-6150 today to purchase UTEP season tickets.