UTEP offensive lineman Will Hernandez and running back Aaron Jones were named to the AP All-America team on Monday morning.
Hernandez garnered second team honors, while Jones earned a spot on the third team. The last time a Miner earned AP All-America recognition was in 2006 when Johnny Lee Higgins was named to the second team.
This also marks the first time that two UTEP student-athletes receive honors in the same season.
Paving the way and creating holes for Jones is Hernandez, who has started all 37 games in his career at the left guard position. Hernandez helped UTEP rushers gain 185.5 yards per game, currently ranking fourth in C-USA. UTEP tallied 20 rushing touchdowns.
Hernandez’s efforts on the offensive line also yielded 22 sacks (1.83 avg.), ranking fourth least allowed in C-USA.
The Las Vegas, Nev., native helped the Miners gain a season-high 384 yards rushing (most since 1983) during a dominant 52-24 victory against North Texas.
UTEP also tallied a season-high 555 yards of total offense against the Mean Green. UTEP gained 323 yards rushing against Houston Baptist, while opening the season with 518 yards of total offense, including 289 rushing yards in a victory over rival NM State.
Jones set multiple school records during his prolific junior season. The El Paso native rushed for a single-season school-record 1,773 yards,
while climbing his way to the top of the program’s career-rushing list with 4,114 yards, breaking John Harvey’s 28-year old record. Jones averaged 7.7 yards on 229 carries and scored 17 rushing touchdowns (third most in program history).
Jones added three more receiving scores, while tallying 2,006 all-purpose yards (fourth best single-season performance in school history). Jones capped the 2016 campaign with a career-high 301 yards and a career-best four rushing touchdowns against North Texas. Jones’s 301-yard effort is the second most yards rushed in a single contest in UTEP history.
Jones is currently ranked third in the nation with his 147.8 rushing yards per contest.