Seniors Will Hernandez and Alvin Jones were named to the 2017 Preseason Conference USA Football team, the league announced on Monday.
For Hernandez this is the seventh preseason honor of the season (Outland Trophy, Athlon Sports’ All-American, Athlon Sports All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-American and Phil Steele’s All-C-USA).
The All-American has started all 37 games at the left guard position during his career, while he’s part of an offensive line unit that has surrendered only 47 sacks in 37 contests (1.3 sacks allowed per game). The Miners ranked tied third in sacks allowed (22.0) and ranked fourth in sacks allowed per game (1.83).
Overall in the country, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview ranks the Miners’ offensive unit no. 40 in his top 56. UTEP is one of five schools not from a Power Five conference to make the top 40.
This is Jones’ fourth preseason award (Athlon Sports’ All-C-USA, Dave Campbell’s All-Texas Team, Phil Steele’s All-C-USA). The linebacker played in 10 contests, making eight starts and missing two games due to injury last season.
He earned All-C-USA second team honors after leading team in tackles with 93 (44 solo). Jones led team with 72 tackles on rushing plays and registered double-digit tackles in four contests. The El Paso native has 241 career tackles (seventh most at UTEP since the 2000 season) and has 10.5 career sacks, needing 1.5 to crack the all-time top 10 list.
The Miners open the new campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2, followed by the C-USA opener against Rice in the Sun Bowl on Sept. 9. For season tickets, call 915-747-6150.