Andres Acosta / El Paso Herald-Post
UTEP Football Head Coach Dana Dimel added depth to the Miners’ 2019 roster on National Signing Day Wednesday.
Dimel inked a total of 32 signees. Nine are transfers and 23 are high school student-athletes who will attend UTEP next semester.
The haul includes 21 student-athletes from the state of Texas, including six from El Paso, seven from California, two from Arizona, one from Kansas and one from Pennsylvania.
A total of 15 offensive players, 14 defensive players and three specialists make up the 2019 signing day roster.
Video + Gallery by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – Chief Photographer – El Paso Herald Post
UTEP Football Head Coach Dana Dimel
“As everybody says this is a time as a coach trying to come in and build your program. It’s obviously a big day for us as a coaching staff, and one I look forward to all year, putting all of the pieces of a recruiting class together. All of the stories and tribulations that come to this day is what makes our business so much fun. It’s an important part of what you do as a football coach and all of that comes down to signing day. The dynamics have changed a little bit guys and ladies. There is two signing days now. We had our head coaches meeting in January and we talked about that a little bit. I think that has been a really positive thing for UTEP, having the early signing day allows us to really see what’s out there for us and allows us to do what we do best. Its what you do with your evaluation tools. That is how we are going to build our program is by being great evaluators. That is obviously what we had done at Kansas State to turn that program around, and the other places that I have been and had success is because we have been great evaluators. So that is a big part of what we did with this class.
Obviously the two classes kind of mold together. What we did last year in our first class coming in January. You say well we came in late, well we did come in late, but a lot of us were recruiting other players from the schools that we were at so there was some carry over. It was an advantage for us this year to have the extra time to have your spring recruiting element, to have your summer camps which I thought were both really valuable for us to get out in the spring. I talked about how much our exposure of our program we got in the spring. I thought it was really good. We had great attendance at our summer camps. We had kids from various states from across the country come to our camp. Again we got out some in the fall, and we got to see some local players play in the fall in person. Which for me was a really valuable tool. We got to basketball games, which again we saw some kids playing basketball as well as being able to take what they do on the football field, and then see them on a basketball court and translate that into athleticism. That is a key component of what we are trying to have and build here at UTEP. All of those elements of what we were able to do were an advantage in putting this class together.
You see the numbers are 32 in total of our class, which is a great number. When you are coming in as a head coach you want to bring in the new faces, and build the positive energy that new faces bring to your program. I am excited about the numbers that we do have coming into the program. It has been a really positive thing for us to bring in these guys, having them on their visits and spending time with them. The elements that we want to have in our recruiting are we want to have guys who have great mental toughness, some intestinal fortitude. They have to have very good football IQ, which is really critical for us as well. They have to be able to run well for their position. That is something that is a key ingredient for us of those 32. We said when we got here we were going to recruit the state of Texas. We have 21 players from the state of Texas in this class, which is a great number. We have seven players from the state of California. We have two players from the state of Arizona, which I do want to develop more numbers in the state of Arizona moving forward. Then we have one player from Pennsylvania and one player from Kansas, so that rounds out our 32.
As far as offensively and defensively goes we have 15 offensive players, 14 defensive players and three specialists to get to our 32. We signed nine junior college players. Of those nine, seven are on campus right now. There are two of them that are not here yet that we are looking forward to getting on campus. Then we have one high school quarterback that is here now, so we have eight guys that are here on campus that came in at midyear. Obviously that is always important to get guys here in the spring, and have them here to be able to be a part of your program and mature within your program. Last year, we had brought in eight offensive linemen to the program, which was really important as we went through and saw the injuries there that we had last year. It was important to enhance those numbers. I figure that if we hadn’t brought in the eight last year we probably wouldn’t have been able to take the field for the last ball game. This year we only brought in three. The first thing we brought in was length and athleticism and that was critical with the linemen we brought in. The local product Fabio Novoa he is a guy that we see upside to. He played basketball; he has some good length to him and went from 250 to 295 in the last year and a half of his development. He still continues to move well. Then Jeremiah Byers out of Austin Anderson is just a tremendous athlete that I got to see on film playing basketball, and he reminded me of Zion Williamson. A real poor man’s Zion Williamson, but still athletic, can shoot the ball well and his film was really good playing the game of football. He gets his second step in the ground and does some good things there. Then there is Justin Mayers, another offensive lineman that fits that athletic mold so that was big spot for us. Additionally, defensive line wise we signed five. I was pleased with the way our defense played last year. The things that we needed to improve on were just the quarterback sacks and the turnovers. We got three defensive ends that we signed that will give us some speed off the edge, and then two defensive tackles that are strong and powerful and do some really good things. We brought in two linebackers from the junior college ranks that I am very excited about, and one from the high school rank there as well. One of them is on campus right now competing and doing a nice job.
I wanted to bring in five defensive backs. I thought that was important for us to do. We actually ended up bringing in six defensive backs into our program. Of those six, five of them are junior college players, three of them at corner and two of them at safety. There is also a high school player that can play offense or defense from California that is very talented. He is also going to help us on the return team. We’ve got him slated right now and he is going to help us a lot there and be a muti-talented player for us in the program moving forward. I would be remised if I didn’t talk about Deion Hankins at the running back position. He is going to be a big part of what we are doing. A local product like that, that had multiple power five offers, and he is just such a great person. He is going to be a huge influence on the community of El Paso with what he does. Then Jalen Joseph, who I think has a chance to be a really good running back for us as well. I am really pleased about getting those two local products. We also got another running back from Arizona, Jett Kinsch, who is going to be a good player too. Everybody wants to hear about our receiver position. That has been a big talk. We have a different philosophy on what we want to recruit at the receiver position. We signed four receivers. All of them bring a little something different to the table. There is some great speed element. Jacob Cowing is one that I am really excited about, because he has popped off some 10.4 (100 meters) already in spring training workouts. Two guys that I had signed at Houston went to the combine, and both ran 4.2s at the combine. I know how important it is to recruit speed and Jacob is one of those guys. He is going to give us that speed moving forward in our program. Quintavius Workman is a guy that came to us out of El Paso that is 6’5 and has great frame to him. He is going to do some really positive things for us there at the receiver position. We also have two other players Skyler (Newsome) and Adam (Cousins), and I am excited about all of those guys with what they’re going to do and really help our wide receiver position as well. TJ Goodwin at quarterback is obviously a big part of our future. He is what everyone is using nowadays. Everybody has quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet.”
On which freshmen will have the best chance to contribute right away
“It’s fun to project that now and see how it evolves through the situations. Of the freshmen right now, who I can see having a chance to get on the field is [Sua’ava] “Juice” Tupua, who really has a chance, even though we have some good returners on the d-line, he’s a guy who went to the USC camp where there was a bunch of 4 and 5-star athletes. He completely dominated the camp. He’s a guy who stood out as a guy who was wreaking havoc out there and is a freshman who can help us for sure. Two of the young offensive linemen, [Jeremiah] Byers and [Justin] Mayers. We weren’t sure if we had guys last year. But we had Elijah Klein and Zuri Henry step up. So, both of those guys are on the backburner with athleticism. So, if we do get any injury issues, those guys – maybe not start – but will supply depth for us in thin spots. Deion [Hankins] will get a chance to step onto the field. We don’t have great numbers at the running back position and Jalen Joseph too at the running back position has a chance to step up and get on the field.”
On JUCO’s who have stood out
“The three corners have really stood out. What you do is look at the issues you have to resolve. And the issues were, losing Nik Needham and Kalon Beverly – four-year starters for this program and good players for our program. They brought a lot to be proud of. But Duron Lowe, Robert Corner and Miles Banks are three corners we feel like really are going to step up and replace those guys. I’m pleased with Ty’reke James, I think he’s looked really good in the workouts. I’ve been very pleased with Luke Laugenberg and what Luke brings to the table. That’s a great name right there with Luke at the tight end position just because he’s a legacy of the Dallas Cowboys which is a popular thing in El Paso for sure. Once the fans see him play, he’s going to be even more popular. He’s got athleticism and really good route-running ability. He’s also got the ability to block the c-gap, which is important for us to have. He’ll create issues for the defense so he can bring that element to us offensively. Those are some of the junior college guys right now who are stepping up and looking good for us.”
On offensive line recruits
“Offensive and defensive lines is where you build your program. You got to have those and the quarterback position. Those are the three most crucial elements you can have. It was important for us, even though we brought in some offensive linemen last year, it was important to try to integrate these three players [Jeremiah Byers, Justin Mayers, Fabio Novoa]. I was really, really pleased with the athleticism that we got on the offensive line. That was the thing that was most exciting. I’m a big proponent of wingspan. You don’t want a lot of short-armed guys running around on the football field. You want some length to you so you can run, block and pass protect.”
Name Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/Previous School
TJ Goodwin FR QB 6-5 200 Houston, Texas/Cypress Falls HS
Jeremiah Byers FR OL 6-4 295 Austin, Texas/ L.C. Anderson HS
Justin Mayers FR OL 6-2 295 Frisco, Texas/Reedy HS
Fabio Novoa FR OL 6-4 295 El Paso, Texas/Pebble Hills HS
Adam Cousins FR WR 6-0 170 Pflugerville, Texas/Hendrickson HS
Jacob Cowing FR WR 5-11 175 Maricopa, Ariz./Maricopa HS
Skyler Newsome FR WR 6-2 200 Lubbock, Texas/Frenship HS
Quintavius Workman FR WR 6-5 185 El Paso, Texas/Chapin HS
Rashad Beecham SO TE 6-2 235 Cibolo, Texas/Allan Hancock College
Luke Laufenberg R-JR TE 6-4 235 Argyle, Texas/Mesa CC
Julian Lopez FR TE 6-1 230 El Paso, Texas/Chapin HS
Deion Hankins FR RB 6-0 212 El Paso, Texas/Parkland HS
Jalen Joseph FR RB 5-9 215 El Paso, Texas/Andress HS
Jett Kinsch FR RB 6-0 190 Phoenix, Ariz./Liberty HS
Michael Young FR FB 5-9 215 Euless, Texas/Colleyville Heritage HS
Miles Banks JR DB 6-1 165 Missouri City, Texas/Blinn CC
Robert Corner III JR DB 6-1 180 Compton, Calif./Cerritos College
Duron Lowe R-JR DB 5-10 185 Shawnee, Kansas/Butler CC
McKel Broussard FR S 6-0 190 Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame HS
Dy’vonne Inyang JR S 6-0 180 Missouri City, Texas/Kilgore College
Ty’reke James JR S 5-11 190 Richmond, Calif./Contra Costa College
Joe Jay Smith R-JR LB 6-3 225 Bethlehem, Pa./Garden City CC
DJ Turner SO LB 5-11 217 Santa Clarita, Calif./Moorpark College
Jerome Wilson FR LB 6-3 205 Etiwanda, Calif./Etiwanda HS
Armonie Brown FR DE 6-2 250 Refugio, Texas/Refugio HS
Demarr Hayes FR DE 6-4 225 Waco, Texas/La Vega HS
Tre’jon Lewis FR DE 6-3 230 Manor, Texas/Manor HS
Jalen Rudolph FR DT 6-2 290 Los Angeles, Calif./Junipero Serra HS
Sua’ava ‘Juice’ Tupua FR DT 6-1 270 Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne HS
Mark Ramos FR K 5-8 165 El Paso, Texas/Andress HS
Austin Rychlik FR K 5-10 156 Cypress, Texas/Cypress Ranch HS
Tanner Boston FR LS 6-1 250 Cypress, Texas/Cypress Ranch HS
TJ Goodwin | QB | FR | 6-5 | 200 | Houston, Texas (Cypress Falls HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football as the starting quarterback for the Eagles … threw for 3,106 yards on 225-of-418 passing and 19 scores … as a senior led the Eagles with 945 yards on 76-of-147 passing with eight touchdowns and one interception … registered a season-high 242 yards on 19-of-38 passing in a win over Cypress Creek … opened the season by connecting on 12-of-16 passes for 158 yards and three touchdowns against Aldine … threw a season-long 55-yard touchdown pass during a dominant victory over Memorial … added 49 yards rushing with a career-long dash of 45 yards versus the Mustangs … during junior campaign tallied 272 yards on 14-of-18 passing (77.8 percent) with four scores and a game-long 53-yard touchdown pass … was 14-of-22 for 180 yards against Cy-Fair … started as a sophomore and posted a 54.7 completion percentage, notching 1,188 yards and five scores … in 2016, posted a career showing by throwing for 345 yards on 18-of-33 versus Cypress Springs … threw for 234 yards and registered two touchdowns in a win over Jersey Village … three-star recruit on Rivals.com.
Jeremiah Byers | OL | FR | 6-4 | 295 | Austin, Texas (L.C. Anderson HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action in all 10 games last season … tallied a total of 74 tackles, nine tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and an interception … created holes and paved the way for Trojans’ rushers to gain 1,334 yards and 14 touchdowns … the team rushed for over 100 yards in five games, including 241 yards in a victory over Austin … added 11 total stops … as a sophomore, played in 10 games and posted 52 tackles, six tackles for loss and three quarterback hurries.
Justin Mayers | OL | FR | 6-2 | 295 | Frisco, Texas (Reedy HS)
Played two seasons of varsity football at Reedy HS … efforts helped the Lions to a 13-1 overall mark, including an undefeated (8-0) district record in 2018 … paved the way for Reedy rushers to gain 3,139 yards and score 46 touchdowns as a team (224.2 ypg) … the Lions threw for 2,703 yards and 24 scores … the Lions rushed for more than 200 yards on six occasions and ran for a season-high 308 yards in a victory over Midlothian … as a junior, Reedy rushed for 2,101 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Fabio Novoa | OL | FR | 6-4 | 295 | El Paso, Texas (Pebble Hills HS)
Played varsity football for two seasons and started in 13 games … created holes and paved the way for Spartans rushers to gain 2,543 yards and 25 touchdowns as a team … Pebble Hills rushed for a season-high 335 yards and four scores in a win over Midland … Spartan quarterbacks threw for 2,157 yards and 25 scores … Pebble Hills posted eight contests with over 200 rushing yards and three with over 300 yards … during junior season, the Spartans rushed for 2,267 yards and 31 scores as a team … the squad rushed for over 300 yards in four games … Pebble Hills quarterbacks threw for 2,262 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Adam Cousins | WR | FR | 6-0 | 170 | Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson HS)
Played safety as a senior for Hendrickson HS … registered 64 tackles, 13 pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery … also recorded an interception for a touchdown in 2018 … earned All-District second-team honors … as a junior, gained 284 rushing yards on 38 attempts … played quarterback and threw for 401 yards on 44-of-71 attempts … rushed for 104 yards on six carries versus Smithson Valley … ran for a career-long 77 yards against the Rangers … saw action as a punter for two seasons, earning All-District first-team honors … also received All-District Academic recognition.
Jacob Cowing | WR | FR | 5-11 | 175 | Maricopa, Ariz. (Maricopa HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action in 28 games … registered a total of 89 receptions for 2,065 yards and 21 touchdowns … during senior season, notched 28 receptions for 872 yards and 10 scores … recorded a season-high 232 yards on five receptions and three touchdowns in a victory over Central … reeled in four showings of 100 receiving yards or more … posted six catches for 161 yards and a pair of scores versus Campo Verde … added 30 carries for 261 yards and four touchdowns … as a junior, tallied 50 receptions for 1,081 yards and 11 touchdowns … had a career day during a 45-13 win over Willow Canyon, registering a career-high 275 receiving yards on eight receptions and two scores … had eight catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns against Apollo … as a sophomore, rushed for 193 yards on 29 attempts and a score … added 11 receptions for 112 yards.
Skyler Newsome | WR | FR | 6-4 | 200 | Lubbock, Texas (Frenship HS)
Saw action in 10 games at wide receiver last season … registered 46 receptions for 757 yards and six touchdowns … recorded a career-high 168 yards on four catches, a pair of scores and hauled in a career-long 83-yard reception against Midland Lee … posted a career high in receptions (12) for 167 yards and a touchdown versus Amarillo … tallied 116 yards on seven receptions against Midland … added 18 carries for 57 yards and a score.
Quintavius Workman | WR | FR | 6-5 | 185 | El Paso, Texas (Chapin HS)
Played in nine contests during the 2018 season … registered 32 catches for 503 yards (15.7 avg.) and two touchdowns … recorded a career-high 174 yards on six receptions versus Eastwood … hauled in a career-long 67-yard snag against the Troopers … tallied 86 yards on five receptions against Coronado … opened the season with back-to-back touchdowns versus Midland Christian and Pebble Hills … also saw the field on defense, posting 17 tackles … registered two interceptions, five tackles and a pass break-up in a win over Eastlake.
Rashad Beecham | TE | SO | 6-2 | 235 | Cibolo, Texas (Allan Hancock College)
Saw action in six games at the tight end position as a freshman at Allan Hancock College … registered three receptions for 48 yards and two touchdowns … recorded a season-long 24-yard snag versus Antelope Valley … notched a two-point conversion against Ventura … played football and basketball for Steele HS in Texas … was a two-year letterwinner in football … notched a total of 12 receptions for 179 yards in nine games with the Knights.
Luke Laufenberg | TE | R-JR | 6-4 | 235 | Argyle, Texas (Mesa CC)
Played in six games at Mesa CC … combined for 10 receptions for 100 yards during the 2017 season … registered three catches for 30 yards against Arizona Western … hauled in a 22-yard snag versus Glendale CC … tallied 24 yards on three receptions against ASA College … played senior season at Argyle Liberty Christian High School in Argyle, Texas … was named 2016 Offensive Newcomer of the Year and All-District honorable mention … also attended Jesuit Dallas High School in Dallas, Texas, from 2011-15 … son of Brandon and Joan Laufenberg … father, Brandon “Babe,” played in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis Colts, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers.
Julian Lopez | TE | FR | 6-1 | 230 | El Paso, Texas (Chapin HS)
Played two seasons of varsity football at Chapin … as a senior played in five games and registered 152 yards on 13 receptions … recorded 38 yards on three catches in a win over Andress … posted a campaign-high four receptions for 35 yards in season opener against Midland Christian … posted a career-long catch of 24 yards in a win against El Dorado … as a junior saw action in six games as a defensive back … tallied nine stops, including a career-high four tackles in a win over El Paso HS.
Deion Hankins | RB | FR | 6-0 | 212 | El Paso, Texas (Parkland HS)
Standout running back for Parkland HS (El Paso, Texas), who finished his career with a city-best 7,491 rushing yards and 78 touchdowns … led the school to a trio of bi-district championships and an area round championship during his record-setting career … as a senior piled up 2,270 rushing yards and 27 TDs to help the team to a District 1-5A Division II crown and a bi-district championship … voted as the 2018 El Paso Times All-City Football MVP … during his junior season he ran for 2,073 yards and 24 scores to lead the team into the third round of the Class 5A state football playoffs … as a sophomore the team advanced to the area round of the playoffs, with Hankins gaining 2,812 yards on the ground and scoring 23 touchdowns … multiple All-State and All-District honoree.
Jalen Joseph | RB | FR | 5-9 | 215 | El Paso, Texas (Andress HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action in 33 games … rushed for a total of 1,604 yards on 319 carries and 30 touchdowns … during senior season, ran for 773 yards on 163 carries and eight touchdowns in 11 games … led the Eagles to a 9-3 overall record and a bi-district championship … tallied a career-high 29 carries for 139 yards in the season opener against Coronado … registered 108 yards on 19 attempts in victory over El Paso HS … also notched 18 receptions for 156 yards and a score … as a junior recorded 526 rushing yards on 82 attempts and 14 touchdowns … rambled for season-high 116 yards on 15 carries and three scores versus Jefferson … as a sophomore, rushed for 305 yards on 74 carries and eight touchdowns.
Jett Kinsch | RB | FR | 6-0 | 190 | Phoenix, Ariz. (Liberty HS)
Played two seasons of varsity football and saw action in 20 games … rushed for a total of 1,734 yards on 274 carries and 21 touchdowns … during senior season, ran for 1,175 yards on 199 carries and 15 touchdowns in 12 games … led the Lions to a 10-2 overall record … tallied a career-high 27 carries for 167 yards and a score in win over Chaparral … registered 173 yards on 20 attempts and three touchdowns in a victory over Sunrise Mountain … notched 151 yards on the ground with 15 attempts and a pair of scores … also recorded 18 receptions for 246 yards and two scores … as a junior recorded 559 rushing yards on 75 attempts and six touchdowns … hauled in a season-high 104 yards on 11 carries and a score in a win over Chaparral.
Michael Young | FB | FR | 5-9 | 215 | Euless, Texas (Colleyville Heritage HS)
Played four seasons of varsity football, seeing action in 40 games at running back and linebacker … tallied a total of 212 tackles, seven sacks, 12 quarterback hurries and an interception … as a senior, notched 123 stops (69 solo), seven tackles for loss, two sacks and three quarterback hurries … registered a career-high 18 tackles (10 solo) in win over Creekview … posted seven showings with 10 or more tackles … produced 11 solo stops and added one sack against Trinity … as a junior, recorded 65 tackles, eight tackles for loss, four sacks, five quarterback hurries and an interception … posted a season-high 11 stops versus V.R. Eaton … as a sophomore, rushed for 54 yards on five carries and a score … also notched 11 receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
Miles Banks | DB | JR | 6-1 | 165 | Missouri City, Texas (Blinn CC)
Saw action in all 11 games for Blinn CC a year ago … helped lead the Buccaneers to a 7-4 finish during the 2018 season … notched 19 tackles and six pass break-ups … registered four tackles and a pass break-up in a victory over Scottsdale CC … played high school football at Fort Bend Elkins HS … as a senior, recorded 41 stops (34 solo), two interceptions, six pass break-ups and a sack … posted a career-high nine tackles in a 41-10 win over Santa Fe … opened the season with back-to-back interceptions versus Dickson and Oak Ridge … tallied four pass break-ups versus Fort Bend Travis … father, Robert, played football at Notre Dame and in the NFL for the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns, and is a member of the Virginia Hall of Fame of Lower Virginia.
Robert Corner III | DB | JR | 6-1 | 180 | Compton, Calif. (Cerritos College)
Saw action in 21 games for the Falcons … helped Cerritos College finish 7-4 during the 2018 season … recorded a total of 48 tackles (27 solo), four interceptions (12 yards), 10 pass break-ups and two forced fumbles … had two interceptions, two tackles and a pass break-up in a 36-14 win over Mt. San Antonio … posted six tackles versus Moorpark and El Camino … as a freshman notched 15 stops, four pass break-ups and one interception … played varsity football for three years at Buena Park HS … named second team All-CIF and first-team All-Freeway League … helped the Coyotes win the league championship as a senior … tallied a total of 125 tackles (81 solo), four pass break-ups and 1.5 sacks.
Duron Lowe | DB | R-JR | 5-10 | 185 | Shawnee, Kansas (Butler CC)
Led Butler CC to an 8-3 overall record in 2017 … registered 20 total tackles, six pass break-ups and one interception … opened the 2017 season with a season-best five stops in a 42-14 win over Fort Scott … notched three pass break-ups versus Dodge City … registered an interception to edge out Iowa Western, 21-19 … played varsity football at Aquinas HS … recorded 51 total tackles, two interceptions, 24 pass break-ups and one forced fumble as a senior … finished the season with a career best 11 stops … tallied six pass break-ups in a 42-13 win over Blue Valley North.
McKel Broussard | S | FR | 6-0 | 190 | Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Notre Dame HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action on defense and offense … as a senior notched 39 tackles, five interceptions and five pass break-ups … rushed for 226 yards on 40 attempts and six touchdowns … also registered 35 receptions for 376 yards and a score … posted a season-high nine stops (seven solo) and two pass break-ups against Bishop Amat … recorded 144 all-purpose yards in a victory over Chaminade … as a junior rushed for 451 yards on 80 attempts and six scores … added 19 receptions for 334 yards and four touchdowns … registered a career-best 108 receiving yards while hauling in five receptions and two scores against Chaminade … as a sophomore tallied 189 all-purpose yards, including 95 yards on nine receptions.
Dy’vonne Inyang | S | 6-0 | 180 | Missouri City, Texas (Kilgore College)
Saw action in 10 games last season and helped Kilgore College finish 10-2 overall … registered 52 tackles, two sacks, five pass break-ups, one fumble recovery, one interception and one blocked kick … recorded a career-best 12 tackles (10 solo), one sack, one pass break-up and a blocked kick in a win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College … posted seven stops (five solo), a tackle for loss and a pass break-up in a victory over New Mexico Military Institute … played in nine games as a freshman and notched 31 stops, three forced fumbles and a pass break-up … tallied eight tackles and a forced fumble in a victory over Cisco … posted six stops in back-to-back games against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and New Mexico Military.
Ty’reke James | S | JR | 5-11 | 190 | Richmond, Calif. (Contra Costa College)
During the 2018 season, posted 30 tackles, five pass break-ups and one interception … registered a season-best eight tackles against Monterey Peninsula … tallied five stops and two pass break-ups versus Foothill … recorded first interception of the season against Redwoods while also adding three tackles in the game … notched four solo stops and a pass break-up against Reedley … named to All-Pacific 7 first team.
Joe Jay Smith | LB | R-JR | 6-3 | 225 | Bethlehem, Pa. (Garden City CC)
As a sophomore recorded 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one interception, three pass break-ups and one forced fumble … helped the Broncbusters finish 10-1, including an appearance at the 2018 NJCCA Championship game … had a career-best 11 stops in a 44-14 win over Iowa Central … posted four tackles, a sack (18 yards), a forced fumble and a pass break-up against Highland CC … registered 44 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, four pass break-ups, one forced fumble and a blocked kick as a freshman … posted a season-best nine tackles and added a forced fumble and a pass break-up in a victory over Highland CC … tallied seven stops (five solo) and two pass break-ups versus Independence CC … recorded six tackles against Hutchinson CC.
DJ Turner | LB | 5-11 | 217 | Santa Clarita, Calif. (Moorpark College)
Saw action in 10 games last season … rated second on the team in total tackles with 67 … opened the season with a campaign-best 10 stops (seven solo) against Palomar … registered back-to-back showings with nine tackles versus Ventura and Long Beach … posted an interception (10 yards) and six tackles against Saddleback … played varsity football for two seasons, seeing action at running back and linebacker … as a senior registered 60 tackles (43 solo), four quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, an interception and a sack … posted 12 stops and added two pass break-ups in a win over Fountain Valley.
Jerome Wilson | LB | FR | 6-3 | 205 | Etiwanda, Calif. (Etiwanda HS)
Played varsity football for two seasons … registered 119 tackles (43 solo), one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry … during senior season recorded 56 stops, two pass break-ups and a fumble recovery … ended the season with a career-high 13 tackles against Chino Hills … posted back-to-back showings with seven stops versus Upland and Damien … recorded six performances with five or more stops last season … as a junior tallied 63 tackles, a quarterback hurry and four pass break-ups … achieved a season-best 11 stops (five solo) against Oak Hills … registered 10 stops in a victory over Los Osos … notched three tackles for loss and six total tackles versus Damien.
Armonie Brown | DE | FR | 6-2 | 250 | Refugio, Texas (Refugio HS)
Played four seasons of varsity football, making 62 starts … led the Bobcats to the state playoffs three times and helped them secure the 2016 UIL State Championship … last season registered 151 tackles, 55 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one pass break-up … named Class 2A Defensive Player of the Year on the Associated Press Sports Editors All-State football team … earned placement on the 2018 MaxPreps Small Schools All-American football team and Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s Whataburger Super Team … also garnered 2017 AP Class 2A first-team honors.
Demarr Hays | DE | FR | 6-4 | 225 | Waco, Texas (La Vega HS)
Was a two-year letterwinner … registered a total of 78 tackles (21 solo), five tackles for loss, 29 quarterback hurries, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception … was named unanimous District 5-4A first team Defensive End, Waco Tribune Herald Super Centex first team, ESPN 160 Central Texas Football first team and Carl Padilla Coaches Class 4A All-State first team.
Tre’jon Lewis | DE | FR | 6-3 | 230 | Manor, Texas (Manor HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football for the Mustangs … recorded a total of 104 tackles, four sacks and one fumble recovery … during junior season, posted 55 stops, seven tackles for loss, three sacks and a fumble recovery … opened the season with a season-best eight stops in 42-13 win over Rouse … tallied eight tackles and a sack against Bowie … notched seven stops, including five solo, versus Stony Point … as a sophomore, combined for 41 tackles and a sack … notched a career-high nine stops in a 35-18 win over Bastrop.
Jalen Rudolph | DT | FR | 6-2 | 290 | Los Angeles, Calif. (Junipero Serra HS)
Played two season of varsity football at Junipero Serra HS and saw action in 22 games … registered a total of 83 tackles (29 solo), 1.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries … as a senior recorded 46 stops, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery … established a season-best eight tackles (five solo) and four tackles for loss against Narbonne … posted five showings with five tackles or more … as a junior tallied 37 stops and a fumble recovery … notched a career-high nine tackles against Chaminade … recorded five stops versus Loyola and Bishop Amat … had a fumble recovery and four tackles in a win over Long Beach Poly.
Sua’ava ‘Juice’ Tupua | DT | FR | 6-1 | 270 | Harbor City, Calif. (Narbonne HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football for the Gauchos … registered a total of 120 tackles, 17 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery … during senior season, notched 65 stops, six sacks, seven quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles … posted a career-best 10 tackles (six solo) and added a sack and quarterback hurry in a win over Garfield … tallied nine stops in a 34-10 victory over Palos Verdes … credited with two sacks and added seven stops in a 50-0 win over Banning … as a junior, recorded 55 tackles, including 36 solo stops … helped Narbonne finish 11-3 overall in 2017.
Mark Ramos | K | FR | 5-8 | 165 | El Paso, Texas (Andress HS)
Played four seasons of varsity football and saw action in 44 games … as a senior, went 16-24 on field goals … connected on 41-of-43 PATs … made a career-long 43-yard field goal in a win over El Dorado … scored 14 points in a win against El Paso, going 5-of-5 in PATs and 3-of-4 on field goals … went a perfect 8-of-8 in PATs versus Jefferson … registered 70 kickoffs with 45 touchbacks … posted 11 punts inside the 20-yard line, including a career-long 64-yard boot … during junior campaign, went 10-of-12 on field goals … connected on 57-of-59 PATs and tallied a total of 87 points … helped the team go 9-3 overall and undefeated in league play … saw action in 11 games as a sophomore … was 50-of-55 on PATs … posted a season-long 40-yard field goal against Chapin … played in nine games as a freshman … was 24-of-28 on PATs.
Austin Rychlik | K | FR | 5-10 | 156 | Cypress, Texas (Cypress Ranch HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action in 17 games … as a senior, went 50-of-50 on PATs … connected on 8-of-8 PATs in win over Cypress Springs … went 7-for-7 in victory over Bridgeland … went 6-for-6 three different times (vs. Cypress Lakes, Cypress Park, Cypress Woods) … also registered 14 kickoffs for 681 yards … as a junior, played in five games … recorded 13 points for the Mustangs … went 4-for-7 on field goals.
Tanner Boston | LS | FR | 6-1 | 250 | Cypress, Texas (Cypress Ranch HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football and saw action in 23 games … played in seven games as a senior at the long snapper position … as a junior, saw action in eight games … as a sophomore, rushed for 47 yards and four touchdowns.