More than a dozen students at this Northeast El Paso school walked to school on Wednesday morning but rode off on their way home in a brand new bicycle, thanks to the generosity of a hometown hero.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones, an El Paso native and Burges High School graduate, donated 15 new bikes for deserving students at Stanton.
Jones, who has a long tradition of visiting EPISD schools and working, was scheduled to deliver the bicycles in person but had to cancel because of an injury.Instead, his uncle and godfather came along to make the holiday season extra special for the benefited students.
“Aaron loves the people of El Paso,” said his godfather Michael Swopes. “We’re partnering up to deliver these bikes because what kid doesn’t like a brand new bike?”
Stanton Principal Dr. Sarah Chavez-Gibson said the donation is extra special because it comes from someone who went through the EPISD school system and is now closing to give back.
“He’s very gracious to make this donations for our kids and our communities,” she said.
Story by Gustavo Reveles | Photos by L. Monroy & E. Reyes | Video by Angel Dominguez/EPISD
Former Miner Alvin Jones signed as a priority free agent with the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday night.
Jones is the second Miner to sign with an NFL team, behind offensive lineman Will Hernandez.
Jones finished his collegiate career posting 343 career tackles ranking second most at UTEP since the 2000 season. Not only did the linebacker rack up the stops but also registered a total of 15 sacks ranking tied for fourth in school history.
While at UTEP, Jones played in 47 games and made 43 starts. In 2016, Jones notched 102 tackles, two pass breakups, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Season tickets are available now online at utepathletics.com, by calling the UTEP Season Ticket Office at (915) 747-6150 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the remainder of the month only, the full six-game docket is available for the price of five games. The lowest season ticket price through April 30 is $55. Beginning May 1, prices will start at $66.
Coming off its bye week, UTEP will host UTSA on Oct. 28. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. in the Sun Bowl. “Legends Night” will be celebrated in the Sun Bowl as the 2017 UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame Class will be recognized. Aaron Jones, former Miner and Green Bay Packers rookie sensation, is also expected to attend, as 1,000 lucky fans will receive a free bobblehead of UTEP’s all-time leading rusher.
The Miners (0-7, 0-3 Conference USA) are coming off a setback at Southern Miss on Oct. 14 in Hattiesburg, as the Golden Eagles prevailed 24-0. The Roadrunners (4-2, 1-2 C-USA) are coming off a 20-7 victory over Rice on Oct. 21 to end a two-game skid.
The Roadrunners have C-USA’s no. 1 ranked defense. These two programs played an epic five-overtime contest (first in C-USA history) last season in San Antonio. The Miners, who overcame a pair of 14-point deficits, came out on top, 52-49 after Ryan Metz found Warren Redix on a six-yard TD pass for the game winner.
From Coach Mike Price’s Weekly News Conference
(On UTEP’s last game at Southern Miss)
“I thought we came out with really good energy and enthusiasm for the first half. The momentum really got squandered when we fumbled on the one-yard line. We made a tremendous play on the interception, and then fumbled the ball back to them and gave them a touchdown, and otherwise it would’ve at least been 7-0 and we would’ve remained in the game with the enthusiasm that we started the game with. But I thought our defense played well again for two weeks in a row with great intensity and enthusiasm and we got three turnovers, which is something we’re striving to do as a defense and continue to improve on. But that fumble did change the momentum of that game, there’s no question about it. Our offense again was very poor. I don’t think we know who we are on offense, or we know who we are on offense and don’t like it. One of those things is where we stand, I think, in our opinion of the offense right now. Special teams are solid, OK. We got another great run from Terry [Juniel] on a kickoff return, he almost broke it for a touchdown. And we had no missed field goals. So those of you that were upset about that, we’re going to change that. You’ll be surprised and pleased with our field goals and PAT attempts in the future. And I think we just got a little worn out in the fourth quarter.”
(On the offense’s struggles)
“Kind of that statement I made about not knowing who we are is kind of where we’re at. I don’t know what kind of offense we are right now. But I don’t like that kind, whatever it is. Nobody does. Players and coaches and fans.”
(On getting a handle on the play caling)
“Coach [Brian] Natkin is working real, real hard, as are all the coaches. Every play is drawn up to be a touchdown in everybody’s playbook. If everyone does their job, you get a touchdown. Every play should be a good play to call, or it shouldn’t be in your playbook. So I don’t see that as being particularly poor. I don’t think it’s the play calling, it’s our execution that is poor.”
(On the quarterback situation for this week)
“Quarterback is still kind of up in the air. I don’t know how Zack [Greenlee] is, I haven’t seen him since Wednesday. He has been in for treatment. I think his groin is fine, but he’s still got a high ankle sprain. We’ll just have to see how that goes. Ryan [Metz] is better every day too. He was kind of a winged warrior when he was in that last game.”
“We’ve got the Roadrunners coming in here. They’re hard to kill, if you’ve seen any cartoons. They are an elusive bird. I think they’ve done a really good job there. Their program has come a long way. Frank Wilson, the new coach, and his associate head coach Jason Rollins, they are guys with really great reputations in the coaching profession. And their players play like it. They are well coached and they’re disciplined and they play well. Their offense is pretty explosive. They are averaging around 460 yards per game. Oh, what we would take for 460 yards a game on offense. They can move the football. They’ve got a really good quarterback. He’s a senior. He is really tough, #14 Dalton Sturm. He has got five or six school records already and he’s chasing all of the other passing records. He is a real good player. They have two running backs. #5 Jalen Rhodes has really been the guy that started the season out for them. He was closing in on all the career records in San Antonio. And then his backup, Tyrell Clay, has had a fantastic last two games. They have four solid receivers, all making about 20 receptions so far. They are really good on offense. Really good.
“On defense, they run a different defense. I kind of like it, a 4-2-5. It’s got five defensive backs. The safeties are kind of interchangeable. They have three safeties in the middle that either support or defend, and they’re active. The corners are pretty much on islands. Four down linemen, two inside linebackers and then these three safeties that roam and are really hitters. #14, #11 and #25 are all really good hitters. Their two inside linebackers, #55 and #31, are solid linebackers. Their best player, and maybe one of the best players we’ll see all season, is #93 Marcus Davenport, defensive end. He is 6-7, 255 pounds. He looks the part, plays the part, is the part. He is someone that you’ve got to know where he’s at all the time. Last game he had 11 tackles, two sacks, broke up a pass, picked up a fumble and ran it in for a touchdown. He is one of the best defensive ends that we have faced and probably the number one defensive end in the conference. Fantastic player, plays really hard, he is really talented and that’s a combination you can’t beat. Their special teams are solid. This is a solid team that we’re playing, and very well coached by a couple of good young coaches in the profession.”
(On Quardraiz Wadley’s status)
“Wadley is a question mark still. I just saw him yesterday and he’s still a question mark. I’m not sure if he’s going to play and how much he would play.”
(On UTEP and UTSA building a rivalry)
“When they first came into the league and they first started up, I thought that’s fine and dandy, because we used to recruit that area pretty good. Let’s not let them get good, because we’ll really have our hands full. I would’ve liked to have kept them a not really good program, and we could’ve gone in and recruited a little bit better out of there. Now they’re 4-2, they’re right in the race for the conference and they’re doing a really good job. Them and North Texas, I wasn’t really excited about having them join the league because it’s two really good recruiting areas and they’re both doing very, very well. It will be, and is, a rivalry.”
(On trying to find an identity on offense)
“I think it’s an evolving process. Like I said before, these players were recruited to a particular type of offense. The terminology is professional in its nature, having come from professional football, and real wordy. It’s a little hard to change horses in the middle of the race, but hopefully, and that’s on my part, what I’d like to do is help the offense produce more yardage and touchdowns and be a more wide open scheme. We’ll see how that goes on Saturday night.”
(On team morale)
“I think team morale is good. I saw everybody yesterday. We had dinner here. They want to win as bad as anybody. But their heads aren’t down, their heads are up. And their heads could be down. It hasn’t been a real fun year. But we’re trying to instill some fun. We had a really good scrimmage here Wednesday afternoon, with all the reserve players and scout team. That was a lot of fun for the players.”
(On what he sees from the players to indicate they’re still fighting)
“I thought we had energy here two or three weeks ago for my first game here and we had energy at Southern Miss. A lot of energy, and we played well in almost all phases against Southern Miss in the first half. We wore out in the fourth quarter, I think. We’re going to have to bring it again. This is a really good team. I’m asking the fans to have faith in us. Faith is belief without evidence. We haven’t given you a lot of evidence. But we’re going to. You wouldn’t want to miss this Saturday night as being the one where the Miners catch on fire. I’m asking more of the players than what they’re giving, but they are definitely responding well to the adversity that they have had. They’re not hanging their head, they’re not pouting, they’re not pointing fingers at other people. None of that. That’s hard to control when you’re going through what they’re going through.”
(On the process of selecting a quarterback for Saturday)
“I don’t know what the process will be. I’ll have to sit down with the coaches and talk about that a little further. The injuries have prevented us from being put in that situation. If they’re both healthy, that’s awesome. Because we’ll probably need both of them. We probably should’ve played Mark Torrez a little more, I would’ve liked to see what he could have done in the last game too.”
***on Saturday’s Game
2017 UTEP ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
Antonio Davis (basketball, 1986-90), Seth Joyner (football, 1982-85), Blessing Okagbare (track & field, 2008-10), Cynthia Ruelas (volleyball, 1993-97) and Paul Stankowski (golf, 1987-91) form the 15th induction class into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame. The Miner greats will be honored during Saturday’s game against UTSA.
MORE ON JOYNER
Seth Joyner played football at UTEP from 1982-85. He arrived on campus as an undersized walk-on before hours in the weight room transformed him into a college standout and, ultimately, one of the NFL’s top linebackers. His Miner career produced 324 tackles before he was picked by Philadelphia in the 1986 NFL Draft.
Joyner played for the Eagles for eight seasons, where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and the 1991 Sports Illustrated NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He later played for Arizona, Green Bay and Denver, and was a part of the Broncos’ Super Bowl championship run in his final year as a pro (1998). Joyner was credited with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions in 195 NFL games. He is a member of UTEP’s Football Centennial Team.
The Roadrunners, who sports Conference USA’s no. 1 ranked defense, improved to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in Conference USA play after a 20-7 victory against Rice in the Alamodome on Oct. 21. UTSA, after starting 3-0 with a victory over Baylor, dropped its first two league contests (31-29 to Southern Miss, 29-26 to North Texas) before righting the ship versus the Owls. The Roadrunners and Owls played a tight first half, as Marcus Davenport put UTSA ahead in the first quarter on a 34-yard fumble return for a score.
Jared Sackett made the score 10-0 with an 18-yard field goal, but Rice answered with a 50-yard touchdown pass with four minutes left in the first half. But 10 unanswered points in the third quarter by UTSA put the game away as Dalton Sturm hooked up with Brady Jones on a 26-yard touchdown early in the second half and a Sackett made a 20-yard field goal with just over five minutes to play in the third. UTSA ranks third in scoring offense (31.2 ppg) and second in scoring defense (18 ppg) in C-USA.
The Roadrunners’ 458.7 yards of total offense rank third, while they rank first in total defense (303.3). UTSA’s rushing offense (222.3) ranks second and its rushing defense (124.3) ranks third in C-USA. Its pass defense (179.0) and opponent third-down conversions (27.5 percent) are both ranked no. 1 in C-USA. Sturm has thrown only one interception on 155 pass attempts as he ranks first in the conference in passing efficiency (165.2).
Sturm has tossed for 12 scores and 1,375 yards on 103 completions (66 percent completion percentage). Jalen Rhodes (496 rushing yards) ranks fifth in C-USA in rushing yards per game (82.7) and has scored four total touchdowns (three rush, one rec.). Rhodes ranks eighth in all-purpose yards per game (101.0). Josh Stewart leads the team in receptions (21), receiving yards (306) and receiving scores (three).
Sackett has made 11-of-12 field goal attempts and is 17-of-18 on PATs to lead the team with 50 points. His 10.0 points per game ranks second in C-USA. Ka’Kel Bass leads the defense with 35 tackles, while Davenport ranks second in C-USA in tackles for loss (12.0) and sacks (6.5). His tackles for loss per game (2.00) ranks first in C-USA. The UTSA defense has sacked the quarterback 18 times, ranking fourth in C-USA, and has intercepted seven passes.
UTEP sophomore RB Walter Dawn Jr. and UTSA senior S Nate Gaines are from Mesquite, Texas, and played at Poteet High School. UTEP senior DB Devin Cockrell and UTSA junior S C.J. Levine are from Port Arthur, Texas, and played at Memorial High School. UTEP senior QB Zack Greenlee and senior CB Devron Davis are both from Stockton, Calif.
The series is tied 2-2 with the visiting team emerging victorious every time. The Miners won in San Antonio with a historic defensive effort, 34-0 in 2014, and outlasted the Roadrunners in a five-overtime thriller, 52-49, a year ago at the Alamodome. UTSA prevailed in El Paso during the 2013 (32-13) and 2015 (25-6) seasons.
THE LAST MEETING
Ryan Metz hooked up with Warren Redix for the game-winning six-yard touchdown as UTEP defeated UTSA, 52-49, in the first five-overtime contest in Conference USA history on Oct. 22, 2016 in the Alamodome. The Miners rallied from a pair of two-touchdown deficits (14-0, 28-14), the last coming early in the third quarter, to secure the victory.
UTEP knotted it at 28 on a 74-yard pass from Kavika Johnson to Walter Dawn Jr. with 1:11 to play in the third period. After neither team scored in the fourth quarter, the overtime sessions produced a total of 55 points – including 24 by UTEP. In the first overtime, Victor Falcon (UTSA) and Jay Mattox (UTEP) traded field goals.
In the second overtime, quarterbacks Metz and Dalton Sturm both threw 25-yard touchdown passes. In the third OT, Dawn scored on a 12-yard run and Metz completed the two-point conversion pass to Hayden Plinke as UTEP stayed alive after UTSA went ahead 46-38. Following a scoreless fourth overtime, Falcon booted a 33-yard field goal to put the Roadrunners ahead 49-46. But on second and five at the UTSA six-yard line, Metz threw a sideline pass to Redix for the winning points.
Metz tied his career high with a trio of touchdown passes, while completing 15-of-23 attempts for 211 yards. Aaron Jones rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries with a rushing score and two receiving touchdowns, while Dawn tallied two rushing touchdowns and a receiving score.
Ito Smith rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, spoiling a solid performance by the UTEP defense as Southern Miss shut out the Miners, 24-0, on Oct. 14 at M.M. Roberts Stadium. The Miners allowed 286 yards through three quarters before finally wearing down in the final period, when Southern Miss scored the game’s final 10 points. The Miners finished with six first downs and 147 yards of offense.
The Golden Eagles got on the board with 8:26 remaining in the first quarter when Keon Howard threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to Jaylond Adams. After that, the defense stepped up and limited Southern Miss to 102 yards on its next five drives. The Miners also forced a season-high three turnovers in the first half as Devin Cockrell and Kahani Smith picked off passes, and Sky Logan recovered a fumble.
But the defense was put in a precarious position when Kevin Dove fumbled at the UTEP one-yard line in the final minute of the half. On the next play, Smith plowed into the end zone for his first score (two yards) and the Golden Eagles were up 14-0 at the midway point. The defense continued to shine in the third quarter but finally broke in the final period, when Southern Miss completed a 13-play, 80-yard drive with a 20-yard touchdown run by Smith.
Later, the Golden Eagles tacked on a 38-yard field goal by Parker Shaunfield. Zack Greenlee started at quarterback for the Miners and completed 5-of-10 passes for 63 yards before getting injured. His replacement, Ryan Metz, finished 9-of-17 passing for 67 yards with an interception. Alvin Jones led the Miners with 10 tackles.
FOLLOWING A WEEK OFF
UTEP has posted a 9-6 overall mark and a 5-4 home record following a bye week since the 2004 season. During the first Mike Price era (2004-12), the Miners were 6-5, including a 2-0 mark in each of his first two seasons (UTEP had two bye weeks in 2004 [vs. NM State, vs. Rice] & 2005 [vs. Houston, at Tulane]).
Price’s squads tallied wins in 2009 (vs. Tulsa) and 2011 (at Tulane), and losses in 2006 (at New Mexico) and 2007 (vs. Houston). UTEP had another two weeks off in 2008, where it went 0-2 (vs. NM State, vs. Rice). In 2010, UTEP’s bye week fell on the last day of the regular season. The Miners are 3-1 in their last four bye weeks, with victories against UTSA twice (2014 & 2016) and Florida Atlantic (2015).
COMMON OPPONENT FOLLOWING BYE WEEK
UTEP will face UTSA for a third time during the last four seasons following a bye week. The Miners are 2-0 is they blanked the Roadrunners, 34-0, in 2014, and won an epic five-overtime game, 52-49 in 2016, both at the Alamodome.
THE VERY BEST
The UTEP kickoff return defense has been solid as it ranks no. 1 in Conference USA and no. 4 in the nation at 14.5 yards per return.
MOST THIRD-DOWN CONVERSIONS
UTEP converted a season-high six third-down conversions (6-of-15) at Southern Miss on Oct. 14. The previous high was a 5-of-13 effort against WKU (Oct. 7) and a 5-of-12 outing at Army (Sept. 30).
SEASON HIGHS FOR WR JUNIEL
Junior WR Terry Juniel, who returned a kickoff for a career-high 59 yards at Southern Miss on Oct. 14, also recorded a career-best five receptions for 46 yards against the Golden Eagles. His previous high was four receptions against Arizona for a career-high 82 yards on Sept. 15. Juniel ranks third on the team in receptions (13) and second in receiving yards (154) in 2017.
JOSHUA TAKES THE FIELD
True freshman Joshua Fields registered season highs in carries (six) and rushing yards (13) at Southern Miss on Oct. 14. The graduate of Americas High School also hauled in an 18-yard reception against Rice on Sept. 9 in the Sun Bowl. Fields has rushed for 25 yards and has tallied four receptions for 22 yards in 2017.
QB RUSHING SCORES
All three UTEP quarterbacks have rushed for at least one touchdown in 2017. Junior Ryan Metz has scored two – a one-yard score against Rice and a five-yard dash at NM State. Freshman Mark Torrez found the end zone on a six-yard rush against Arizona and senior Zack Greenlee, most recently, ran for a five-yard score against WKU. It’s the first time since at least 1990 that three UTEP quarterbacks have found the end zone with their legs during a single season.
SCORING MULTIPLE WAYS
Kavika Johnson recorded his first career touchdown catch against WKU on Oct. 7 as he now joins a rare club of Miners who have scored a touchdown rushing, receiving and throwing. Johnson has thrown for four scores and has rushed for one (2015 at North Texas) during his career. Johnson joins Aaron Jones, Lorne Sam, Marcus Thomas and Omar Duarte as Miners who have accounted for a touchdown three ways since the 1998 season.
KAVIKA’S CAREER NIGHT VS. RICE
Junior WR Kavika Johnson produced career-highs in receptions (six), receiving yards (67) and long reception (40 yards) against Rice on Sept. 9. His previous highs were three receptions for 32 yards and a long of 27 yards at Rice on Nov. 11, 2016. Johnson ranks fourth on the team with 11 receptions for 124 yards (third-most on team) and a touchdown.
Junior transfer WR Erik Brown, who just recently joined the program, made his first start against WKU on Oct. 7. Brown delivered with a pair of receptions for 32 yards. The first was an eight-yard catch for a first down on a third-and-4 in the third quarter. Brown followed with a 24-yard reception during the fourth quarter. Brown, in his second start, followed with a season-best 34 yards on a pair of catches at Southern Miss on Oct. 14. Brown has caught four passes for 66 yards in four games played.
Senior WR Tyler Batson registered a season-high 80 yards on a career-best five receptions at Army on Sept. 30. In fact, Batson’s 80 yards were the second-most in his career for a single game. Batson’s career high was a 143-yard output against Florida Atlantic in 2015. Batson is ranked second on the team in receptions (14) and leads the team in receiving yards (169), while scoring a touchdown against Arizona on Sept. 15 – his first since 2015.
Junior TE David Lucero matched his season high with a trio of receptions (14 yards) against WKU on Oct. 7. Lucero caught three passes for a season-high 31 yards against Rice, while recording his first career touchdown with three receptions (15 yards) at Army on Sept. 30. Lucero currently leads the Miners in receptions (16) for 115 yards.
MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICAN STATUS
Senior OL Will Hernandez was named to the AP Midseason All-America team, chosen by a panel of 16 Top-25 poll voters, on Oct. 17. The guard garnered second team honors through seven games and has racked up 44 starts in four seasons for the Miners.
Hernandez is not new to the spotlight, having earned 2017 AP Preseason All-America second team recognition. Last season, the Las Vegas native was the first Miner offensive lineman to receive AP All-American second team and FOX Sports All-American honors. The senior was also the first UTEP offensive lineman since 2009 to earn All-Conference USA first team recognition. Hernandez’s national recognition didn’t stop there, as he garnered Pro Football Focus Pass Protector of the Year. Hernandez is the only Conference USA student-athlete to earn recognition.
WILL’S PRESEASON ACCOLADES
Will Hernandez was selected to the 2017 AP All-America second team on Aug. 22 as the senior has racked up multiple preseason honors. Hernandez was announced to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List and earned a spot on the 2017 Preseason Conference USA team.
Multiple football publications, including Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview and Athlon Sports have Hernandez on their preseason teams.
DOVE RUNNING HARD
Sophomore RB Kevin Dove uses his 6-foot, 245-pound frame to bulldoze over defenders as he rushed for a career-high 69 yards on a career-most 15 attempts against WKU on Oct. 7. Dove got stronger as the game went on as he rambled for a career-long 23-yard rush in the fourth quarter against the Hilltoppers.
Dove’s previous high was a 59-yard effort on 10 carries against Houston Baptist in 2016. In 2017, Dove has rushed for 150 yards on 44 carries. Dove also has a team-best 11 first downs gained.
The UTEP defense has shown improvement the last few outings. After allowing 47.8 points per game in the first four contests, the defense has cut it in half, surrendering 24.7 points per contest over the last three games.
The defense also gave up 519 yards of total offense per game during the first four contests and has cut that to 379.3 per game during the last three outings. On Oct. 7 against WKU in the Sun Bowl, the Miners allowed season lows in points (15), first downs (18) and total yards of offense (282).
BACK-TO-BACK DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES
Senior LB Alvin Jones registered back-to-back games of double-digit tackles after reaching 12 against WKU on Oct. 7 and 10 more at Southern Miss on Oct. 14. It’s his first back-to-back effort since racking up 16 at Rice on Nov. 19 and 12 tackles against North Texas to close out the 2016 season. Back in 2015, Jones recorded 11 stops three games in a row (vs. Rice, at Old Dominion, vs. LA Tech).
MORE DOUBLE-DIGIT STOPS
Alvin Jones has reached double digits in tackles 12 times during his career after his 10-tackle output on Oct. 14 at Southern Miss. Jones’s first double-digit performance came against UTSA on Oct. 3, 2015 with a 10-tackle outing. Jones racked up 11 tackles in four other contests in 2015 (at NM State; vs. Rice; at Old Dominion; vs. LA Tech).
In 2016, Jones registered double-digit tackles, including his career high of 16 stops, in four contests (12 vs. NM State; 16 vs. FIU; 16 at Rice; 12 vs. North Texas). Jones registered a season-high 15 tackles against Arizona on Sept. 15, his first double-digit effort in 2017 and 12 stops against WKU on Oct. 7.
Alvin Jones registered 10 more tackles at Southern Miss on Oct. 14 after racking up 12 against WKU the week before. Jones currently leads the team in tackles (61) and tackles per game (8.7). Jones ranks sixth in tackles per game (8.7) and seventh in total tackles (61) in Conference USA. Jones has led the Miners in tackles in each of the last two seasons, recording 93 stops during each campaign.
KEEPING UP WITH ALVIN’S CAREER
Senior Alvin Jones has 302 career tackles (second-most at UTEP since the 2000 season) after tallying 10 stops at Southern Miss on Oct. 14. Jones has 12.5 career sacks, ranking tied for ninth with Menson Holloway on the program’s top-10 list.
Jones’s 34.5 career tackles for loss rank third on the program’s all-time list as Barron Wortham leads the all-time list with 45.0 tackles for loss and Gonzalo Floyd ranks second (41.0 TFL). Jones’s 14.5 tackles for loss in 2015 rank tied for ninth on the single-season list, while his 5.0 tackles for loss at NM State on Sept. 19, 2015 were the most by a UTEP player since the 2000 season.
Jones has led the Miners in tackles the past two seasons, tallying 93 stops in each campaign, while in 2014 Jones ranked second with 55 takedowns.
Alvin Jones now has over 300 tackles in his career after being credited with 10 stops at Southern Miss. Jones joins Pete Shufelt (385 tackles), Fred Williams (375), Dale Kirry (335), Seth Joyner (325), Brian Young (322) and Richie Rodriguez (322) as Miners who have reached at least 300-plus stops during a career.
Barron Wortham leads the all-time list with 566 tackles. Doug Morgan (523), Tony Perea (459), Raymond Morris (458), Robert Rodriguez (443), Michael Comer (437), Fred Carr (410) and Hal Barnett (407) ranks as the next eight leading tacklers in program history.
UTEP will celebrate “Legends Night” in the Sun Bowl when the Miner football team takes on UTSA Saturday, October 28 at 6 p.m. And with one of the Miners’ newest legends, Aaron Jones, expected to attend, 1,000 lucky fans will receive a free bobblehead of the Green Bay Packers rookie sensation and the Miners’ all-time leading rusher.
Fans can pick up their complimentary game program as they enter the stadium and look for the Aaron Jones sticker on page 29. Fans with the sticker can present their program at the bobblehead pickup, located on the North side of the Sun Bowl by the Larry K. Durham Center, to receive their free item.
There will be a limit of one program per fan that enters the stadium, with no exchanges. Bobbleheads will be available for pickup at the football game only.
Jones earned third team All-American honors by the Associated Press following a 2016 season that saw him shatter UTEP records for rushing yards in a season (1,773) and a career (4,114). He was recently named the NFL Rookie of the Week after rushing for 125 yards versus the Dallas Cowboys in his first career start as a pro.
The Miners will also honor five more legends — 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame inductees Antonio Davis, Seth Joyner, Blessing Okagbare, Cynthia Ruelas and Paul Stankowski — at the UTSA game. Davis, who played basketball at UTEP from 1986-90, spent 13 seasons in the NBA and was a 2001 NBA All-Star. Joyner, a member of the Miner football team from 1982-85, was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1991.
Okagbare spent the 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons on the UTEP track and field team and was NCAA champion in the long jump and 100 meters. Ruelas starred on the Miner volleyball squad from 1993-97. Stankowski, who played on the UTEP golf team from 1987-91, was the 1990 Western Athletic Conference champion before enjoying a long career on the PGA Tour.
Tickets to the UTEP-UTSA football game start at just $10 and are available by calling (915) 747-5234. The Aaron Jones bobblehead is sponsored by GECU.
The Green Bay Packers drafted former Miner Aaron Jones on Saturday afternoon. The running back was drafted with the 36th pick in the fifth round (182nd overall).
The last time a Miner was drafted was in 2008 when a trio was selected.
Tackle Oniel Cousins was selected by the Baltimore Ravens (third round, 36th pick, 99th overall), free safety Quintin Demps was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles (fourth round, 18th pick, 117th overall) and running back Marcus Thomas was picked by the Dallas Cowboys (fifth round, 31st pick, 166th overall).
Aaron Jones set multiple school records during his prolific junior season including earning AP All-American third team and All-Conference USA first team honors. 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.
The three-time letter winner 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. He finished the season ranked third in the nation with his 147.8 rushing yards per contest.
Football’s Aaron Jones and Track & Field’s Tobi Amusan were named the UTEP Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the 43rd annual “Dinner With the Miners” banquet on Thursday night at the Wyndham El Paso Airport.
Soccer’s Aleah Davis received the Golden Miner Award, presented to UTEP’s top all-around senior student-athlete based on athletics, academics and community service. Former Miner volleyball player Christine Brandl was recipient of the Silver Anniversary Award.
Jones became UTEP’s all-time leading rusher (4,114 yards) in 2016, breaking a school record that had stood for 28 years. He ranks seventh on the all-time Conference USA rushing list. Jones set a school single-season record with 1,773 rushing yards. He was named a third team All-American by the Associated Press and first team All-Conference USA.
Jones became only the second player in school history to rush for 300 yards in a game, and the first in 51 years, when he rambled for 301 yards against North Texas. He was named the Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week for his effort. Jones compiled 17 rushing touchdowns (third in school history), 2,006 all-purpose yards (fourth) and scored 120 points (third).
He led Conference USA and rated third nationally in rushing this season, collecting 147.8 yards per contest. He went over the 100-yard rushing mark seven times, and had 200+ yards in three games.
Amusan made her mark during the 2016 outdoor season, receiving numerous accolades including first team NCAA All-American,
Conference USA Track Athlete of the Year and C-USA Freshman of the Meet. She competed at the 2016 Olympics and World U20 Championships. She broke a 33-year old school record, and posted the fourth-fastest time in the nation in the 100-meter hurdles (12.83 seconds).
She claimed titles in the 100-meter hurdles and the 200 meters at the C-USA Championships, while adding a runner-up showing in the long jump. She was NCAA runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles. Amusan achieved another school record in the 60-meter hurdles during the indoor season (7.98 seconds). She claimed six first-place finishes during the indoor campaign. She won two events (60-meter hurdles, 200 meters) at the C-USA Indoor Meet for the champion Miners. Her time in the 200 meters (23.35 seconds) was a UTEP record.
Amusan was the C-USA High Point Scorer of the Meet. She recorded a sixth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships to earn All-American honors.
Davis earned All-Conference (first team) and All-Region (second team) accolades for the fourth time in as many years, making her the first Miner to achieve the feat. She started all 22 matches, tallying six goals and eight assists for a team-high tying 20 points. She posted five game-winning goals.
She helped the Miners register their most wins (13) in seven years and advance to the semifinals of the Conference USA Championships. She was voted to the NSCAA Senior Women’s College Scholar All-America Team and the C-USA Women’s Soccer All-Academic Team. Davis also compiled over 100 community service hours during her UTEP career.
The Silver Anniversary Miner Award is presented to an individual who had a distinguished college athletic career, and has continued to contribute to UTEP and the El Paso community.
Brandl played for the Miners from 1988-91 and is the school’s all-time leader for assists (4,210) and service aces (148). She was a second team Verizon Academic All-American as a junior and senior and was the recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 1992.
Brandl finished her Premedical Education at UTEP in 1992. She completed her Medical Education from Texas Tech in 1996 and her Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas in 2000. She became a certified OBGYN in 2002 and today operates her own private practice, Lifesteps OBGYN, in El Paso. She has received numerous awards in the medical field and is a former Vice Chairman for Providence Hospital.
Brandl has also volunteered as a volleyball coach at St. Mark’s School and Mount Franklin Christian Academy in El Paso.
The grade point average award was presented to the tennis team, and the community service award went to volleyball.
In addition, team MVP awards were presented to Dominic Artis (men’s basketball), Sparkle Taylor (women’s basketball), Jonah Koech (men’s cross country and outdoor track & field), Winny Koech (women’s cross country), Emmanuel Korir (men’s indoor track & field), Tobi Amusan (women’s indoor and outdoor track & field), Aaron Jones (football), Frederik Dreier (men’s golf), Lily Downs (women’s golf), Bailey Powell (rifle), Alyssa Palacios (soccer), Kaitlin Ryder (softball), Raven Bennett (tennis), Lindsey Larson (volleyball), Bailey Sarver & Omar Gardea (Cheerleading), Jeanna Mullen, James Bias & Will Hernandez (strength & conditioning) and Ariana Rodarte (athletic training).
“Dinner With The Miners” is made possible by the El Paso Downtown Lions Club. The event was inspired by past Lion president John Phelan. In 1979, a $10,000 memorial endowment was established. Due to the overwhelming community support of the event, the memorial fund was raised to $100,000 in 1983.
A second endowment has already been established and continues to grow each year. These two endowments provide funds annually to offset the cost of student-athlete scholarships.
Former Miners Aaron Jones and Hayden Plinke were selected to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine onFeb. 28-March 4 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The last Miner to get invited to the combine was Eric Tomlinson in 2015. The tight end currently is on the New York Jets roster.
The athletes will participate in medical examinations, interviews, test, NFLPA meetings, strength test and on-field workouts. Running backs will take part on on-field workout on March 3, while tight ends will be on the field on March 4.
Eleven athletes from Conference USA schools were selected to participate in the combine. LA Tech led with three invites, followed by UTEP and WKU with two. Jones is the only running back, while Plinke is one of two tight ends invited from the league (Jonnu Smith, FIU).
Jones set multiple school records during his prolific junior season including earning AP All-American third team and All-C-USA first team honors. 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.
Plinke started all 12 contests and earned All-Conference USA first team honors after producing a record-setting season. The senior stomped and raced past defenders on way to eight receiving touchdowns, the most ever by a UTEP tight end during a single season. The tight end led team in receptions (38) and touchdowns grabs and ranked second in receiving yards (456). He registered a career-long 72-yard touchdown during a season-finale victory against North Texas.
The Miners will begin spring training on March 6 at Glory Field.
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.
IRVING, Texas – UTEP junior offensive lineman Will Hernandez, record-breaking junior running back Aaron Jones and record-breaking senior tight end Hayden Plinke earned first team All-Conference USA honors on Tuesday, as selected by the league’s 13 head football coaches.
Junior linebacker Alvin Jones was named second team All-C-USA, while senior linebacker Nick Usher, junior punter Alan Luna and sophomore punt returner Terry Juniel earned honorable mention honors.
UTEP has now had 20 first team All-C-USA selections in 12 seasons as a league member. It’s also the first time since the 2008 season that four Miners were selected all-conference.
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.
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.
Plinke produced big numbers, as the Hillsboro, Ore., native set a UTEP tight end record by hauling in eight receiving touchdowns in 2016. Plinke led the Miners with 38
receptions, while ranking second with 456 receiving yards. Plinke led all C-USA tight ends in touchdown receptions, while his scores ranked tied sixth with three other players in C-USA. Plinke earned a John Mackey Honorable Mention following his performance at UTSA.
During UTEP’s 5OT win against the Roadrunners, Plinke tallied 84 yards on four receptions, including a game-extending two-point conversion in the third overtime of the contest. Plinke also registered a career-high two touchdown receptions against Houston Baptist.
Jones is the first UTEP running back to earn first team honors since Donald Buckram (2009), Hernandez is the first UTEP offensive lineman since Mike Aguayo (2009) to earn first team honors, while Plinke is the first UTEP tight end to be named All-C-USA, while he’s also the first to be named first team since Brian Natkin earned such honors in 2000 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Alvin Jones led the Miners with 93 tackles despite missing a pair of contests due to injury. Jones produced monster numbers in a pair of contests, tallying a career-high 16 tackles against FIU, while matching that number at Rice. The El Paso native opened his junior campaign with a 12-tackle outing during a victory against rival NM State. Jones then capped the season with a 12-tackle performance in a 52-24 drubbing of North Texas.
Usher led the UTEP defense with 5.5 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss (41 yards). The Los Angeles native ranked third on the team with 77 tackles, while adding two breakups, a team-leading five quarterback hurries and a blocked kick. Usher tallied 2.0 sacks and seven tackles at no. 11 Texas, while registering a sack and nine tackles during a 5OT win at UTSA.
Luna averaged 41.0 yards on 62 punts (2,542 yards), with a career-long 69-yard boot. The El Paso native currently ranks ninth on the program’s all-time list with 5,427 career punt yards. Luna averaged a career-best 51.0 yards against Southern Miss, while at LA Tech, placed three punts inside the 20-yard line, while two were inside the 10-yard line.
Juniel opened his UTEP career by tallying 104 yards on six punt returns with a long of 42 yards in the season-opening victory against rival NM State – it was the most return yards in a single game since the 2006 season, while it was the single-game high in C-USA. The Surprise, Ariz., native currently ranks third in C-USA in punt return average (9.2), while his 22 returns and 203 yards led the league.
Aaron Jones was announced as The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week on Tuesday.
The junior rushed for 301 yards with 24 carries and four touchdowns, as the Miners closed out the 2016 season with a 52-24 victory over North Texas on Saturday.
Jones joins West Virginia’s Justin Crawford, Texas’ D’Onta Foreman, and Utah’s Joe Williams as the only players in the FBS to gain 300 yards in a game this season.
Jones ended the season with 17 rushing touchdowns, a number that ranks third on the all-time UTEP list. He also ran for 1,773 yards in 2016, a UTEP single-season record and the fifth-most in Conference USA History