The 2nd Annual Jones Brothers – Aaron and Alvin – Football Camp is in the books, and scores of Borderland kids and their parents are overjoyed.
Held at the Jones’ brothers favorite stomping grounds – UTEP’s Sun Bowl – drills and skills were on display.
Our very own Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta was on hand, and while he didn’t run any of the drills, he did capture all the action to bring it to you in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’
UTEP senior offensive lineman Will Hernandez added another accolade to his long list as he was named to the Phil Steele All-Conference USA first team, along with senior linebacker Alvin Jones who also earned first team recognition.
Junior long snapper Jake Sammut was named third team special teams on Wednesday.
Hernandez, who was recently named AP All-America second team on Dec. 11 for a second consecutive season, started all 49 games at the left guard position during his four-year career, protecting the ‘blind side’ for UTEP quarterbacks. Overall during Hernandez’s career, the Miners allowed 1.47 sacks per game.
Also during the 49-game span, the Miners allowed one or no sacks in 27 games and zero sacks in 12 of those contests.
Jones, who recently earned a 2017 C-USA honorable mention, led the Miners in tackles for a third consecutive season. The native of El Paso racked up a career-best 102 tackles during his senior campaign, while adding 47 solo stops, 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks to lead the defense.
Jones also ranked tied for third in C-USA and 17th in FBS with a trio of forced fumbles. Jones recorded 15 tackles against Arizona and LA Tech.
Sammut, who competed his first season with the Orange and Blue after transferring from College of Canyons and earned a 2017 C-USA honorable mention, played in all 12 games for the Miners. Sammut, thought listed at 5-foot-
8, 170 pounds, played big as he tallied four tackles.
Sammut registered a pair of stops at Middle Tennessee while downing an Alan Luna punt inside the 20-yard line.
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.
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.
Seven Miners were recognized in the Dave Campbell’s All-Texas College Team.
The All-Texas team acknowledges the best college players in the state of Texas. Leading the way on offense is senior Hayden Plinke, who garnered first team honors. The tight end was named to the John Mackey Award watch list yesterday and ranked second on the team in receptions (37) and receiving yards (405) in 2015.
Earning second team honors is running back Aaron Jones, lineman Will Hernandez and kicker Jay Mattox. Jones also was named No. 7 on the 50 Most Important College Players in Texas list. After missing most of last season the junior returns this campaign looking for redemption. 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 embodies the tough and physical unit that head coach Sean Kugler looks for when recruiting lineman. The junior was part of the line that led Conference USA in sacks allowed (12) and ranked tied sixth nationally in sacks allowed per game (1.0).
Mattox led UTEP with 68 points last season and connected on 15-of-19 field goal attempts and was 23-of-24 on PATs. The veteran kicker was also 6-for-6 on field goals 20-29 yards.
On defense, Alan Luna was named the Best Special Teams Player and received first team honors. The junior averaged 44.4 yards per punt (2,885 yards) on 65 boots. He tallied 21 punts of 50-plus yards and 15 punts inside the 20-yard line. Luna ranked tied second in Conference USA and tied 16th nationally in punting average last season.
Juniors Alvin Jones and Devin Cockrell were named on the second team. Jones also was chosen No. 38 on the 50 Most Important College Players in Texas list. In 2015, the linebacker 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.
Cockrell missed all of last season with a knee injury but had an explosive season in 2014. He started in all 13 games and ranked third on the defense with 52 tackles (37 solo), second in tackles for loss (7.0 — 30 yards) with an interception, two sacks, two pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. Cockrell also was recognized on the 50 Most Important College Players in Texas list at No. 43.
UTEP will open the season on Sept. 3 at home versus I-10 rival NM State. Season tickets are on sale now for the Miners’ seven-game home schedule, which features a matchup with Army on Sept. 17. The UTEP season ticket office phone number is (915) 747-6150.
Cleveland, Ohio – Alvin Jones, Will Hernandez and Jay Mattox were named to the Phil Steele’s 2015 Postseason All-Conference USA third team on Thursday.
Leading the way for the Miners defense this season is El Paso native Jones. The sophomore guided the team in tackles (93), solo stops (48), sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (14.5) and two safeties. The linebacker is tied for first in the league in tackles for loss and rates sixth in sacks.
The El Paso native recorded a three-sack performance against UTSA tying second most in a single game in C-USA. Jones tallied a career-high 5.0 tackles for loss at NMSU which is the second-most during a single contest in C-USA.
On offense, Hernandez paved the way for the offensive unit that only allowed 12 sacks in 12 games. The line concluded the season ranked first in the league and is seventh nationally in fewest sacks allowed. The unit didn’t surrender any sacks in four contests versus LA Tech, Southern Miss, Rice, and Incarnate Word.
On special teams, Mattox was 15-for-19 on field goal conversions and rates third in the league in field goal percentage (78.9). The kicker led the Miners in points with 68 and was 23-24 in extra attempts. The junior also averaged 63.9 on kickoffs with 31 touchbacks this season. Mattox hit a career-long 50-yard field goal against UIW which tied for the third longest in C-USA.
He ranks third in program history with 203 kicking points and second in PATs with 98.
All three Miners will return next season.
Author: UTEP Athletics