Miner great Will Hernandez was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round with the 34 pick of the NFL Draft on Friday night.
The offensive lineman became the fourth-highest Miner to be selected in the NFL Draft since 1968. Miners Fred Carr (fifth – Green Bay Packers) and George Daney (22nd – Kansas City Chiefs) were both selected in the first round in 1968. In 1948, the Packers took Miner Ed Smith as the first pick of the second round.
Hernandez is the second player from a university in the state of Texas to be selected in the 2018 NFL draft, behind UTSA’s Marcus Davenport.
Hernandez is one of nine Miners that have been drafted in the second round of the NFL draft. Joining Hernandez in this prestige are Ed Smith (1948), Charlie West (1968), Bob Wallace (1968), Grady Cavness (1969), Volley Murphy (1969), Eugene Epps (1969), Gary Keithley (1973) and Thomas Howard (2006).
Hernandez’s success at UTEP is undeniable being the only Miner since 1950 to receive Associated Press All-American honors in back-to-back years. The left guard garnered second-team recognition in both 2016 and 2017. His senior year accolades also included first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus and second team All-American by CBS Sports.
Hernandez started in all 49 games with the Miners and is the only offensive lineman in school history to garner first-team All-Conference recognition in consecutive years.
Following the 2017 campaign, Hernandez was invited to the NFL Combine, Reese’s Senior Bowl and State Farm All-Star Football Challenge.