Greg Long relishes the opportunity to take the field this fall as part of the UTEP football team.
The redshirt junior’s excitement is not solely based on the fact that he is expected to be a lynchpin for the Miners’ stout offensive line. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive tackle also is eager to bounce back from injuries that kept him off the field last season and for most of the 2017 campaign.
But those are not the only physical hardships he has had to overcome. Long was born premature and began life afflicted by a host of blood and respiratory issues.
“I wasn’t a kid that was supposed to play football,” Long said. “No one was expecting me to do this. I had a lot of health problems growing up. But I was able to overcome that adversity. Now, I look forward to this upcoming season. I hope to earn All-Conference honors.”
Those lofty goals are certainly attainable. Long was named to the 2016 All-Conference USA freshman team and was listed as a first-team selection on Phil Steele’s 2017 Preseason All-C-USA squad. The potential to return to that form exists because of a diligent work ethic, a commitment to enhancing his skill-set and a positive outlook. Long said his achievements also have been attainable because of the Miner Athletic Club.
“Receiving a scholarship has given me a chance to do things that a lot of people didn’t think I could,” Long said. “Growing up, academics was something that I was not very in tune with. But after coming to UTEP and having someone take a chance on me, it has helped me realize that there is more out there for me.”
Long said the first time he realized he could play college football was during his junior year at Eastwood High School in El Paso. His offensive line coach informed him of his potential and urged him to perform the work necessary to fulfill that goal. Long’s undertaking was aided by the Troopers’ coaching staff submitting film to schools on his behalf. When UTEP offered a chance to play in his hometown, he could not pass it up.
“To represent the Miners in my hometown means everything to me,” Long said. “I get to give back to my community and have my family and friends come support me.”
UTEP Head Coach Dana Dimel said Long has been an inspiring presence throughout his recovery process and will be a vital component of the Miner offense this season.
“Greg has been an inspiration to all of us because of the adversity he has had to overcome,” Dimel said. “He brings a really positive attitude to work and handles himself well on and off the field. He’s a strong ambassador for our program.”
When his academic journey is complete, the criminal justice major hopes to work for the Department of Homeland Security. He wants to eventually lead a narcotics team. But before that, he aspires to propel UTEP to a successful season.
“I hope to help lead the Miners to a bowl game victory and I also hope to lead us to a championship,” Long said.
Author: Pablo Villa – UTEP Communications | Video by UTEP Communications
Creating Champions: This is the second article in a series about UTEP student-athletes who share their unique stories and how athletic scholarships have made a difference in their lives. Each of these students reflects on the value of their UTEP experiences and the opportunities they create for the future. Visit minerathleticclub.com to learn more about the Creating Champions campaign.
The UTEP football team will kick off the season at home against Houston Baptist on August 31, as the Miners enter year two under coach Dana Dimel with eyes on an “Orange Revival” in 2019 and beyond.
“When I think of revival, I think of a renewed and refreshed energy. That’s what we are expecting from this year’s football team!” UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said.
“This home football schedule is a nice blend of games including the renewal of an old Western Athletic Conference rivalry with Nevada, matchups against three Texas programs and our first-ever meeting with Charlotte. In the spirit of all things new we have lowered the cost of every single season ticket price group in 2019.”
Senter continued, “We want our Miner fans back, and we need our Miner fans back to make this Orange Revival a reality. It’s hard to compete for and win championships when the Sun Bowl isn’t packed on Saturdays. Every Person Makes A Difference (#EPMAD) the Orange Revival is here!”
UTEP Football Season Tickets are on sale now and prices have been reduced at all levels from the 2018 season.
The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.
Here is a look at the themes and promotions for the Miners’ 2019 home schedule.
Aug. 31 vs. Houston Baptist – Orange Revival/Spirit Night/Extra Yard For Teachers
Fans are encouraged to wear orange, bring their Miner Spirit and pack the Sun Bowl as UTEP kicks off its 102nd football season at home against the Huskies! The game will feature a halftime performance by the top youth cheer and dance teams on “Spirit Night.” In addition, UTEP will honor the contributions of teachers, administrators and support staff at public and private schools throughout Region 19. This annual event was organized to recognize the efforts of all school personnel who teach, engage, nurture and mentor students in their care.
Sept. 21 vs. Nevada – Hall of Fame Game/Band Night/Youth Football Night
The 2019 inductees into the UTEP Athletics Hall of Fame — Hans Hoglund (track & field), Stefon Jackson (men’s basketball), Tony Perea (football), Kayla Thornton (women’s basketball) and Brian Young (football) — will be honored at halftime. The game will also feature music from local middle and high school bands. Youth Football Teams can sign up to scrimmage in the stadium earlier in the day and cheer on the Miners versus the Wolf Pack!
Oct. 5 vs. UTSA – Homecoming
UTEP Homecoming week is Sept. 29-Oct. 5, capped by the Miners’ C-USA home opener against their Lone Star State rivals the Roadrunners! This year marks UTEP’s 88th Homecoming contest and the first under new President Dr. Heather Wilson. Come celebrate UTEP’s proud history and bright future under the lights in the Sun Bowl!
Oct. 26 vs. LA Tech – Military Appreciation Night
The Miners will salute the nation’s Armed Forces including the Home of America’s Tank Division, Fort Bliss. Military Appreciation Night features an enlistment ceremony and in-game on-field and video board tributes. The game is also highlighted by static displays around the stadium and a pregame flyover.
Nov. 9 vs. Charlotte – TBA
Nov. 30 vs. Rice – Thanks Day
The Miners will cap Thanksgiving Week by saying “Thank You!” to local law enforcement agencies and first responders. UTEP will also pay tribute to its 2019 seniors as they play their final home game in the Sun Bowl.
2019 UTEP Football Home Schedule
Date Opponent Theme
Aug. 31 Houston Baptist Orange Revival/Spirit Night/Extra Yard for Teachers
Sept. 21 Nevada Hall of Fame Game/Band Night/Youth Football Night
UTEP football season ticket prices have been reduced for the 2019 season, and tickets will go on sale this Monday, June 17.
“We can’t wait to get the season underway,” second-year UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “I know the passion for UTEP Football is there in the community. Come out to the stadium and support these kids. Your presence will really help in getting this thing turned around.”
The Miners will play six home games this fall, beginning with the season opener versus Houston Baptist on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.
UTEP will also host former Western Athletic Conference rival Nevada (Sept. 21, 6 p.m.), as well as Conference USA foes UTSA (Oct. 5, 6 p.m.), LA Tech (Oct. 26, 6 p.m.), Charlotte (Nov. 9, 1 p.m.) and Rice (Nov. 30, 1 p.m.).
UTEP Football season ticket prices for 2019 are as follows: Captain’s Club $1,300 (reduced from $1,320 in 2018), Gold Reserved $330 (reduced from $360), Silver Reserved $250 (reduced from $300), Bronze Reserved $100 (reduced from $120), and General Admission $60 (reduced from $66). Family packs for two adults and two youth are available for $198 (reduced from $210).
The UTEP Season Ticket Office is located at Brumbelow Building Room 109 (next to the Don Haskins Center). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online, or by calling (915) 747-6150.
When the UTEP Miners take to the field this fall for their first home game in the Sun Bowl, fans will have an opportunity to experience the game from a whole new perspective.
On Monday afternoon, officials announced the addition of the Party Patio, the newest VIP area in the iconic venue, for the 2019 UTEP football season.
“We are excited to add the Party Patio to the Sun Bowl environment,” UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter said. “Today’s fan is looking for exclusive and unique experiences on game day and this space will provide exactly that, allowing UTEP fans to socialize and enjoy games in a way that they never have before. We anticipate it being one of the most sought after fan areas due to its atmosphere and amenities.
“This is just one piece of our overall strategy of improving game day for our fans, and our Fan Council agreed that this concept would be a hit with season ticket holders looking for a new experience on game day. We will continue to implement new initiatives and concepts moving forward. Miner Nation should be excited about what’s to come,” Senter added.
Located at field level behind the North End Zone, UTEP officials say the Party Patio will provide an “exclusive and fun-filled experience like never before.” The Miners will kick off the 2019 season at home against Houston Baptist on August 31 at 6 p.m
Amenities at the Party Patio include two full-service bars offering draft beer, mixed drinks, wine, Pepsi products, select food/concessions offerings, premium game day beverages including draft beers from MillerCoors and Deadbeach Brewery and breathtaking views of the field and stadium.
The Party Patio will open 90 minutes prior to kickoff for each of the Miners’ six home games and close at the end of the game.
Access to the Party Patio is $99 per patron with the purchase of a season ticket. To purchase a Party Patio pass, fans can call (915) 747-6150, visit the ticket website, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
UTEP’s game at Texas Tech (Sept. 7) will be televised on FSN and the Miners’ game at North Texas (Nov. 2) will be carried on the NFL Network as part of Conference USA’s broadcast schedule for the 2019 football season, announced on Thursday.
UTEP will battle the Red Raiders in Lubbock at 6 p.m. MT. The Miners and the Mean Green will kick off from Denton at 1:30 p.m. MT.
Nine more UTEP games will be streamed on ESPN platforms.
The Miners’ matchups versus Houston Baptist (Aug. 31, 6 p.m. MT), at Southern Miss (Sept. 28, 5 p.m. MT), versus UTSA (Oct. 5, 6 p.m. MT), at FIU (Oct. 19, 5 p.m. MT), and versus Charlotte (Nov. 9, 1 p.m. MT) will be shown on ESPN+.
UTEP’s contests versus Nevada (Sept. 21, 6 p.m. MT), versus LA Tech (Oct. 26, 6 p.m. MT), at UAB (Nov. 16, TBD) and versus Rice (Nov. 30, 1 p.m. MT) will be available on ESPN3.
Additional Conference USA football broadcast exposures will be released as soon as they are finalized.
UTEP Director of Athletics Jim Senter announced the kickoff times for the Miners’ six 2019 football home games on Wednesday.
“We had over 1,500 responses to the survey and received some really tremendous feedback on what the fans are looking for from UTEP Football Gameday,” Senter said.
“The survey was extremely comprehensive in nature to cover everything from football game times to ticketing, parking, tailgating, concessions, marketing and promotions, video production and much more. We discussed all of the findings with our Fan Council and received some really positive insight from them as well. We’ll continue to utilize the results of the survey and our Fan Council in working towards bettering the UTEP Football experience for all our fans this fall.
Earlier this year, UTEP Athletics officials disseminated a survey to season ticket holders and students gauging their opinions on a wide variety of topics related to the football game day experience. One of the topics was kickoff times.
“One of the things that we discovered was that our fans preferred the 6 p.m. start time for the early games in the season, and afternoon kickoffs with the threat of inclement weather in November. After one season experimenting with 5:30 starts, we’re pleased to return to the 6 p.m. kickoff time that was popular with fans and commonplace prior to 2018. We’re looking forward to sharing more new developments to UTEP Football Gameday with our fans in the coming months as we eagerly await the 2019 campaign.”
The Miners’ matchups versus Houston Baptist (Aug. 31), Nevada (Sept. 21), UTSA (Oct. 5) and LA Tech (Oct. 26) will start at 6 p.m. Mountain time. November home games against Charlotte (Nov. 9) and Rice (Nov. 30) will kick at 1 p.m. MT.
With the Conference USA TV schedule set, the Oct. 5 game against UTSA marks UTEP’s 88th Homecoming contest. The Miners are 38-48-1 all-time on Homecoming and will be hosting the Roadrunners on Homecoming for the second time in five years.
The Miners return quarterbacks Kai Locksley and Brandon Jones, who combined for throw for 1,610 yards and rush for 401 yards last season. They’ll operate behind a veteran offensive line that features eight returning players who have combined for 84 career starts. UTEP also welcomes back 1,000-yard rusher Quardraiz Wadley on offense.
The Miner defense improved from 107th nationally in yards allowed in 2017 to 68th last season and looks to continue its progression this fall led by a stout defensive line.
Coach Dana Dimel and his staff reeled in a 2019 recruiting class that features eight three-star recruits according to 247sports.com. It marks the most three-star signees for UTEP since 2010, and the third-most since 2000.
The Sun Bowl reseating process is underway for the 2019 season. Season ticket holders who have questions about the reseating process can contact the Season Ticket Office at (915) 747-6150, or via email(email@example.com).
UTEP will host Texas Tech in 2020 and play at Texas in 2020, 2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031, highlighting the Miners’ future football schedules.
“All these games are very helpful in our recruiting efforts,” UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel said. “We want to sign guys with a desire to compete against the highest level of competition. Plus, the games against the Red Raiders and Longhorns will enable our Texas guys to play in their home state.”
UTEP will also face Oklahoma and Arizona on the road in 2022 and 2023 respectively.
“We’re excited about getting Texas Tech and Texas back on the schedule, and continuing our series with Arizona and Oklahoma,” Director of Athletics Jim Senter said. “The in-state rivalries mean a great deal to our fans. Overall, going up against some of the nation’s premier teams will benefit us tremendously as we strive to build a program that competes for and wins championships.”
The Miners will play at Texas Tech on September 7 this fall. The Red Raiders’ visit to El Paso on September 5, 2020 will be their first since the 2014 season.
UTEP’s matchups with the Longhorns are slated for 2020 (Sept. 19), 2025 (Sept. 13), 2027 (Sept. 18), 2029 (Sept. 15) and 2031 (Sept. 13). The Miners will square off against Oklahoma on Sept. 3, 2022, and Arizona on Sept. 16, 2023.
All dates of future games are subject to change.
UTEP opens the 2019 season on Saturday, August 31 at home against Houston Baptist.
The Sun Bowl reseating process is underway for the 2019 season. Season ticket holders who have questions about the reseating process can contact the Season Ticket Office at (915) 747-6150, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UTEP football head coach Dana Dimel and the rest of his coaching staff will be hosting three different camps in the summer of 2019.
Information for each of the camps is found below, with interested individuals also encouraged to visit the UTEP football camp’s website
UTEP Football Kids Camp – June 1, 2019 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
Children Entering Grades First-Eighth
$37.10 (Per Participant)
The UTEP football kids camp will be held June 1, 2019, at Glory Field. The cost is $37.10 per participant, and is open to children of all skill levels entering grades first through eighth. This camp is an opportunity for players to learn fundamentals and advanced skills from high level coaches.
Campers will get to compete in both offensive and defensive positions to experience every aspect of the game. Participants will have a true Division I College football experience. Campers are asked to bring tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt, and socks. Football cleats and mouthpieces are encouraged but optional.
Campers are required to bring their completed waver form in order to participate.
UTEP One Day High School Camp – June 8, 2019 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
UTEP Sun Bowl
High School Students Entering Grades Ninth-12th, and JUCO (Fall of 2019)
$42.40 (Per Participant)
The UTEP football One Day High School Camp will be held June 8, 2019, at the UTEP Sun Bowl. The cost is $42.10 per participant (register in advance) and $55 for walk-ups. Check-in begins at 8 a.m.
It is open to high school students of all skill levels entering grades ninth through 12th, in addition to JUCO (fall of 2019). The camp provides individuals the chance to learn from the UTEP staff, with instruction in every position and all facets of the game. Participants will have a true Division I College football experience.
Campers are required to bring their completed waver form in order to participate.
UTEP Football Elite High School Camp – July 27, 2019 (8 a.m.-12 p.m.)
High School Students Entering Grades 11th-12th, and JUCO (Fall of 2019)
$42.40 (Per Participant)
The UTEP football Elite High School Camp will be held July 27, 2019, at Glory Field. The cost is $42.10 per participant (register in advance) and $55 for walk-ups. Check-in starts at 8 a.m.
It is open to high school students of all skill levels entering grades 11th through 12th, in addition to JUCO (fall of 2019). Campers will be led through various drills from the UTEP staff, giving participants a true Division I College football experience.
Campers are required to bring their completed waver form in order to participate.
The UTEP football team will conclude spring drills on Saturday at noon in the Sun Bowl.
Fans are invited to come see the Miners put the finishing touches on their spring workouts. Gates will open to the public starting at 11 a.m. Admission and parking is free.
Fans should enter and exit through the north gate of the Sun Bowl and park in GR2 lot. All other gates will be closed.
The Miners’ 2019 home slate includes the renewal of the series versus former WAC rival Nevada (September 21) and match-ups with C-USA in-state foes UTSA (October 5) and Rice (November 30). UTEP will also face Charlotte for the first time ever in the Sun Bowl on November 9.
UTEP returns 49 letter winners and a total of 12 starters, including seven on offense, four on defense and one on special teams. The Miner offense welcomes back quarterback Kai Locksley, running back Quardraiz Wadley, wide receiver Keynan Fosterand four offensive linemen (Markos Lujan, Bobby DeHaro, Ruben Guerraand Zuri Henry).
Seniors Denzel Chukwukelu and Chris Richardson are back to anchor the defensive line, while Sione Tupou will lead the linebackers and Michael Lewis the safeties. Punter Mitchell Crawford returns for his second season with the Miners.
Last year, the Miners suffered multiple season-ending injuries early on that hindered the offensive line. Seniors Derron Gatewood and Greg Long both missed the entire 2018 season due to injury. UTEP enters 2019 with more strength, returning eight players who have combined for 84 starts.
Gatewood brings the most experience to the line, having made 22 starts. Also adding depth at the line are seniors Ruben Guerra, Long, Markos Lujan and Bijan Hosseini. Guerra has made 15 collegiate starts and has seen action at center, right guard and right tackle. Long missed last year but saw action in nine games and started in four as a true freshman. Lujan started in 11 games last season, making nine starts at center. Hosseini played in 10 games and made six total starts in 2018.
Sophomore Bobby DeHaro was relied on the most last season, starting in all 12 games. The El Paso native was the most consistent part of the offensive line, starting at left guard in 11 games. The Miners also turned to true freshman Zuri Henry to step in at the left tackle position last season.
Henry made his first career start against Northern Arizona and made eight starts. Freshman Elijah Klein also took to the field during the 2018 campaign. The true freshman started in four games before redshirting the remainder of the season.
Locksley’s the Key
Kai Locksley entered the 2018 season in a quarterback battle but became the front-runner, after showing versatility and explosiveness in his UTEP debut against Northern Arizona. The senior played in nine contests and made eight starts under center last season. He led the team in passing yards (937) and completions (83). He also gained 340 yards rushing and had six touchdowns on the ground, while tossing three more scores.
In 2018, Locksley became the first UTEP quarterback to rush for 100 yards twice in a season (at UNLV, at UTSA) in 35 years. He rushed for a career-high 119 yards on 20 attempts and two scores against the Rebels.
Wadley’s Final Season
Quardraiz Wadley made a comeback last year after suffering a season-ending injury in 2017. The running back enters his senior year at UTEP having rushed for 1,072 yards and eight touchdowns in a Miner uniform.
Wadley led UTEP in rushing (627 yards), rushing touchdowns (seven), total touchdowns (eight) and rushing attempts (123) in 2018. He rushed for a season-high 111 yards versus rival NM State. Wadley also gained 99 yards on 15 carries (6.6 avg.) and rushed for two touchdowns against Middle Tennessee.
UTEP head coach Dana Dimel added depth to the Miners’ 2019 roster on national signing day. Dimel inked 32 signees with 15 offensive players, 14 defensive players and three specialists.
The Miners signed eight three-star recruits according to 247sports.com. It marks the most three-star signees for UTEP since 2010 (13), and the third-most since 2000. The Miners already have eight mid-year enrollees, including defensive back Miles Banks, tight end Rashad Beecham, defensive back Robert Corner III, quarterback TJ Goodwin, safety Ty’reke James, tight end Luke Laufenberg, defensive back Duron Lowe and linebacker Joe Jay Smith.
Veteran Presence at the Line
UTEP improved from 107th nationally in total defense in 2017 to 68th in 2018. The unit will depend on the veteran presence of the defensive line to provide pressure on the quarterback. Denzel Chukwukelu brings three years of experience to the unit, having played in 30 games and making 16 starts.
Chukwukelu led all UTEP defensive linemen with 42 tackles in 2018. He added 6.5 tackles for loss (21 yards) and 2.0 sacks (13 yards). He led defense with seven quarterback hurries, while chipping in with a breakup, fumble forced/recovery and blocked two kicks. Also returning for his senior season is two-year letter winner Chris Richardson. The nose tackle started all 12 games last season and has played in a total of 24 games.
Richardson notched 31 tackles, while tallying 2.0 tackles for loss, two breakups and a pair of quarterback hurries during the 2018 campaign.
Returning to the lineup is redshirt-sophomore Dedrick Simpson. The defensive lineman sat out the 2018 due to a season-ending injury. As a true freshman, he played in all 12 games and made four starts. Simpson registered 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack and a quarterback hurry in 2017.
UTEP head coach Dana Dimel announced the addition of Zach Tenuta to the coaching staff and the promotion of four staff members on Monday.
“I’m looking forward to the addition of Zach Tenuta to the coaching staff,” said Dimel. “I’ve known his family for a long time and like the energy that he will bring to the team.”
Tenuta will be the defensive quality control, as Matt Wallerstedt takes over the defensive line. Tenuta comes to UTEP after coaching two seasons at Norfolk State, working with outside linebackers (2018) and defensive line (2017). Wallerstedt served as defensive quality control last season for the Miners. Prior to his time with the Miners, Wallerstedt was the defensive coordinator for Charlotte for three seasons (2015-17) and has over 25 years of coaching experience.
“I’ve worked with Matt (Wallerstedt) previously and brought him in with the intent to eventually be able to promote him,” said Dimel. “He brings experience and is a really good coach.”
Along with Wallerstedt, the Miners promoted Matt Rahl (offensive quality control), Barrick Nealy (recruiting coordinator/senior player personnel director) and Jacob Martinez (director of player personnel).
UTEP head football coach Dana Dimel announced the hiring of Zach Tenuta as defensive quality control. Tenuta served two seasons at Norfolk State, working with outside linebackers (2018) and defensive line (2017). Before heading to NSU, Tenuta was at Chowan University where he served as the defensive line coach in 2016.
Prior to Chowan, Tenuta spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach at the University of Virginia (2014-15), working with the defensive ends. Tenuta’s first coaching job came at Middle Creek High School in Apex, N.C. He served as the defensive ends and linebackers coach in his lone season with the Mustangs.
Wallerstedt enters his second season with the Miners. He will be taking over the defensive line this season. Prior to the 2019 season, Wallerstedt served as the defensive quality control. Last season, the Miners ranked 68th nationally in total defense (394.7 average per game) and 34th in passing yards allowed (198.9 average per game). Wallerstedt is a veteran coach with more than 25 years of coaching experience and previously served as the defensive coordinator for Charlotte (2015-17).
Rahl was promoted to offense quality control for the 2019 season. He will be assisting offensive line coach Mike Simmonds. Previously, Rahl served as the recruiting coordinator for the Miners (2018). Before coming to UTEP, Rahl spent four seasons at McKendree University where he worked as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. In the summer of 2017, also became the associate head coach for McKendree.
“(Matt) Rahl wanted to work on the field and this position brings him closer to that goal,” said Dimel.
Nealy enters his second season with the Miners and was promoted to recruiting coordinator and senior player personnel director. Last season, Nealy served as the director of player development – high school relations. Prior to arriving to UTEP, he coached wide receivers for six years at San Marcos Academy (2011-17).
“(Barrick) Nealy has worked hard as the director of player development and this experience will allow him to grow,” said Dimel. “I look forward to seeing what he does in his new role.”
Martinez continues his stint with the Miners as the director of player personnel. Previously, Martinez served as a graduate assistant assisting with football operations for three seasons. The El Paso native also played for the Miners for three seasons (2011-13).
“Jacob (Martinez) is a UTEP graduate and has been with the program for a few years,” said Dimel. “He is a very organized and detailed individual. I believe he will excel as the director of player personnel.”
The UTEP football team will begin spring practice under second-year head coach Dana Dimel on Tuesday, March 5.
“I am looking forward to spring ball starting,” Dimel said. “Our main focus will be to develop our depth at all positions. We will also continue to develop our unity and leadership, as we work towards having a very rewarding 2019 season.”
The Miners’ spring slate will consist of 15 practices, culminating with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 13, at 12 p.m. at the Sun Bowl.
All spring practices, except for the Spring Game, are tentatively scheduled to take place at Glory Field.
The Miners welcome their mid-year enrollees, including defensive back Miles Banks, tight end Rashad Beecham, defensive back Robert Corner III, quarterback TJ Goodwin, safety Ty’reke James, tight end Luke Laufenberg, defensive back Duron Lowe, linebacker Joe Jay Smith.
UTEP returns 49 letter-winners and a total of 12 starters, including seven on offense, four on defense and one on special teams. The Miner offense welcomes back quarterback Kai Locksley, running back Quardraiz Wadley, wide receiver Keynan Foster and four offensive linemen (Markos Lujan, Bobby DeHaro, Ruben Guerra and Zuri Henry).
Seniors Denzel Chukwukelu and Chris Richardson return to anchor the defensive line, while Sione Tupou will lead the linebackers and Michael Lewis the safeties. Punter Mitchell Crawford returns for his second season with the Miners.
UTEP opens the 2019 season against Houston Baptist on Saturday, August 31 at the Sun Bowl.
2019 UTEP Football Practice Dates
March 5 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 6 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 8 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 11 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 13 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 15 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 25 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 27 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
March 29 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
April 1 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
April 3 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
April 5 – TBA
April 8 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
April 10 – 8:45-10:45 a.m.
April 13 – Spring Game – 12 p.m.
*All practice dates and times are subject to change
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Matchups with regional foes NM State and Texas Tech, plus the renewal of a rivalry with former Western Athletic Conference opponent Nevada highlight the 2019 UTEP Football Schedule, released on Thursday.
“We’re moving to year two and wanting to get the culture established in our second season,” UTEP coach Dana Dimel said. “I’m looking forward to seeing that take shape as we take the field.”
The Miners will kick off the campaign by hosting FCS squad Houston Baptist on August 31 in the Sun Bowl. UTEP will play a game in the month of August for the first time since 2014.
It’s the first of six home games for UTEP in 2019. The Miners will also host Nevada (September 21), UTSA (October 5), LA Tech (October 26), Charlotte (November 9) and Rice (November 30).
“We have three teams from the state of Texas coming to play in our stadium, which is always exciting,” Dimel said. “Also, we have three teams in our division coming here plus a Mountain West Conference opponent in Nevada, which I’m sure will thrill our fans.”
UTEP will play its first road game of the season in week two (September 7) at Texas Tech. The Miners will alternate playing home and away in the first nine contests of the campaign.
The matchup with the Red Raiders is the first between the Southwest rivals in Lubbock since 2015. UTEP and Texas Tech will square off for the 24th time overall.
The Miners have two bye weeks scheduled – one on September 14, and another on October 12.
Following the first open week, UTEP will battle Nevada in the Sun Bowl (September 21) for the first time since 2001. The Miners and the Wolf Pack met three times as WAC members from 2000-02.
Nevada is coming off an 8-5 season and a 16-13 triumph over Arkansas State in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. The Miners will face five teams that appeared in bowls during the 2018 season, including C-USA adversaries FIU (Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl), LA Tech (SoFi Hawai’I Bowl), North Texas (New Mexico Bowl) and UAB (Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl).
Four of those teams (Nevada, FIU, LA Tech, UAB) won their postseason contest.
UTEP will open C-USA action at Southern Miss on September 28. The Miners will turn around and host UTSA on October 5 prior to their second bye week, which falls five games into the season.
Beginning on October 19, the Miners will tackle a demanding stretch that will see them face four 2018 bowl opponents in five games. UTEP will play at FIU on October 19, at North Texas on November 2, and at UAB on Nov. 16, sandwiched around home dates with LA Tech (October 26) and Charlotte (November 9).
UAB, the defending Conference USA champion, was 11-3 a year ago. UTEP will be taking on Charlotte, which joined C-USA and the FBS ranks in 2015, for the first time in its football history.
The Miners will play their final road game at NM State on November 23. The I-10 rivals will meet for the 97th time overall, and in the month of November for the first time since the 1960’s. It’s the latest Battle of I-10 since a November 26, 1960 matchup in Las Cruces.
The regular season finale is at home against Rice on November 30. The Conference USA Championship Game is slated for December 7.
All dates are subject to change in order to accommodate national television. A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date. UTEP season ticket information will be released later this spring.