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Home | Tag Archives: Will Hernandez

Tag Archives: Will Hernandez

UTEP Honors Hernandez, Koech as Athletes of the Year at “Dinner With the Miners”

Football’s Will Hernandez and Cross Country/Track & Field’s Winny Koech were named the UTEP Male and Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, at the 44th annual “Dinner With the Miners” banquet on Thursday night at the Wyndham El Paso Airport.

Softball’s Courtney Clayton received the Golden Miner Award, presented to UTEP’s top all-around senior student-athlete based on athletics, academics and community service.

Hernandez is 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.

A starter in all 49 games with the Miners, Hernandez 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.  The Las Vegas was chosen by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

FILE: Winny Koech | Courtesy UTEP Athletics

A junior from Iten, Kenya, Koech won two titles at the 2017 Conference USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, presiding over the field in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters.  She later represented UTEP in the 10,000 at the NCAA Championships.

Koech continued to shine during the 2017 cross country season, opening the campaign by garnering back-to-back first-place finishes at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational and NMSU Kachina Classic.  She took second at the C-USA Meet.  She qualified for the NCAA Championships, claiming 19th place and All-American honors while running the 6K race in 19:53.7.

This spring, Koech was the Conference USA runner-up indoors in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.  It marked the second consecutive year that she earned first team All-League honors.

Clayton has excelled on the playing field and in the classroom, while making a difference in the community as well during her time at UTEP.  The softball standout has started all 205 games for the Miners, batting .359 with 51 doubles, six triples, 25 home runs and 115 runs batted in.

This year the senior from Cornelius, Ore. leads the Miners with a .394 average, 13 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI.  She is first in Conference USA in triples while ranking second in total bases and third in batting average.  She ranks second in school history in doubles and triples, third in batting average, and fourth in home runs and RBI.

In the field, Clayton is the UTEP record-holder with 385 assists.  She was appointed the 2016 Conference USA Player of the Year.  Clayton has earned numerous academic honors with the Miners including a four-time recipient of a C-USA Medal for posting a grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

She is also a two-time member of the C-USA Softball All-Academic Team.  Clayton’s 56.5 community service hours lead all UTEP senior student-athletes.

The grade point average award was presented to the tennis team, and the community service award went to softball.
In addition, team MVP awards were presented to Omega Harris (men’s basketball), Tamara Seda (women’s basketball), Antony Kosgei (men’s cross country), Winny Koech (women’s cross country), Michael Saruni (men’s indoor track & field), Lilian Koech (women’s indoor track & field), Emmanuel Korir (men’s outdoor track & field), Tobi Amusan (women’s outdoor track & field), Will Hernandez (football), Charles Corner (men’s golf), Lily Downs(women’s golf), Bailey Powell (rifle), Lauren Crenshaw (soccer), Courtney Clayton (softball), Erandi Martinez(tennis), Macey Austin (volleyball), Javier Aguilar & Shelby Nava (Cheerleading), Asa Guevera & Tamara Seda(strength & conditioning) and Larry Felix (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.

Story in Many Pics: UTEP Pro Day at the Sun Bowl

Will Hernandez Invited to NFL Combine

Former UTEP All-American left guard Will Hernandez has impressed scouts following the 2017 season as he received an invite to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. The combine is set for March 2-5 at Lucas Oil Stadium, Center Township, Indiana.

Prospective offensive linemen will get the opportunity to show off their skills on the first day, Friday, March 2. Fans can watch the action on the NFL Network.

The 6-foot-3, 330-pound lineman, who just recently showcased his talents at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl, has been on multiple NFL franchises’ draft radar.

The Las Vegas, Nev., native will also hope to enhance his resume as he’ll compete at the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge on Feb. 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

According to CBS Sports Network, Hernandez is the 39th best pro prospect, while he’s ranked the second best offensive guard.

The NFL Draft is April 26-28 and will be held at AT&T Stadium. Hernandez has been projected as being a first-round draft pick.

Hernandez, who was supposed to play on the defensive line at UTEP prior to his 2013 redshirt season, earned multiple accolades on the offensive side of the ball. He started all 49 games during his four-year career (2014-17), protecting the blind side for UTEP quarterbacks.

Hernandez earned All-American honors in back-to-back seasons (2016, 2017) and was also named All-Conference USA first team during those years. Hernandez was named to the 2014 All-C-USA freshman team following UTEP’s winning season and New Mexico Bowl appearance.

Hernandez to Compete at All-Star Football Challenge

Will Hernandez set to compete at the 2018 State Farm All-Star Football Challenge on Friday night at 9 p.m. ET at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on ESPN2.

Hernandez comes of a stellar performance at the Senior Bowl and will continue to represent UTEP at the skills competition, which will feature 24 of college football’s brightest stars divided into six teams based on their college conference.

Each team will consist of four players from the same conference that will compete for conference supremacy in a series of skills competitions. The conferences represented are the ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, the SEC, and four of the best players outside of the Power Five that will be called the “Wild Card” team. The offensive guard will be part of the Wild Card team that includes Logan Woodside (QB, Toledo), Marcus Davenport (DE, UTSA) and Cedric Wilson (WR, Boise State).

The four-year starter was named to the 2017 AP All-America second team, CBS Sports All-America second team, Conference USA first team and Pro Football Focus All-American first team.

Hernandez protected the blindside allowing zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

Each player will individually participate in a timed event, and then finish with a full team event. Events will all be timed and have individual winners that will compile into a cumulative score to determine the winning team.

Three UTEP Football Players Named to 2017 Phil Steele All-C-USA Team

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

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-

Sammut

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.

Hernandez Earns Spot on CBS Sports All-America Team

Left guard Will Hernandez continues to receive post-season recognition earning a spot on the 2017 CBS Sports All-America second team on Tuesday.

This is Hernandez’s fourth honor; he previously was named to the AP All-America second team, Conference USA first team and Pro Football Focus All-American first team.

The senior is the only C-USA student-athlete to earn a spot on the CBS Sports All-America team.

The All-American started in all 49 games played during his career at the left guard position. Hernandez also just accepted his invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 27 at 1:30 pm CT in Mobile, Al.

Hernandez protected the blindside allowing zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to AP All-America Team

Senior Will Hernandez was named to the AP All-America second team for the second consecutive year on Monday.

The left guard is the first UTEP student-athlete to receive back-to-back AP All-America honors. The Las Vegas, Nev., native is one of six Miners to earn AP All-America honors (Ed Bunn ‘92, first team, Baron Wortham ‘93, second team, Brian Natkin ‘00, first team, Johnnie Lee Higgins ‘06, second team, Aaron Jones ‘16, third team).

Hernandez is also one of two Conference USA student-athletes to be named to the AP All-America teams (Devin Singletary, FAU).

The captain previously was named to the 2017 Pro Football Focus All-American first team and All-C-USA first team. The All-American started in all 49 games played during his career at the left guard position. Hernandez also just accepted his invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Hernandez protected the blindside allowing zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to C-USA First Team

Senior Will Hernandez was named to the All-Conference USA first team, the league announced on Tuesday.

Hernandez is the first Miner to receive consecutive all-conference first team honors since Quintin Demps (2006 & 2007). The Las Vegas, Nevada, native is also the first UTEP offensive lineman to receive back-to-back first team recognition.

The All-American started in all 49 games played during his career at the left guard position. Hernandez was named to the 2017 AP Midseason All-America team and 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List. He also earned an invitation to the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl. The captain was appointed UTEP Offensive Player of the Year voted by the team.

Under his guidance the Miners allowed zero sacks against WKU and UTSA and only allowed one sack at no. 7 Oklahoma and at C-USA West Division Champions North Texas.

Julian Jackson, Alvin Jones, Kalon Beverly, Devin Cockrell, Nik Needham, Alan Luna and Jake Sammut received All-C-USA honorable mentions.

UTEP Football’s Hernandez Invited to 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Al. – UTEP senior left guard Will Hernandez was recently invited to play in the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 27, 2018 in Mobile, Ala. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. MT in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The contest will be televised on NFL Network.

Hernandez is the first Miner to receive an invite since the 2008 Senior Bowl. The Las Vegas, Nevada, native has started at left guard in every game played (47 games) since his freshman season in 2014.

Since Hernandez made his first start on Aug. 20, 2014 at New Mexico, UTEP has boasted one of the better offensive lines in, not only Conference USA, but the nation.

The Miners ranked tied for eighth in FBS following the 2014 season, allowing only 13 sacks in 13 games. In 2015, the Miners moved up a few spots, ranking tied for sixth (12 sacks allowed in 12 games). Last season, UTEP ranked tied for third in C-USA (22 sacks allowed).

Hernandez was also instrumental in paving the way for current Green Bay Packers’ rookie running back Aaron Jones to become UTEP’s all-time rushing leader. Jones capped his career with a 301-yard output against North Texas in last season’s finale, as Hernandez and company helped open up big holes.

Hernandez joins 10 other Miners who have played in the prestigious bowl game. The list includes LB Fred Carr (1968), WR Reggie Barrett (1991), LB Keith Powe (1991), RB Toraino Singleton (1996), TE Brian Natkin (2001), LB Thomas Howard (2006), QB Jordan Palmer (2007), WR Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr. (2007), OL Oniel Cousins (2008) and DB Quintin Demps (2008).

Go to www.seniorbowl.com for more information.

UTEP’s Hernandez Earns AP Midseason All-American Recognition

Senior Will Hernandez was named to the AP Midseason All-America team chosen by a panel of 16 Top 25 poll voters on Tuesday morning.

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.

The Miners have their bye week but will return to action in the Sun Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 28 against UTSA. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. MT.

UTEP’s Hernandez Named to AP Preseason All-America Second Team

The Associated Press announced UTEP senior offensive lineman Will Hernandez to the 2017 AP Preseason All-America second team as chosen by the votes of 51 members of the AP Top 25 media panel on Tuesday.

Hernandez has racked up the preseason honors leading up to UTEP’s season opener. The left guard was announced to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List, and was recognized by Athlon Sports as a Preseason All-Conference USA first team and Preseason All-America third team.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picked Hernandez to the Preseason All-Texas team, while Phil Steel’s College Football Preview appointed him to the Preseason All-C-USA first team and as a Preseason All-American. Hernandez also earned a spot on the 2017 Preseason C-USA Football team.

Last season, Hernandez played on a dominant offensive line that only allowed 1.3 sacks per game. UTEP running back Aaron Jones also set the single-season school record with 1,773 yards. Hernandez started all 12 contests on his way to the 2016 AP and FOX Sports’ All-America teams.

The UTEP coaching staff rolled the dice on Las Vegas, Nev., native and itself one of the hardest working players in the nation. Hernandez has started all 37 games at the left guard position and during his three seasons donning the Orange and Blue. UTEP signal callers have been sacked 47 times during Hernandez’s 37 starts (1.3 per game).

Prior to Hernandez’s redshirt freshman season, the Miners allowed 27 sacks in 2013. That number was cut to 13 allowed in 13 games in 2014.

Hernandez and the o-line will get their first challenge – in a big way – as the Miners will play at no. 7 Oklahoma on Sept. 2. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. MT and the contest will be televised on FOX.

Miners Receive Preseason C-USA Recognition

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.

UTEP’s Will Hernandez Announced to Outland Trophy Watch List

DALLAS – The Football Writers Association of America announced UTEP’s Will Hernandez to the 2017 Outland Trophy Watch List on Thursday.

The senior left guard in one of 81 standout interior linemen and one of 16 offensive guards to be named to the prestigious list.

The 2016 AP All-American as 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 Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the annual FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects a 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner.

Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award; ends are not eligible.

The list will be trimmed to six or seven semifinalists on Nov. 15Six days later, three Outland Trophy finalists will be named by the FWAA. The winner of the 72nd Outland Trophy – named after the late John Outland, an All-America lineman at Penn at the turn of the 20th century, will be announced live on ESPN at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Dec. 7. For the third straight year, the show will air from the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.

The Outland Trophy presentation banquet, sponsored by the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, will be held on Jan. 10, 2018 in Omaha, Neb. Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden will receive the Tom Osborne Legacy Award at the same banquet.

The Outland Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935.

The Miners open the 2017 campaign at Oklahoma on Sept. 2 (1:30 p.m. MT), followed with their first home contest and Conference USA opener against Rice on Sept. 9 (6 p.m.).

UTEP’s Hernandez Named FOX Sports’ All-American

UTEP’s Will Hernandez was named to the 2016 FOX Sports’ annual All-America squad garnering second team honors.

This is the offensive linemen’s second All-America recognition. On Monday he was selected to the AP All-America team. Hernandez is the only Conference USA student-athlete to receive a spot in the FOX Sports’ All-America team.

will hdzPaving the way and creating holes for running back Aaron 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.

For a full list of the FOX Sports’ All-America team visit, http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/gallery/all-america-team-fox-sports-first-team-second-team-offense-defense-specialists-121316.

Miners Receive AP All-America Honors

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.

will hdzPaving 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,

Houston Baptist vs UTEP
Houston Baptist vs UTEP

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.

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