UTEP adds 22 more to program on late national signing day


Book signing day has changed immensely over the past few years for various reasons and Dana Dimel can’t remember a day like Wednesday.

UTEP football announced on the second day of the contract signing the addition of 13 new players, joining nine players “added to the program between the first and second day of the contract”.

More:C-USA football signings

Add the 17 players the miners announced on the first contract day in December and they added 39 new names to the list. Some of these are preferred walk-ons and Dimel makes no distinctions, but there is a bigger influx of talent than UTEP is used to.

“The landscape has changed,” said Dimel. “The transfer portal is a positive thing for us, we have more scholarships because third and fourth string guys who are buried on the depth chart can transfer and not have to sit.

“So we can replace them immediately. This is the secret of our program. Now we can sign more than 25 people, we can sign as many as we can sign.

“The quality of our program is infinitely better.”

The program is also looking for a new offensive coordinator following the resignation of Dave Warner last week. Dimel indicated that he is looking to hire internally and will be making an announcement soon. Other offensive coaches currently on the team include receiver coach Scotty Ohara, offensive line coach Mike Simmonds, running backs coach Barrick Nealy, and tight ends/fullbacks coach Drew Liddle.

Dimel said the program also lost about five non-two-deep players to the transfer portal, along with stars Jeremiah Byers (Florida State) and Tyrin Smith (Texas A&M), giving the Miners seven additional stipends, and they are capitalizing you.

The class announced Wednesday, including players added between contract signing periods, is more balanced than the early JUCO heavy class in terms of high school and junior college.

The 22 players include 10 junior college players, two Division I transfers and 10 high schoolers, including Parkland’s Tyrone McDuffie and Pebble Hills’ Jaleel Bost. Bost is a preferred walk-on. The early class consisted of 15 junior college players and two high school signers.

“The high school kids are so talented now, not just project guys,” Dimel said, attributing that to other schools that have focused on recruiting to the transfer portal. “I’d say right now we’re only looking for three or four redshirt guys. We’re going to be more than that, but out of the 39 we’ve signed, there are 34 who can help us right away.”

The second signing class includes 10 linebackers (five defensemen, four linebackers, and one linebacker) and 12 offense (five receivers, four running backs, and three linemen). The two classes together include eight defensive linemen, seven defensive backs, four linebackers, six offensive linemen, three tight ends, five running backs, five receivers, five running backs, and one quarterback.

Of the players already training with the team on campus, Dimel said Contra Costa College’s Mike Franklin, City College of San Francisco safes Jaleal Williams-Evans and Kilgore College’s Oscar Moore, and transfer cornerback AJ Odums from the University of New Mexico and defense attorneys Kadarion Johnson of Kilgore and Dimitri Madden of the New Mexico Military.

The biggest need appears to be in completing receivers after losing to Smith at Transfer Portal and Rey Flores and Dimel has touted two Wednesdays, Diablo Valley’s Javoni Gardere and UTSA’s Dre Spriggs.

“We have added five wide receivers to our program,” said Dimel. “Javoni Gardere had an outstanding freshman season in Diablo Valley. His biggest games were against the best people: against San Mateo, who won the state championship in California; he had 10 or 11 (catches) against San Francisco College. He’s a big one Players with good speed, good length, good athleticism.

“[Spriggs]was a guy whose high school movie was off the charts, he was going to be a starter at UTSA this year, but all three of UTSA’s starters are coming back. He saw that that would limit his options there. So he jumped into the portal and we were able to get him out of the portal as quickly as possible.”

Spriggs was a three-star recruit from Harlan High in San Antonio two years ago. Other three-star recruits include Stau Ezell Jolly of Missouri City Ridge Point and McDuffie, who initially enlisted in Colorado before Deion Sanders was hired there and canceled most engagements.

Rivals.com listed 14 other two-star recruits in one of the higher rated classes of UTEP’s recent memory.

“We brought a lot of depth to our program,” said Dimel.

That’s a common sentiment on signing day among head coaches, and this time the ratings would agree with him.

Bret Bloomquist can be reached at 915-546-6359; [email protected]; @Bretbloomquist on Twitter.

List of UTEP 2023 signing days

Includes all players signed since December including walk-ons

Da’Shawn Adams WR 6-0 180 Fr. Brookshire, Texas/Royal High School

AJ Barton OL 6-5 280 Fr. Garland, Texas/Lakeview Centennial High School

Chase Bibler DL 6-4 260 Jr. Fresno, Calif./Fresno City College

Jalile Bost WR 5-11 155 Fr. El Paso, Texas/Pebble Hills High School

Elijah Boyd TE 6-4 250 So. Fairfield, Calif./Contra Costa College

Kenny Byrd LB 6-0 225 Jr. York, SC/NE Mississippi CC

Stefan Cameron CB 5-11 185 Jr. St. Louis, Mo./Foothill College

Joshua Dye RB 5-11 202 Fr. Gilbert, Ariz./Willaims Field High School

Josiah Dye DB 6-1 185 Fr. Gilbert, Ariz./Willaims Field High School

Nate Dyman LB 6-2 223 Jr. Missouri City, Texas/Blinn College

Judah Ezinwa TE 6-3 240 So. Fontana, Calif./Mt. SAC (San Antonio College)

Mike Franklin RB 6-2 225 Jr. Daphne, Alabama/Contra Costa College

Javoni Gardere WR 6-0 195 r-So. Dublin, California/Diablo Valley College

Qu’Ran Gossett RB 5-11 215 Fr. Santa Barbara, Calif./Bishop Diego High School

Jake Hall LB 6-2 230 Jr. San Juan Capistrano, Calif./Orange Coast College

Jayce Hunter DB 6-0 185 Jr. Mission Viego, Calif./Saddleback College

Kadarion Johnson DL 6-1 300 Jr. Houston, TX/Kilgore College

Ezell Jolly RB 5-9 180 Fr. Missouri City, Texas/Ridge Point High School

Joey Lightfoot DL 6-3 305 Fr. College Station, Texas/A&M Consolidated

Dimitri Madden DL 6-3 287 Jr Lewisham, London, England/NMMI

Tyrone D. McDuffie III OL 6-4 300 Fr. El Paso, Texas/Parkland High School

Oscar Moore S 6-1 208 Jr. Eaton, Texas/Kilgore College

Seth Mouser QB 6-5 200 Fr. Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop High School

AJ Odums CB 5-11 175 Jr. Houston, Texas/New Mexico

Josh Phillips LB 6-3 220 Jr. Grenada, Mississippi/Gulf Coast

TangiTangi Pongia OL 6-3 290 Jr. San Diego, California/Cisco College

Viontay Robinson DL 6-1 262 Jr. Waco, Texas/Navarro College

Lantz Russell DB 6-3 220 Jr. Riverside, California/Mt. SAC (San Antonio College)

Nick Scalise OL 6-6 308 Jr. El Dorado Hills, California/Sierra College

Dre Spriggs WR 6-2 180r-So. San Antonio, Texas/UTSA

RaQuan Thompson DL 6-3 320 Jr. Killeen, Texas/Blinn Junior College

Jaquan Toney OL 6-4 301 Jr. Huntsville, Ala./NE Mississippi CC

Daryon Triche RB 5-9 190 r-So. Cedar Hill, Texas/Sam Houston

Jake Utley OL 6-6 315 Fr. College Station, Texas/College Station College

Kanious Vaughn DE 6-2 223 So. San Clemente, California/Saddleback College

Marcus Vinson TE 6-4 255 So. Duncanville, Texas/Kilgore College

Matt Wann DE 6-2 235 Jr. Fullerton, California/Santa Ana College

Jackson Weng WR 6-2 210 Fr. Orange, California/Orange Lutheran High School

Jaleal Williams-Evans DB 6-1 200 So. Berkeley, California/City College of San Francisco

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

| |
Back to top button