POSTED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 4:24pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - 9:22pm
Two highly-touted running backs, defensive standouts who won back-to-back state titles and a quarterback rated in the Top-300 by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine highlight the 2012 UTEP football signing class, as announced by head coach Mike Price Wednesday.
Overall the Miners signed 20 prep stars to national letters of intent, 17 from the state of Texas. Also being announced today is the addition of two signees who have already enrolled.
“Character first was our motto in recruiting this year,” Price said. “We investigated each players’ background thoroughly, and I was very impressed by them as a whole.
Price said their second emphasis was "being able to tackle in open space, and the defensive players that we signed can certainly do that.”
One of the biggest holes for the Miners with this recruiting class was running back and Price’s staff certainly addressed that with the addition of Paul Franklin (Denison, Texas/South Oak Cliff) and Autrey Golden (Willis, Texas/Willis).
Franklin was the District 11-4A MVP after rushing for 1,600 yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. Golden, a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, was a two-time All-District 18-4A first team selection (2010 & 2011).
Teammates Ernest Hawkins (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar) and Terrance Williams (Dunbar, Md./Dunbar) led Dunbar High School to consecutive state titles and three crowns in four years. Hawkins was a All-State second team member who compiled 120 tackles while Williams also earned placement on the All-State team, recording 10 interceptions, 10 touchdowns, three pick sixes and a pair of punt and kickoff returns.A Top-300 Texas player, Garrett Simpson (The Colony, Texas/The Colony) broke eight of his school’s nine records for quarterback during his prep career.