Miners add players to preseason roster
El Paso, TX — The Miners kicked off preseason fall camp by adding four transfers to the 2014 roster on Monday.
The new additions include defensive backs Damian Payne from Houston and Kelvin Fisher from Arkansas. On the offensive side of the ball,UTEP added offensive linemen Anthony Kyles from Los Angeles Southwest College and tight end Hayden Plinke.
Below is complete information on all the four newcomers.
DAMIAN PAYNE | DB | 6-0 | 210 | TR – Houston
PRIOR TO UTEP: Saw action in 12 games as a punt and kick returner for Houston in 2013 ... returned 15 punts for a total of 64 yards (4.3 average) with a long of 31 yards against Rice ... ranked third in The American Athletic Conference in punt return average ... had four kick returns for a total of 78 yards and an average of 19.5 yards per return with a long of 21 yards versus BYU … made the switch from receiver to defensive back prior to the start of fall practice in 2012 ... played in nine games on special teams ... second on the team with nine punt returns for 33 yards ... returned twokickoffs for 42 yards ... moved back to receiver at the conclusion of the season … returned five punts in 2011, including a 76-yarder at Tulane for a score ... averaged 21.6 yards per return and enjoyed a 25-yard punt return in the season-opening win against UCLA ... recorded five tackles on defense, including two stops against Marshall ... added solo stops against East Carolina, Rice and at UAB.
HIGH SCHOOL: First-team 13-5A All-District as a senior in 2009 … third-team All-State … Klein HS (Texas) team captain … all-purpose player threw for a touchdown, ran for three TDs, caught four touchdown passes, had threeinterceptions and returned a punt for a touchdown in his senior year … earned four letters in football.
PERSONAL: Full name is Damian Le Marque Payne … Son of Kenneth Payne and Angela Williams ... father played football for Pitt ... mother ran track for Prairie View A&M ... has two brothers ... brother Kendrick played defensive line at Cal ... Uncle Harvey Williams had an eight-year NFL career (1991-98) with the Chiefs and Raiders ... Other relatives who played in the NFL include Gerald and Grant Irons ... Sociology major.
KELVIN FISHER, JR. | DB | 5-11 | 195 | TR – Arkansas
PRIOR TO UTEP: Saw action in six games in 2013 as a Razorback … recorded one tackle in Arkansas’ 31-21 victory vs. Samford … logged minutes versus Louisiana, Southern Mississippi, Rutgers, No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama … in 2012 Fisher saw action in two games, appearing at Mississippi State and versus No. 8 LSU … worked with the scout team his freshman season while redshirting … moved from cornerback to running back during preseason practices.
HIGH SCHOOL: Rated as the No. 15 safety recruit in the nation by Scout.com and 26th overall athlete in the nation by Rivals.com … product of head coach Jim Beall’s system at Higley, saw action at running back and defensive back throughout his prep career … in 2010, totaled more than 2,000 rushing yards and scored 29 touchdowns on the ground … rushed for over 200 yards four times as a senior … on the defensive side, made 71 tackles, snatched five interceptions and made eight pass deflections … notched two 10-tackle performances … named to the Arizona Republic’s All-Arizona team, taking a cornerback slot on the first-team defense … signed with Arkansas after also considering Oregon, Washington, Arizona State and Pittsburg.
PERSONAL: Son of Kelvin, Sr. and Angela Fisher … his father played collegiately for Arizona State and is a scout for the Buffalo Bills … Sports Management major.
ANTHONY KYLES, JR. | OL | 6-3 | 300 | TR – Los Angeles Southwest College
PRIOR TO UTEP: Played two seasons at Los Angeles Southwest College … started all 10 games for the Cougars during sophomore season in 2013 … named All-Pacific Conference Second Team … played on an offensive line that paved the way for Cougar rushers to average 157.1 yards per game to rank third in the league … team rushed for 1,571 yards and 15 touchdowns (tied second in league) … helped LA Southwest quarterback rank fourth in the conference in passing yards per game … started all 10 games during freshman season in 2012.
HIGH SCHOOL: Played varsity football at Westchester High School (Los Angeles, Calif.) … named team captain during senior season … recorded a career-high 23 tackles (18s/5a) in six contests and notched six sacks during senior year … tallied a game-high six tackles during final game against West Adams.
PERSONAL: Full name is Anthony Derrell Kyles, Jr. … son of Anthony, Sr. and Jackie Kyles… has a younger sister … born in Los Angeles, Calif. … named to the 2012 Dean’s Academic List at LA Southwest College … Psychology major.
HAYDEN PLINKE | TE | 6-4 | 255 | TR – Portland State
PRIOR TO UTEP: Gray shirted in 2011 with Boise State ... played in six games during the 2012 season, catching two balls for 20 yards … transferred to Portland State prior to sophomore season … recorded 191 rushing yards and one touchdown on 27 attempts during the 2013 campaign … tallied 65 receiving yards on three receptions … threw one pass for nine yards as well as returning one kick for 16 yards.
HIGH SCHOOL: Lettered in football, basketball and track at Glencoe High School... first team All-Conference as a senior, second team All-Conference as a junior... caught 31 passes for 457 yards and rushed for 251 yards as a senior... scored 10 touchdowns in final two seasons with the Crimson Tide... rated No. 1 tight end in Oregon according to Rivals.com... a state champion in the javelin... team captain in football and track... served as student body president.
PERSONAL INFORMATION: Son of Ken and Brenda Plinke ... has one brother, Wesley, and one sister, Chelsea... Communications major.