RUIDOSO, NM (KTSM) – UTEP has been at training camp in Ruidoso, New Mexico, since Sunday, but it hasn’t been easy for the Miners to be away from El Paso after Saturday’s tragic events.
The Miners know there is work to be done in the mountains, but their hearts are somewhere else entirely.
“I’ve seen all these posts on Instagram saying El Paso strong and stuff like that,” freshman running back Deion Hankins said. “It feels weird not being a part of that.”
Quarterback Brandon Jones echoed those thoughts.
“It’s different when something of that magnitude happens in a place that you’re in, or it’s your hometown,” Jones said. “It just hits closer to home. We definitely want to be there with them and let the city rally around each other.”
The Miners hope they can bring some joy to El Paso this fall, at a time the community needs a boost the most.
“We want to be there for everyone, whatever we can do to help,” senior defensive back Michael Lewis said. “We just want to go out and get on the field and give it all we’ve got for those who lost a loved one.”
“People have just gone through tremendous loss and it’s terrible and it’s awful,” Jones said. “We want to be there in any way we can, to help them out and give them an outlet just to come enjoy a football game for 2 or 3 hours. Just enjoy it and take their minds off of life.”
Some football related news from UTEP: Brandon Jones will start the Miners’ season opener on August 31 against Houston Baptist.
The biggest piece of new from Dana Dimel on Wednesday, though, is that the Miners have a new graduate transfer. Devaughn Cooper will join the Miners after transferring from Arizona. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Cooper will arrive at training camp on Thursday.