EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The competition at quarterback is over for the UTEP Miners, but it did not end the way head coach Dana Dimel had expected.
The Miners entered fall camp with redshirt freshman TJ Goodwin and redshirt sophomore Gavin Hardison competing for the top spot. However, with Goodwin’s decision to opt out of the 2020 season on Sunday night, Hardison is QB1.
“That’s just where we are right now,” said Dimel following Monday’s practice. “The kids have the option to do that. The NCAA put that option in for guys if they choose to do that and we’ll put that on paper what all that means.”
In Dimel’s two years at UTEP, the Miners have largely deployed a two quarterback system. That will not be the case this season. It will be Hardison’s huddle when UTEP opens the season at home on Sept. 5 against Stephen F. Austin. Redshirt sophomore Calvin Brownholtz will be the backup.
“Right now, it’s Gavin’s [Hardison} deal. He’s the one, period. Calvin [Brownholtz] is the two,” said Dimel. “The competition with Calvin is that he has to be ready because you have two factors playing into it this year. One, you have the injury factor, which you always have. Two, you have the COVID-19 factor where any day Gavin could test positive. That’s the other thing about quarterback depth this year and that’s the reason we are trying to develop a good group of quarterbacks.”
For the two quarterbacks, each of them have been preparing to play since fall camp started last week.
“I don’t think I should be comfortable with where I’m at,” said Hardison. “I’m going to keep pushing to be the best I can be and make the people around me better.”
“I’m always prepared to go. I’m pushing Gavin, Gavin is pushing me,” said Brownholtz. “There’s still a lot of healthy competition going and even Isaiah Bravo is still getting in there. We all coach each other up and we’re a pretty tight quarterback group.”
As you look down the UTEP quarterback depth chart, everyone move up a spot. Senior Isaiah Bravo is now listed as the third-string quarterback. The Miners also have sophomore Matt Malewitz, junior Marco Baldacchino, and freshman Zach Rodriguez on the quarterback depth chart.