EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UTEP head coach Dana Dimel was pulling double duty on Wednesday. The Miners departed for Albuquerque in the morning, the site of this year’s New Mexico Bowl game against Fresno State. All the while, Dimel was working the phone lines on the first day of college football’s early signing period.
UTEP announcing eight additions to next year’s roster, all of which signed National Letters on Intent on Wednesday. Seven of the eight signees come from the junior college ranks, and the newest Miners include six defensive players (three defensive backs, two defensive linemen, one linebacker) and a pair of offensive players (one tight end, one offensive lineman).
UTEP will have until Jan. 15 to sign additional midyear junior college transfers prior to the regular signing period, which begins on Feb. 2, 2022.
Signees (Courtesy: UTEP Athletics)
Elk Grove, Calif.
Sacramento City College
Transfer from Sacramento City College who will have three years of eligibility … played in all 10 games as a freshman, compiling 51 tackles (45 solo, six assisted) to go along with five pass break-ups and one interception … also recorded a sack and forced a fumble … racked up a career-best 13 stops against San Francisco on Sept. 11 … had a season-best three pass break-ups against American River (Sept. 4) … posted four contests with at least six solo tackles … registered four kickoff returns for 69 yards (17.3 avg).
Modesto Junior College
Transfer from Modesto Junior College who will have three years of eligibility … played in 10 of 11 contests for the school as a freshman in 2021, helping it forge a record of 8-3 on the season … rated second in the secondary and fourth on the squad overall with 51 tackles (39 solo, 12 assisted) … led the squad with five pass break-ups and also notched an interception … had four or more total tackles in eight of his 10 appearances, including a season-best nine against Fresno (Oct. 30) … never finished with fewer than three tackles in any contest played … recorded one kick return for eight yards.
Transfer from Louisiana who did not play during the 2021 season … previously competed with Northeastern Oklahoma CC … appeared in six games during the 2020 campaign (played in spring 2021), making 19 tackles (15 solo, four assisted) … also had an interception and a forced fumble.
American River College
Played at American River College during the 2021 season … started in 22 career games … named the 2021 National-NorCal League MVP … only missed one snap because his helmet came off … two-time All-Big 8 Conference performer … played on an offensive line that paved the way for the Beavers to gain 169.8 rushing yards per game and 27 rushing scores … American River College averaged 31.5 points per game … graduated from Woodcreek High School in Roseville, Calif … posted seven tackles on defense as a junior in 2016.
Tyler Junior College
Played in all 12 games, helping to guide Tyler Junior College to a 7-5 mark in 2021 … racked up 90 tackles (50 solo), ranking second the defense … averaged 7.5 tackles per game … tallied 3.5 sacks (39 yards) 21.0 tackles for loss (58 yards) a forced fumble three pass breakups … posted a season-high 12 stops against Navarro … credited with 10 tackles at NMMI and 10 more with a sacks at Kilgore … posted 1.5 sacks and nine tackles at Cisco … recorded eight tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a breakup … played at Lake Dallas High School … finished senior season with 97 tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions … first team all-district selection in District 7-5A Division II … second team selection on the Denton Record-Chronicle’s All-Area team.
Blue Springs, Mo.
Blue Springs South HS
Named first team All-Conference at Blue Springs South High School … named first team All-District, All-State Tight End and earned Team Offensive MVP … broke school record for receptions (62) in a season and posted the most yards (575) ever for a tight end in school history … added seven touchdown receptions … hauled in a pair of touchdowns on six receptions for 71 yards against Blue Springs High School … racked up 116 yards on eight catches with a score against Fort Osage … reeled in a season-high 10 receptions for 86 yards and a TD against Park Hill … recorded six receptions for 42 yards and a score against Park Hill South.
Harker Heights, Texas
Transfer from Blinn College who will have two seasons of eligibility with the Miners … dominant inside presence who had 48 tackles (seven solo, 41 assisted), 27 tackles for loss for 77 yards and 6.5 sacks for 19 yards … has had a break-up, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble … in 2020 finished with 33 tackles (16 solo, 17 assisted), including racking up 15.5 tackles for loss for 31 yards … also posted a trio of sacks for 25 yards …
Played in 10 games as a sophomore at Kilgore College in 2021 … tallied 29 tackles (19 solo) … tied for the team leads with 5.0 sacks (31 yards) … added two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery (seven yards) and four pass breakups … recorded four tackles and 1.5 sacks at Tyler … repeated those numbers at Blinn … registered a season-high five tackles with a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery against NE Oklahoma A&M … posted five more tackles versus Navarro) … helped Kilgore College earn a No. 2 seed in the SWJCFC playoffs.