EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – When UTEP hits the road to play Arizona in Tucson on Saturday night, the Miners will be reunited with an old friend.

Former UTEP wide receiver Jacob Cowing transferred to Arizona before the 2022 season, after leading the Miners in receiving for all three seasons that he was with the Miners (2019-2021).

His final season at UTEP in 2021 saw him catch 69 passes for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns as he helped lead the Miners to a 7-6 season and the New Mexico Bowl.


Cowing elected to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal after that season, finding his way to the Arizona Wildcats, in his home state. In his first season there in 2022, Cowing led the Pac-12 Conference in receptions, catching 85 passes for 1,034 yards and seven touchdowns.

“We were really close when he was here and still are. I follow his stats and how he plays so it’ll be cool to see him,” said UTEP quarterback Gavin Hardison, who connected with Cowing for two full seasons. Hardison then made a joke at his former teammate’s expense. “I want the best for Jacob, just not this game.”

In his final season of college football in 2023, Cowing is off to a solid start with 10 receptions for 69 yards and two scores as the Wildcats got off to 1-1 start entering their clash with the Miners.

Cowing left UTEP for the exposure of a Power-5 program, but more importantly, to be closer to his young son, Chase. His son was born shortly after Cowing arrived at UTEP in 2019 and the distance finally proved to be too much. Given an opportunity to get closer to home, Cowing took it.

“He left for family reasons. He told me, ‘if I don’t get Arizona or Arizona State, then I’m not going to leave, but I want to be close to my son,” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said. “That part of it stands great with us and everyone at Miner football. He’s just a good young man that’s a great player and we’re really proud of everything he’s been able to accomplish.”

UTEP and Cowing will square off at 9 p.m. MT in Tucson on Saturday night. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network.