EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP picked up an important recruit for its 2022 squad on Friday, but it was a player already very familiar to the Miners.
Wide receiver Tyrin Smith, UTEP’s third-leading receiver in 2021 who entered the NCAA transfer portal on Dec. 23, 2021, announced on Friday night that he had decided to return to UTEP, rather than look elsewhere for his final two years of collegiate eligibility.
“After much praying, asking God for guidance, and careful considerations. I have decided to withdraw from the transfer portal and return to UTEP to continue my football and academic career. Thanks to all the coaches who offered me a chance to join their program,” Smith wrote in a post to social media.
A San Antonio native, Smith caught 33 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns in 2021, his first with the Miners after transferring to UTEP in the offseason from Cisco College. His numbers rank him as the Miners’ top returning wideout for 2022, after top receiver Jacob Cowing transferred to Arizona and second-leading receiver Justin Garrett graduated.
Smith can expect to have an increased role in 2022 and could even replace Cowing as the top target for Miners quarterback Gavin Hardison. A big play threat with a lot of speed, Smith was second on the team behind Cowing in yards per reception (17.27 yards/catch). UTEP will have to to add more receiver talent in the offseason around Smith, as well.
Smith announcing his return to UTEP came one day after former Americas High School star running back Aaron Dumas announced he was entering the transfer portal, after leading New Mexico in rushing as a true freshman in 2021.
The Miners wasted little time in attempting to get Dumas to return home for the rest of his college career, offering Dumas a scholarship on Saturday.
However, UTEP will have stiff competition for the former 3-star recruit; Washington out of the Pac-12 also offered Dumas a scholarship Saturday morning. New UW coach Kalen DeBoer recruited Dumas at Fresno State, then watched him run for 143 yards and a touchdown vs. the Bulldogs in 2021.
Dumas was far and away New Mexico’s best running back as a true freshman, carrying 136 times for 658 yards and two touchdowns, all best on the Lobos’ roster. It was enough to garner him interest from a Power 5 school already and more could be coming.