EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – One of the best high school football players in El Paso is staying home.

Pebble Hills senior quarterback Gael Ochoa announced his commitment to play his college ball at UTEP during the Spartans’ spring game at Montwood High School on Thursday.

“It feels great, nothing never gets better. I am trying to be a hometown hero,” Ochoa said. “I’ve been around UTEP my whole life. I’ve been at the camps since I was a kid, so it feels great.”

“You know, UTEP has always been, like, home for me. Ever since the recruitment process started with me, they’ve always made me feel like I was at home,” Ochoa said. “They’ve always made me feel a part of the team, part of the program. They’ve really pushed for me, and they offered me really early as a junior, so I really appreciated that and that also helped with that the choice.”4

As a junior, Ochoa played a key role in the Spartans’ successful 2022-23 season. Ochoa threw for 2,029 yards and recorded 24 passing touchdowns while throwing a completion percentage of 61.1% (121-198). Ochoa is also a threat on the ground as he rushed for 453 yards and scored nine rushing touchdowns.

In the 2022-23 season, Ochoa and the Spartans won its first ever District 1-6A championship and made it all the way to the Area round of the 6A playoffs.

Ochoa is now looking for more success with the Spartans in the upcoming 2023-24 season in his final year of high school football.