EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – UTEP’s running back room of Deion Hankins, Torrance Burgess Jr., and Mike Franklin was seen as one of the team’s strengths before the 2023 college football season even began.
If Deion [Hankins] gets a hot hand he’ll get 15 to 20 plus carries in a game but if that’s the case the other guys are going to get their carries as well so we like having that.” UTEP head coach Dana Dimel said on CUSA Media Day on July 25.
The running back trio’s talent was on display during UTEP’s 28-14 win over Incarnate Word at the Sun Bowl on Saturday.
Hankins led the team’s run game as he rushed for a career-high 174 yards on 24 carries. Burgess Jr. recorded 85 rushing yards and a 40-yard rushing touchdown. To round up the running back’s night, Franklin collected 53 rushing yards on 9 carries and a rushing touchdown.
The trio’s determination to win and high expectations they have for each other are a big reason why all three of them go out and give it their all on game day.
“I’ve been here for a while now so being able to lead, I feel like that presses me more to try my best during the game because I know I’m not running for myself, I am running for my teammates.” UTEP junior running back Deion Hankins said.
“It’s a brotherhood. That’s how the running back room is. That’s how coach [Barrick] Nealy keeps the room. We all feed off each other. It’s a competition at the end of the day but it’s all love.” UTEP redshirt sophomore running back Torrance Burgess Jr. said.
“They all cheer each other on, they support each other, they want each other to succeed. They are just committed young men and determined.” UTEP assistant head coach and running backs coach Barrick Nealy said.”
Deion Hankins, Mike Franklin, and Torrance Burgess Jr. are all expected to contribute much more for the Miners the rest of the season. It looks like they will be doing so with a group name that takes inspiration from another trio’s name with similar initials and is one of the most influential hip-hop groups ever: Run–D.M.C.
The idea of Run–D.M.T. came from UTEP Assistant Athletic Director/Strategic Communications Drew Bonney.
It seems like the trio of Hankins, Franklin, and Burgess Jr. are all on board with the group name ‘Run–D.M.T.’ for the rest of the season.
UTEP (1-1, 0-1 CUSA) is back in action on Saturday, Sept. 9 when they take on Northwestern (0-1, 0-1 Big 10) at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois.