UTEP open to playing Hankins as true freshman

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UTEP returns 97% of their rushing output from a season ago. Running backs Quardraiz Wadley and Treyvon Hughes return for their senior year, while former Americas High School standout Joshua Field is back for his junior season. The question becomes, what is the plan for Deion Hankins?

Hankins will be on campus in August for fall camp and is expected to compete for playing time. El Paso’s all-time leading rusher finished his high school career at Parkland with over 7,000 rushing yards.

Despite the high expectations for Hankins, the UTEP coaching staff is not pushing him to play right away.

“Deion could play some, but we aren’t going to play him if he’s not ready,” said head coach Dana Dimel. “I feel like we have good running backs. It’s not like we are voided out at that position where Deion has to be thrown into the fire too early.”

Per NCAA eligibility rules, the Miners could choose to play Hankins in four games this coming season and still redshirt him. It is something Dimel continues to be in communication with his latest local signee.

“We’ve had come long talks about that {playing as a true freshman},” said Dimel.” Deion {Hankins} isn’t 100% sold that he has to come in and play as a true freshman. That’s not huge in his gameplan. If it works out, it does. If it doesn’t, then obviously it’s the best thing for him to redshirt.”

The Miners will host their Annual Spring Game on Saturday at Sun Bowl Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. MDT.

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