Aaron Jones is the biggest recruit UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler has ever signed. No, the redshirt junior to be wasn’t highly touted out of high school. He his name wasn’t listed on recruiting websites with a bevy are star rankings. But the diamond-in-the-rough that Kugler unearthed is paying off in more ways than just touchdowns and wins.

The El Paso running back has exploded into one of the top running backs in college football. It validates what area high school coaches have been preaching for decades. El Paso preps have legitimate talent that goes unseen in the D1 spectrum. But now that’s changed thanks to Jones and Kugler.

The Miners Coach continues to reap the benefits of his gamble as the Sun City’s best senior football players are staying home to become the next home-town hero. The Miners currently have a commitment from seven El Pasoans in their 2016 recruiting class with signing days around the corner on February 3. Should all seven make it official in three weeks, it will be the largest signing class of El Pasoan’s in UTEP history.

UTEP FOOTBALL 2016 El Paso Commits

Eric Foster – Americas, DB, 6-2, 185 lbs 
Brannon Bullitt – Chapin, WR, 6-1, 195 lbs
Mark Torrez – Eastwood, QB, 6-1, 185 lbs
Richie Rodriguez – Eastwood, ATL, 5-10, 165 lbs
Bobby DeHaro – Montwood, DE, 6-4, 230 lbs
Josh Ortega – Montwood, DL, 6-1, 270 lbs
Christian Johnson – Parkland, DE, 6-3, 250 lbs

There are still El Paso targets that could join the class before the first Wednesday of February. Tristan Cooper dominated the Andress secondary establishing himself as one of the top defensive backs in the City. He currently holds scholarship offers from UTEP, New Mexico and New Mexico St. and was heavily considering the MIners. But a strong showing at the Greater El Paso Football Senior Showcase Combine put him on the radar of bigger programs with both Arizona and Illinois joining his recruitment late in December.

Whether or not Cooper dons the Orange and Blue one day does not take away from the bigger picture that Kugler is building a program with a team that is rooted deep in El Paso and believes the talent is just as good here at home as it is anywhere in the country.