Signees, Verbal Commits and What to Expect for UTEP Football Signing Day
Months have turned into days as we await the official list of the 2019 signees for UTEP football, which will be introduced on Wednesday, Feb. 6, by head coach Dana Dimel.
And it's been a late-blooming recruiting effort for UTEP, which featured many last minute additions and some decommits.
Despite the signing day being on Wednesday, the Miners received different verbal commitments from prospects via Twitter, while the opportunity to sign graduate transfers is still possible for the team moving forward.
So here's what we know as we approach signing day on Wednesday:
The early signees:
- TJ Goodwin (QB) - Cy Falls, Houston, TX (6'5", 195) - 3-Star Prospect
- Ty'Reke James (DB) - Contra Coasta C.C., San Pablo, CA (5'11", 190)
- Justin Mayers (DT) - Reedy, Frisco, TX (6'4", 280)
- Miles Banks (DB) - Blinn College, Brenham, TX (6'1",170)
- Joe Jay Smith (LB) - Garden City C.C., Garden City, KS (6'3", 225)
- Luke Laufenberg (TE) - Mesa C.C., Arizona (6'4'', 225)
- Duron Lowe (DB) - Butler C.C., El Dorado, KS (5'11", 175)
Quarterback TJ Goodwin leads the charge for the early signees. He's in an interesting situation because he graduated Cy Falls High School early in December and is already on campus at UTEP for spring ball. With Kai Locksley having underwent two surgeries for his ankles, it might be Goodwin and company taking the majority of snaps during spring ball. Who knows, if he can impress early, Goodwin might have a good case at being in the starting quarterback competition for the Miners.
Elsewhere on offense, the Miners grabbed Luke Laufenberg, son of ex-Cowboy Babe Laufenberg, to help out on the depth at the tight end spot. Luke recently was declared cancer free after battling it for some time. He's a former Texas A&M walk-on and could see the field immediately for UTEP.
Defensively is where the Miners made a splash in early signing period. They had some depth issues on defense and they solved it with their recruiting efforts.
Up front, UTEP will need guys like defensive tackle Justin Mayers to boost up their defensive line. For Joe Jay Smith Jr., he will have the spring season to show what he can do with the linebackers and try to earn a starting spot on the depth chart.
After losing a ton of defensive backs to graduation, the Miners needed to revamp their secondary and get bodies to fill the slots of the former Miners. Guys like Miles Banks and Duron Lowe can do just that. Both are JUCO transfers and each came off some nice seasons with their respective squad. Ty'Reke James was a late signee but he's a top-30 safety, according to 247 Sports, and could replace Kahani Smith, who recently graduated, as the team's safety.
- Deion Hankins (RB) - Parkland, El Paso, TX (5'11", 207) 3-Star Prospect
- Jerome Wilson (OLB/DB) - Etiwanda, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (6'2", 195) 3-Star Prospect
- Jalen Rudolph (DT) - Junipero Serra, Gardena, CA (6'2", 270) 3-Star Prospect
- Robert Corner (DB) - Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA (6'0", 185) 3-Star Prospect
- Jeremiah Byers (OL/DT) - Anderson, Austin, TX (6'5", 270) 3-Star Prospect
- Armonie Brown (SDE) - Refugio, TX (6'3", 250) 3-Star Prospect
- Michael Young (ILB) - Colleyville Heritage, Colleyville, TX (5'9", 210)
- Quintavius Workman (WR) - Chapin, El Paso, TX (6'4", 174)
- Sua'ava Tupua (DT) - Narbonne, Harbor City, CA (6'1", 265)
- Dyvonne Inyang (DB) - Kilgore J.C., Kilgore, TX (6'1", 180)
- Tre'Jon Lewis (DE) - Manor, TX (6'4", 225)
- Carrington Mitchell (CB) - Hutto, TX (6'0", 160)
- DeMarr Hayes (DE) - La Vega, Waco, TX (6'4", 209)
- Tanner Boston (RB/TE) - Cypress Ranch, Houston, TX (6'2", 235)
- Jalen Joseph (RB) - Andress, El Paso, TX (5'10", 205)
- Mark Ramos (K) - Andress, El Paso, TX (5'8", 165)
- Adam Cousins (DB) - Hendrickson, Pflugerville, TX (6'0", 165)
That makes six 3-star commits for the Miners and seven total (with Goodwin's signing). The first, and probably the most star-studded among the commits is local running back sensation Deion Hankins. He was recruited heavily by distinct Power-5 programs like Arkansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, among others. Although he's been quiet about his commitment following football season, Hankins is likely set to be a Miner, barring any change of heart. His 7,000-plus career rushing yards in high school will be remembered as one of the best ever in the city and now we will see what he can do for UTEP.
UTEP splashed a trio of 3-star commitments out of California, who all happen to be defensive studs. Outside linebacker Jerome Wilson did some nice work at the high school level for Etiwanda, which garnered looks from Washington State, Utah and Yale. The Louisianna born defensive tackle Jalen Rudolph was a steal for the Miners, as he received some serious looks from LSU and Alabama out of Junior College. Being a top-30 cornerback by position, Robert Corner is another big-name signee for the Miners out of California.
Their last 3-star commits came from a pair of Texas defensive standouts, Jeremiah Byers out of Austin and Armonie Brown of Refugio. Byers, a 6-foot-6 behemoth, played on both sides of the ball in high school, so it will be interesting to see where UTEP places him. On the other hand, Brown is a true pass rusher and received looks from New Mexico, Syracuse and Liberty prior to committing to UTEP.
Local names on this list, along with Hankins, include wideout Quintavius Workman of Chapin and Andress High School's kicker Mark Ramos and running back Jalen Joseph. Workman might be the undiscovered diamond of this class. His height, speed and hands make him such a viable prospect. Ramos was one of the city's best field goal kickers, hitting 34 of 47 in his career with a long of 45. Due to his athleticism, Joseph can play just about anywhere on the field and his four years at Andress proved how well he can play.
UTEP recently received verbals from the likes of Young, Inyang, Boston and Mitchell. Colleyville Heritage's linebacker product in Young should be an interesting name to keep an eye out for because although he's undersized, he racked up 123 tackles last season. Inyang made a name for himself as a defensive back in the JUCO ranks, where he finished being named the No. 33 overall JUCO prospect in Texas. Boston might be more of a blocking tight end for the Miners down the road. Mitchell earned his pedigree at the high school ranks for Hutto, and although he wasn't highly scouted, he possesses some strong raw abilities at the defensive back spot.
For more on the commits, click here.
Disclaimer: We will continue to update this list as more names come through.