Two of the four UTEP defensive backs who entered the transfer portal following the Rice cancelation have returned to the football program. Dyvonne Inyang and Dennis Barnes both pulled themselves out of the transfer portal and are back with the Miners, according to 247Sports. Duron Lowe and Broderick Harrell also left the team and both are still exploring their options.

Without the four defensive backs, the Miners played their final game of the regular season against North Texas with a depleted secondary. UTEP lost that game 45-43 and they gave up 491 total yards to the Mean Green. Both defensive coordinator Mike Cox and offensive coordinator Mike Canales were relieved of their duties following the season.

Inyang was sixth on the team with 32 tackles and he started all seven games he played for the Miners this season. Meanwhile, Barnes was second on the Miners with five passes defended and he started in four of the six games that he appeared with UTEP. Both are expected to start in 2021.

Head coach Dana Dimel still needs to find replacements for Lowe and Harrell and former Kansas State defensive back Walter Neil Jr. committed to the Miners last month. He had started for the Wildcats at either cornerback or nickelback in 2018 and 2019, while registering 47 tackles, one interception, and four pass breakups. Neil put his name into the portal last August, but he did not sign with anyone until committing to the Miners.

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