On early signing day, UTEP took the same approach as they typically have done under head coach Dana Dimel and signed 17 newcomers to the team with 15 coming from the junior college ranks.

Among the 15 JUCO transfers, Dimel expects all of them to join as mid-year players, meaning they will play spring ball and could contend for playing time as early as fall of 2023. The focus skewed on the defensive side of the ball, with two secondary members, four defensive linemen and three linebackers signed. They signed eight players on offense, including three offensive linemen and three tight ends.

As it has been with the Dimel regime, they hit junior colleges in Texas and California especially hard with this recruiting class.

Last year, UTEP signed eight players in the early signing period. Among the eight, players like Kobe Hylton, Josiah Allen, Bryton Thompson and Maurice Westmoreland saw the field immediately. Dimel expects immediate playing time from certain players from the mid-year signees they announced on Wednesday.

One of the position groups that Dimel highlighted on Wednesday included the running back spot. They signed Mike Franklin, who Dimel thinks could compliment current running backs like Deion Hankins, Torrance Burgess and Cartraven Walker.

In addition to the 17 names that were revealed, Dimel expects to get about three more signees in the coming days.

Here's the full list:

  • Elijah Boyd (TE 6-4 250) - So. Fairfield, Calif./Contra Costa College
  • Kenny Byrd (LB 6-0 225) - Jr. York, S.C./Northeast Mississippi CC
  • Stefan Cameron (CB 5-11 185) - Jr. St. Louis, Mo./Foothill College
  • Nate Dyman (LB 6-2 223) - Jr. Missouri City, Texas/Blinn College
  • Judah Ezinwa (TE 6-3 240) - So. Fontana, Calif./Mt. SAC (San Antonio College)
  • Mike Franklin (RB 6-2 225) - Jr. Daphne, Ala./Contra Costa College
  • Kadarion Johnson (DL 6-1 300) - Jr. Houston, Texas/Kilgore College
  • Dimitri Madden (DL 6-3 287) - Jr. Lewisham, London, England/NMMI
  • Tyrone D. McDuffie III (OL 6-4 300) - Fr. El Paso, Texas/Parkland High School
  • Oscar Moore (S 6-1 208) -  Jr. Eaton, Texas/Kilgore College
  • Seth Mouser (QB 6-5 200) - Fr. Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop High School
  • Josh Phillips (LB 6-3 220) - Jr. Grenada, Miss./Mississppi Gulf Coast
  • TangiTangi Pongia (OL 6-3 290) - Jr. San Diego, Calif./ Cisco College
  • Viontay Robinson (DL 6-1 262) - Jr. Waco, Texas/Navarro College
  • Jaquan Toney (OL 6-4 301) - Jr. Huntsville, Ala./Northeast Mississippi CC
  • Marcus Vinson (TE 6-4 255) - So. Duncanville, Texas/Kilgore College
  • Matt Wann (DE 6-2 235) - Jr. Fullerton, Calif./Santa Anna College

UTEP expects to reserve scholarships for National Signing Day (Feb. 1, 2023), which will be prioritized through high school signees, transfer portal guys and mid-year JUCO transfers.

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