On the day before the spring semester classes were supposed to begin at UTEP, sophomore wide receiver Tyrin Smith announced that he will be entering the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining.

"First I would like to thank God for blessing me with the talent to play this game and the passion to play it at this level," Smith wrote on Twitter. "I would like to thank all of my teammates, coaches, athletic and academic staff at UTEP who have helped mold me into the student and the athlete that I am today. I would also like to thank all of the fans that supported my brothers and me every week. After much thoughts, many prayers and deep conversations with my family, I have decided to enter the transfer portal with two years of eligibility remaining."

Smith finished the 2022 season on a high note, earning a C-USA honorable mention recognition after recording 1,039 receiving yards and scoring seven touchdowns in his second season with the Miners.

He became only the eighth player in school history to record a 1,000+ yard season. He was also only one of three players in C-USA with over 1,000 receiving yards. Smith recorded four 100-yard games, highlighted by his career-high 183 yards on eight receptions at New Mexico.


This isn't the first time Smith has been in the transfer portal.

After his first season, in which he posted 570 yards at UTEP, Smith hit the portal. However, he elected to return to the Miner program after only getting a few offers.

This is the second All C-USA player that the UTEP football program has lost this offseason. Once the season ended, offensive lineman Jeremiah Byers hit the transfer portal and ended up selecting Florida State as his landing spot. Byers was an All C-USA first team recipient as a redshirt sophomore and played 855 snaps for the team at right tackle.

With Byers previously garnering high-level Power 5 offers, it will be interesting to see what kind of offers Smith gets. His eye-popping numbers as a slot receiver should attract attention from the Power 5 and Group of 5 ranks.

For the Miners, they will have to rely on Kelly Akharaiyi and Jeremiah Ballard as their top two returning receivers on the team. Both players combined have less than 500 yards of receiving. Now, as National Signing Day approaches in February, the Miners will need to prioritize adding more receiver depth.


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