UTEP Football Wraps Up Camp Ruidoso on the Right Foot
RUIDOSO, N.M. —The UTEP football team spent its final morning at Camp Ruidoso with position drills and a 47-play scrimmage to help put all the final touches in anticipation for the season to start.
The defense came up big at today's scrimmage, forcing three-and-outs, deflecting passes, stopping the run and even snagging an interception.
The first string package today was commanded by quarterback Kai Locksley and featured running backs Quadraiz Wadley and Josh Fields, and receivers Warren Redix, Terry Juniel and Kavika Johnson, among some subs. The second package featured quarterback Ryan Metz, running back TK Powell and receivers Tre’Shon Wolf, Richie Rodriguez, Kenyan Foster and Erik Brown.
Although they each split up into separate teams, Locksley and Metz are expected to share the load as the co-starting quarterbacks by the time week one hits.
“I thought Kai had a nice scrimmage, I thought he did some nice things,” Dimel said. “I thought Metz did a really good job of getting the guys orchestrated in and out of huddles. Kavika Johnson stepped up and did some nice things. The number one offensive line did a good job. The number one defensive line played really well. I took them out early because I didn’t want to get anyone banged up. And of course our number one defensive backfield did a good job as well.”
The defense opened the scrimmage with back-to-back three-and-outs, including linebacker Jamar Smith recording a sack on Locksley in the opening drive. Metz came in during UTEP's third possession and scored on the first play from scrimmage—a 50-yard touchdown pass to Terry Juniel.
The defense stopped offenses led by Mark Torrez and Alex Fernandes on the next two drives, respectively. Defensive back Nik Needham snatched an interception off Fernandes during his drive.
On the following drive, running back Treyvon Hughes ran for a 28-yard touchdown. Jason Filley hit a 36-yard field goal to finish off the scoring for the Miners' offense on the next drive.
Locksley finished the day completing 5-of-7 passes for 48 yards, while Metz was 2-for-4 with 58 yards. Juniel led the way for receiving with 58 yards on two receptions, while Johnson had 30 yards of receiving.
Defensively, UTEP was all over the place. Transfer A.J. Hotchkins, Mike Sota and Ray Walters each had a sack, while Chris Barnwell had a forced fumble and had a fumble recovery.
“They’ve had some nice turnovers throughout camp,” Dimel said. “We know that’s probably one of the strengths of our defense right now. There is a lot of experience back there and some talented players. We had the New York Jets’ top scout come in early in practice to look at Winston [Dimel] and a couple of our guys on offense and three of our guys on defense. It says something about some of the talent that we have.”
Newcomers like receivers Andrew Chukwukelu and Ricky Baker looked explosive throughout drills. The newcomers overall were impressive on the day.
“The thing that I’m most pleased about is our recruiting class that we brought in," Dimel said. "A lot of those guys are just what we hoped they’d be. And that’s not usually the case in recruiting. But they are. And so there’s a group of them that are giving us the depth that we need to have. That’s really encouraging.”
UTEP will come back to El Paso on Sunday and resume practice at school on Monday morning. The season opener against Northern Arizona is just three weeks away (Sept. 1).