UTEP Football’s 2015 Recruiting Class Features Five El Paso Prospects [VIDEO]
The UTEP football program signed 22 student athletes to National Letters of Intent today, including five prospects from El Paso. Head coach Sean Kugler has stressed the importance of building his football program on both offensive and defensive line, and he delivered on his promise with 10 linemen out of 22 signees. The break down of the Miners' recruiting class included 17 high school players, four junior college players, and one Division 1 transfer. Courtesy of UTEP Athletics, here is a breakdown of each player that will be joining the football team for the 2015 season.
M.J. McFarland | TE | 6-5 | 250 | El Paso, Texas (Texas)
Played in 36 career games with eight starts from 2012-14 for the Longhorns, while earning his degree in 2014 … as a junior, saw action in all 13 games with four starts … caught 11 passes for 53 yards and twotouchdowns … had at least one reception in eight games in 2014 … found the end zone against UCLA (9/13) and at Kansas (9/27) in consecutive games … hauled in a 13-yard grab at Texas Tech (11/1) … as a sophomore saw playing time as a reserve tight end and on special teams … as a freshman played in 12 games and started in four showings … established career highs in receptions (three) and yards (39) versus Oklahoma (10/12/13) during freshman season … first career reception was a 13-yard touchdown grab against New Mexico (9/8/12) … caught a career-high 29-yard pass that same season … El Dorado High School’s all-time leader in receptions (185), receiving yards (2,601), touchdowns (44) and points (264) … named the El Paso Times’ 2010 All-City Offensive MVP … selected to Dave Campbell’s Texas Football All-Texas High School first team, All-City first team, All-State third team, All-District 1-5A first team, U.S. Army National All-Combine honorable mention and District 1-5A Offensive MVP … a two-time Academic All-Big 12 recipient and a three-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll … ranked the 14th-best tight end by ESPNU coming out of high school.
Cole Ford | TE | 6-4 | 235 | Bothell, Wash. (Bothell HS)
Played three varsity football seasons for Bothell HighSchool … led the Cougars to a perfect 14-0 record, claiming the 2014 Class 4A State title … as a senior played in 11 games, tallying 28 receptions for 583 yards, one touchdown and 16.5 sacks … averaged 12.7 yards after contact … guided Bothell to victory over Eastlake (11/14) with six catches for 58 yards and one touchdown … posted three showings with 50 or more receiving yards … in the championship game versus Chiawana (12/6) registered a career-best two sacks and five tackles … recorded a season-best 80 yards with four receptions against Mercer Island (10/24) … named to 2014 All-King County and 2014 All-USA Western Washington Preseason High School Football first team… named MVP in the Northwest Elite Camp and clocked in at 4.70 in the 40-yard dash … clocked in as the fastest tight end in the nation at the Nike Football SPARQ Combine (4.70 in the 40-yard dash) … played in the Burger King State Champions Bowl Series in Boca Raton, Fla., as no. 15 Bothell took on no. 6 Miami Central.
Greg Long | OL | 6-4 | 290 | El Paso, Texas (Eastwood HS)
Played two years of varsity football on the offensive and defensive line … named All-City Offense first team … earned All-District 1-6A first team honors … efforts on offensive line helped Eastwood tally 2,038 rushing yards on 288 carries (7.1 avg.) with 16 touchdowns, while the quarterbacks passed for 2,430 yards, 29 touchdowns and only seven interceptions on 238 attempts … recorded 12 (8s/4a) tackles during his career, with a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry … played in the El Paso All-Star game.
Markos Lujan | OL | 6-3 | 325 | El Paso, Texas (Americas HS)
Three-year varsity football player for Americas High School … played guard on the offensive line, helping the Trail Blazers rush for 2,586 yards on 469 carries (5.5 avg.) and 24 touchdowns … named 2014 All-District 1-6A first team, 2014 All-City first team and Preseason All-City first team … two Americas players rushed for over 1,000 yards each and combined for 24 scores … the team averaged 235.1 rushing yards per game and 156.6 passing yards per contest … the Trail Blazers gained 242 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a victory over Montwood (10/3) … Americas rushed for 264 yards and four touchdowns, while passing for 230 yards and two scores during a win over Coronado (10/31) … member of the East Side All-Star team.
Chance Bishop | OL | 6-6 | 310 | Kennedale, Texas (Kennedale HS)
Played two years of varsity football, seeing action as a tight end, defensive tackle and special teams performer for the Wildcats … compiled six receptions for 192 yards and three touchdowns … guided the team to a 12-1 overall record, a perfect league record and the third round of the Class 4A Texas State playoff as a senior … helped team average 55.1 points and 354.4 rushing yards per game … opened the season with a career-long reception of 68 yards against Kaufman (9/19) … registered three performances of 40-plus all-purpose yards … ended season with a career-best six solo stops and one tackle for loss in a victory over Athens (11/21) … played in four games as a junior, notching two receptions for 57 yards and one touchdown … had a season-long 36-yard reception in a 70-0 victory over Diamond Hill-Jarvis (10/17) … named 2014 Class 4A All-State honorable mention, 2014 Star-Telegram Football Super Team second team and 2013 All-District 6-3A first team … competed at the 2014 UIL District 6-3 Track and Field Championships in the shot put and discus, finishing first and fourth respectively.
Ruben Guerra | OL | 6-4 | 290 | Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty HS)
Played two seasons of varsity football for the Patriots (17 games) … played tackle on the offensive and defensive lines … tallied six tackles (four solo) during his career … registered two stops during senior season … efforts helped Liberty High School to a 10-3 overall mark and an undefeated (5-0) league record … named to preseason All-Central Section first team prior to 2014 campaign … created holes and paved the way for Patriots’ rushers to gain 2,442 yards and 32 touchdowns as a team (187.8 ypg) … Liberty quarterbacks threw for 2,227 yards and 18 scores … Patriots rushed for 289 yards and four scores during a win over Garces (10/24) … Liberty rushers ran for a season-high 302 yards and three touchdowns during a victory over Bakersfield in the quarterfinals at the 2014 CIF Central Section High School Football Playoffs.
Josiah Gray | OL | 6-4 | 290 | Rancho, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga)
Played three seasons of varsity football for the Cougars on the offensive line … named Baseline League first-team offense … created openings, helping Cougar quarterbacks pass for 2,856 yards and 24 touchdowns, and rushers gain 1,754 yards with 16 scores … Rancho Cucamonga averaged 468.4 yards of all-purpose yards per game … the Cougars rushed for 331 yards and four scores during a win over Norco (9/5) … rushers tallied 301 yards on 30 carries and scored four touchdowns during a win at Los Osos (10/17).
Elliott Oldham | WR | 6-3 | 195 | Detroit, Mich. | Minnesota West Community & Technical College
Played wide receiver for Minnesota West Community & Technical College from 2012-14 … last season led the squad in receiving yards (498) with 35 receptions and five touchdowns … was the Bluejays’ leading scorer and rated second in all-purpose yards (55.3 ypg) … caught a career-long 45-yard score against Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College … posted a career night versus Ridgewater College, tallying seven receptions for 129 yards and one touchdown … was named to the 2014 MCAC All-Division first team … during freshman campaign played in nine games, recording a total of 334 yards and three touchdowns … hauled in 17 passes for 203 yards (11.9 avg.), ranking second on the team … saw action on special teams with 10 kick returns for 129 yards (12.9 avg.), including a career-long return of 33 yards … named to the 2013 MCAC All-Academic team … played varsity football for two seasons for Ferndale High School … compiled 21 receptions for 304 yards and averaged 16.9 yards per game … during senior campaign registered two performances for 50-plus receiving yards, including a 107-yard showing and seven receptions in a victory over Avondale … saw playing time as a safety, racking up 87 tackles, four forced fumbles and one interception … in 2011 ranked second on the team in receiving yards (296), third in tackles (73), first in pass breakups (five) and forced fumbles (four).
Terry Juniel | WR | 5-10 | 170 | Surprise, Ariz. (Glendale CC)
Played and started in 10 games for Glendale Community College as a freshman … led the team in receiving and returns … registered 28 receptions for 407 yards (40.7 ypg) and three touchdowns … on special teams notched 14 kick returns for 315 yards and 14 punt returns for 467 yards and four touchdowns … ended the season with a career-long 67-yard touchdown against Snow College (11/8) … saw success as a punt returner, registering three showings of 100 or more yards, including a career-best 156 yards against Pima CommunityCollege (10/11) … played varsity football for Valley Vista High School for three seasons … compiled 113 carries for 2,028 receiving yards and 33 totaltouchdowns … saw action on special teams, tallying 48 kickoff returns for 860 yards and 22 punt returns for 226 yards … appeared in 10 games as a senior and notched five performances of 100-plus receiving yards … had a career night in a victory over Maryvale (10/25), recording a total of 309 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns, one interception, three pass breakups, one fumble recovery and 138 total return yards … opened the season with a career-long run of 73 yards against Willow Canyon (8/30) … posted a stellar showing against Mesa (9/20) with nine catches for 199 yards, two touchdowns and a career-long 82-yard reception … during junior campaign recorded eight showings of 100 or more all-purpose yards and two performances of over 200 yards … named 2014 Western States Football League Special Teams Player of the Week after returning three punts for 122 yards, including an 86-yard touchdown in a win over Eastern Arizona … garnered 2014 NJCAAAll-American, All-WSFL and ACCAC first team special teams honors.
Tyrone Nelson | RB | 5-11 | 180 | Los Angeles, Calif. (University HS)
Played two varsity football seasons, seeing action as a running back and safety … notched 253 carries for 1,913 yards, 19 touchdowns, 104 tackles (51s/53a), 10 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumblesrecovered … as a senior started in 11 games and tallied a team-best 190 carries for 1,457 yards and 11 touchdowns … ranked eighth overall in the Los Angeles City Section in rushing yards per game (132.5) … posted nine showings of 100 or more rushing yards and two of 200-plus yards … ran for a career-best 220 yards on 29 carries and two touchdowns against Venice (10/10) … also rushed for a career-long 69 yards in the victory that ended Venice’s winning streak … on defense registered eight performances with five or more tackles … recorded three touchdowns in a 48-3 victory versus Fairfax (10/31) … as a junior played in nine games, ran 63 times for 456 yards, while adding 44 tackles (18s/26a), five pass breakups and two forced fumbles … rated second on the team in touchdowns with five … named 2014 Western League Offensive Player of the Year and All-Conference first team.
Kavika Johnson | QB | 6-1 | 205 | Las Cruces, N.M. (Mayfield HS)
Played four varsity football seasons for the Trojans and led team to an 11-2 record as a senior … as a senior threw for 2,000 yards, 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions, and ran 182 times for 1,555 yards and 23 scores … led Mayfield to the second consecutive state championship game against Rio Rancho, rushing for 137 yards and throwing for three touchdowns … set the school record in total offense yards for a season with 3,555 and most yards per carry (8.52) … named the Academy Sports Right Stuff Player to Watch after accounting for 372 total yards and five touchdowns against Franklin (9/5) … rushed for 182 yards and two scores while throwing for 101 yards and a touchdown in victory over Las Cruces (11/7) … opened the playoffs with a victory over Clovis (11/21), completing 17 of 20 passes for 265 yards … earned multiple spots in the Mayfield record book, becoming the all-time career rushing leader with 4,081 yards and the all-time total offense leader with 7,831 yards … led the team to the 2013 5A State Championship … during junior season passed for 1,093 yards, 10 touchdowns, and rushed for 1,714 yards and 14 scores … in 2012 ran for a total of 812 yards and 11 touchdowns and tallied 850 passingyards, 12 scores and one interception … was named back-to-back District Offensive Player of the Year and was a two-time All-District first team honoree … garnered 2014 All-State second team, 2013 All-State first team and 2012 All-State honorable mention recognition… as a rookie was named Las Cruces Sun News Newcomer of the Year and earned a spot on the All-District second team … also played varsity basketball for the Trojans.
Brad Zaffram | FB/LB | 6-1 | 225 | Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius HS)
Played two seasons of varsity ball for the Crusaders … recorded 130 rushing yards on 34 carries with five touchdowns during his senior season … added eight receptions for 116 yards and a score … tallied 91 tackles (50 solo), 19 tackles for losses, three interceptions for 98 yards (including a pick six), eight passes defended, two forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks on the defensive side of the ball … efforts helped Canisius to a 12-0 overall mark, including a 3-0 league record and a state title … the Crusaders rushed for 2,939 yards on 417 carries (7.0 avg.) and 31 touchdowns … ran for a season-high 57 yards, while scoring two touchdowns during a win over Jamestown (9/26) … found the end zone on rushing plays during wins over Bishop Watterson (10/11), Bishop Timon-St. Jude (10/24) and St. Francis (11/1) … added a receiving score in a victory over Walsh Jesuit (9/19) … recorded a career-high 17 tackles (8s/9a) and a sack in a triumph over Cardinal Mooney (10/18) … amassed 16 tackles and picked off two passes against Bishop Timon-St. Jude, including an 80-yard pick six … had 15 stops against Jamestown ... during junior season gained 124 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns … tallied 64 tackles (44 solo), 15 tackles for losses, three hurries and four sacks for a loss of 45 yards on defense … ran for a career-best 74 yards in a win over St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute (11/2) … rushed for two scores during a victory over St. Francis (9/27) … racked up 11 tackles, including six for losses, against Cardinal Mooney … recorded a sack in four different contests during the season … picked off a pass during a victory over St. Francis and recorded a safety in a win against St. Mary’s (10/5) … a three-time All-Western New York selection.
Demarcus Womack | DT | 6-3 | 335 | New York, N.Y. (Globe Institute of Tech)
Played two seasons for Globe Institute of Tech … last season played in six games and registered 34 tackles (28s/6s) and 1.5 sacks … led the team in tackles for losses (eight) … recorded a career-best nine tackles and three tackles for losses against Navy (10/4) … led the team in tackles in two showings before missing the last four games of the season due to injury … as a freshman played in seven games, notching 22 tackles (21s/1a), four tackles for losses and one sack … tallied five performances of five or more tackles … played high school football for Jones High School for two seasons.
Sky Logan | DL | 6-2 | 285 | Natchez, Miss. (Hinds CC)
Played the first two games of the season for Hinds Community College before suffering a season-ending injury … tallied eight tackles, an assisted sack and 1.5 tackles for losses … during freshman campaign played in 10 games and registered 34 tackles, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks … led the Eagles to a 7-3 overall record in 2013 … part of the defensive unit that ranked 20th nationally in sacks (29) and 27th in interceptions (13)… played high school football for Trinity Episcopal and recorded 91 tackles and three fumbles recovered … invited to play in the Class AA South All-Star game as a senior … lettered in football, baseball and basketball in high school … garnered MAIS District 5-AA Defensive MVP and All-District first team honors as a senior … named to the 2012 All-MAIS first team, 2012 MAIS District 5-AA All-Districtbasketball team, 2013 MAIS District 5-AA All-District baseball first team and 2013 Natchez Democrat All-Metro baseball team.
Denzel Chukwukelu | DL | 6-4 | 295 | Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall Heath)
Led the Hawks to a 10-3 overall record and 6-1 league mark as a senior … saw action in 10 games and registered 38 tackles (18s/20a), two forced fumbles, two sacks, one interception and five tackles for losses … ranked second on the team in quarterback hurries with 12 … opened the season with a career-best nine tackles (4s/5a) against Trinity (9/6) … posted a career-best four quarterback hurries in a 35-17 victory over South Garland (11/6) … had four showings with five or more tackles … during junior campaign played in five games … tallied 11 tackles (4s/7a), two sacks and two tackles for losses … 2014 12-5A All-District first team, 2012 Division 3-3 All-District second team and 2013 TAPPS 3-2A Boys Basketball All-District second team.
Gene Hopkins | DL | 6-3 | 245 | Elgin, Texas (Elgin HS)
Played three years of varsity football for the Wildcats … recorded 146 tackles (74 solo), 25 tackles for losses, 10 sacks, nine hurries, three breakups, three forced fumbles and one blocked punt during his career (35 games) … during senior season recorded career-high 54 tackles (17 solo), 8.0 tackles for losses, 5.0 sacks (25 yards), three hurries, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt in 11 games … named to 2014 District 17-5A first-team defense … posted career-highs in tackles (10), tackles for losses (4.0) and sacks (2.0) during a win over Manor (10/10) … finished with 8.0 tackles and a hurry in a victory over Bastrop (9/5) … notched four stops and a sack in a triumph over Hutto (10/24) … against Temple tallied five tackles and a sack … during junior season posted 45 tackles (25 solo), 7.0 tackles for losses, six hurries, a sack and a forced fumble … opened 2013 with a season-high six tackles in a win over Rudder (8/30) … tied season-high in tackles during a victory over Georgetown (9/20), while causing a fumble … tallied a sack and five stops in a triumph over Pflugerville Connally … named to 2013 District 17-4A first-team defense … also competes on the varsity basketball team.
Foster Dixson | DL | 6-5 | 235 | Los Angeles, Calif. (Fairfax HS)
Played eight games for the Lions as a defensive end and tight end during the 2014 season … tallied 30 solo tackles, 10 sacks, eight tackles for losses, four blocked field goals, one fumble returned for a touchdown and one blocked punt … opened the season with a career-best four sacks and added seven tackles against Carson (9/5) … set season highs in tackles (eight) and tackles for losses (four) versus Westchester (10/17) … saw action on special teams and blocked a career-high three field goals againstHamilton (10/10) … as a junior registered a career-high 11 tackles in a victory over Palisades (10/11) … compiled 50 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles and one touchdown in 2013 … led the team in sacks both seasons … named 2014 Defensive Lineman of the Year and to the All-City team … part of the unbeaten basketball squad.
Jayson Vanhook | LB | 6-3 | 200 | Perris, Calif. (Citrus Hill HS)
Played and started 13 games for the Hawks in 2014, amassing 105 tackles (62s/43a), eight tackles for losses, six sacks, one forced fumble and one blocked field goal … led the team in quarterback hurries with 13 … recorded a career-high 17 tackles in a victory over Hemet (10/31) … had three showings of 10 or more tackles including a performance of 10 tackles, two sacks and a fumble returned for a touchdown against Norco (9/26) … as a junior saw action in eight games and tallied 28 tackles (11s/17a), seven tackles for losses, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and a team-best two sacks … registered a season-best eight tackles in a win against Beaumont (10/18) … a 2013 U100 NUC Combine Invite … 2014 All-CIF first team honoree, 2014 All-Area honorable mention and 2014 Mountain Pass League second team.
Kalon Beverly | DB | 6-1 | 175 |New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr HS)
Played three seasons of varsity football for the Cougars … notched 26 tackles, six pass breakups and two interceptions in 12 games played as asenior … helped lead Karr to two championship round appearances and the 2014 Class 4A quarterfinals … during senior campaign switched from safety to cornerback … named to the 2014 New Orleans Metro Area All-District 9-4A team … picked off a pass during a victory over St. Augustine (9/13) … had a key pass breakup at the goal line on a deep throw during a one-point win versus Easton (11/7) … against Wossman (11/14) in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, forced a fumble that was scooped up by a teammate and taken to the end zone, and tipped a pass that was intercepted by a teammate … efforts helped Karr earn a share of a sixth straight district title … ran for the varsity men’s track team for three seasons … ran an indoor personal best of 53.46 in the 400m at the Carl Lewis High School Invitational … a member of the 4x200m relay and 4x400m relay for the Cougars.
Jerrell Brown | DB | 6-1 | 175 | Perris, Calif. (Citrus Hill HS)
Played varsity football for three seasons and was the starting quarterback during senior campaign … led team to an 11-2 record and a perfect 5-0 mark in league play … connected on 161-of-257 passes for 2,190 yards (199.1 ypg) with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions … threw for a career-best 335 yards and three touchdowns against Rancho Verde (8/29) and tallied a career-high 440 total yards … tossed a career-long 73-yard pass in a 56-25 victory over West Valley (10/10) … posted five showings with more than 200 passing yards … guided squad to a dominating 63-14 win against Citrus Valley (11/14), going 11-of-14 for 220 yards and three touchdowns and running for 29 yards and a score … was 19-of-29 for 270 yards and two passing scores in a win versus Tahquitz (11/7) and finished the night with 304 total yards … ran for a career-best 156 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown against Roosevelt (9/19) … registered a career-long run of 67 yards against Hemet (10/31) … played in two games as a junior, seeing action as a cornerback … notched two interceptions, three tackles and one tackle for loss … as a sophomore took the field in four games and compiled 17 carries for 73 yards … ran for a season-long 38 yards in 51-0 shutout against Silverado (11/30) … named 2014 All-Inland Area honorable mention … a member of the Hawks track team.
Michael Lewis | DB | 5-11 | 170 | Trinity, Texas (Trinity HS)
Played three varsity football seasons, seeing action at multiple positions … posted 71 completions for a total of 1,014 passing yards, 47 receptions for 618 yards, 110 tackles (86s/24a) and 26 touchdowns … during senior campaign ran 73 times for 471 yards and nine touchdowns … in final game of the season ran for a career-best 102 yards and one touchdown versus Crockett (11/14) … recorded seven showings of over 100 all-purpose yards … notched a career-best 295 all-purpose yards in the win over Elkhart (9/19) that included a 102-yard interception return … posted a season-best 11 tackles and two tackles for losses in a victory over Leon (9/26) … added 39 receptions for 513 yards and four touchdowns as a senior … had six games with 50-plus receiving yards … was the starting quarterback for the Tigers in 2013 … started all 11 games, tallying 68 completions for 1,004 yards and rated second on the team in rushing yards with 728 and 13 touchdowns … saw playing time on defense, recording 30 tackles (25s/5a) and two sacks … as a freshman played in 10 games and posted 27 tackles (16s/11a) … a member of the varsity basketball team all four seasons.
Chris Barnwell | ATH | 6-2 | 190 | El Paso, Texas (Eastlake HS)
Played two seasons on the varsity team for the Falcons … totaled 89 tackles (68 solo), 23 tackles for losses, 7.0 sacks, 50 hurries, two breakups, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles during career (19 games) … during senior season registered 65 tackles (48 solo), 21 tackles for losses, 4.0 sacks, a forced fumble and 37 hurries … named 2014 El Paso Times All-City Defense first team … earned 2014 District 1-5A first team defense honors … efforts helped Eastlake to a 9-4 overall record and a 7-0 league mark … tallied career-high nine tackles (eight solo), 2.0 tackles for losses and two hurries in a win over Ysleta (9/18) … recorded eight stops, a sack and two hurries during a victory over Horizon (9/26) … had eight tackles and a sack in a triumph over Del Valle … posted 12 tackles, 6.0 tackles for losses and 2.0 sacks combined in wins over Bel Air (10/10) and Parkland (10/17) … in seven games during junior season recorded 24 tackles (20 solo), 2.0 tackles for losses, 3.0 sacks and 13 hurries … in back-to-back games posted five tackles and a sack in a win over San Elizario (9/20), with the same stat line during a victory over Hanks (9/27) … posted first varsity sack and tallied four stops in a triumph over Riverside … posted three stops in first varsity game against Andress (9/6) … played in the El Paso All-Star game.