One of the deepest positions for the UTEP football team has been running back. The group took a hit a few days ago when redshirt freshman Willie Eldridge announced that he was entering the transfer portal.

UTEP defeats Bethune-Cookman 38-28 in the Sun Bowl on September 4, 2021. Miners start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
Jorge Salgado

Last season, the Houston product broke out against Bethune Cookman with 118 yards on just 14 carries. However, he redshirted the rest of the season. Eldridge had just finished Spring practice and he was expected to enter the 2022 season third on the Miners depth cart behind Ronald Awatt and Deion Hankins. A source told 600 ESPN that Eldridge's departure was not related to the football field.

Speaking of Hankins, he underwent shoulder surgery following last season and his rehab is going so well that expects to rejoin the team in June. Redshirt sophomore Cartraven Walker had impressed the coaching staff during spring ball and he was moving up the team's depth chart. In addition, redshirt senior Rey Flores, redshirt freshman Mister Chavis, and redshirt sophomore Jalen Joseph all figure to battle for carries this season. Redshirt senior Walter Dawn Jr., who has been with UTEP as a dual purpose back since 2016, could also see some touches in the backfield during the upcoming season.

UTEP v Boise State
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Head coach Dana Dimel did not sign any running backs in 2022 because of the depth of the position. It will be interesting to see if he adds any late signees at running back to replace Eldridge or instead waits until December or next February for his Class of 2023.

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The UTEP Football team defeated Bethune-Cookman 38-28 last Saturday night to start the 2021 college football season with a 2-0 record for the first time in 16 years.

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