If UTEP coaches could sprinkle poofy dust over the current roster, they would instantly add two ingredients, both related – explosive, big-play pass rushers, and difference-maker ball-carriers and receivers who can change a game with one long gain.
In recruiting, the staff will be looking for these rare animals. They will have company, as every other football talent sharks swim in the very same shallow talent pool.
In the early going, senior wide-out Warren Redix,, a senior from El Paso Montwood, appears to have taken the lead with leaping catches that sparked workouts. Running backs Quardraiz Wadley, a junior from Kennedale, and sophomore Josh Fields
from El Paso Americas, showed glimmers of D-1 talent last season, when they were healthy.
As for a pass rusher, coaches don’t say much but look to the horizon, as if seeking a long, tall, fast, strong defender to cross the Franklin Mountains and make his new home at UTEP.
NCAA regs prohibit coaches from commenting on specific athletes until the early signing day in December. Staffers whisper that the recruiting class of 2019 could have more of what Dr. Dana Dimel orders.
The class is likely to feature eight offensive linemen, which the Miners will need to restock the shelves as seniors play out their eligibility. UTEP sources say they have solid commitments from five blockers who were sought by schools in the so-called Power 5 conferences. It would be safe to assume some of those prospects had been pursued by Kansas State, the most recent coaching stops for Dimel and others on the new UTEP staff.
Indeed, it raises eyebrows when recruiting coordinator Matt Rahl says the Miners have almost filled their quota for class of 2019 high school kids.
“We wouldn’t say no to a great player,” Rahl said, “but we will be looking mostly at JuCo kids to fill a couple spots. Then we are beginning to look at 2020, right now.” — By Mark S. McDonald, executive editor