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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Texas-El Paso
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  SEPT 26 CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UTEP PR Marcus Bellon changed the momentum of the game when he returned a punt 47 yards to pay dirt for a touchdown, giving UTEP a 10-point lead in the third quarter during the Miners' 27-10 upset victory against Boise State on Friday night. For Bellon, it was his first career touchdown for the Miners, while it was UTEP's first punt return for a touchdown since Sept. 19, 2015 at NM State. Overall, Bellon tallied two returns for 57 yards. - Conference USA Football

So/2025 WR Marcus BellonTexas-El Paso
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  Gavin Hardison threw for one touchdown, Marcus Bellon returned a punt for another score and UTEP defeated Boise State 27-10 on Friday night. Bellon's 47-yard punt return gave a Miners a 20-10 lead late in the third quarter. The Miners iced the game with a 14-play, 80-yard drive that took 9:10 off the clock in the fourth quarter. Reynaldo Flores capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Although the Miners (2-3) outgained the Broncos 148-53 in the first half, UTEP didn't take the lead until Hardison hit Jeremiah Ballard with a 42-yard touchdown pass with 2:10 remaining in the second quarter. It was the first career touchdown reception for Ballard, a redshirt freshman.

Hardison completed 10 of 11 passes for 123 yards. The Miners had 199 yards on the ground, led by Deion Hankins with 21 carries for 86 yards. Gavin Baechle added two field goals for UTEP. Boise State's Hank Bachmeier completed only 13 of 34 passes for 93 yards. The Broncos (2-2) had 84 yards rushing and only 177 yards total offense. UTEP, a 16 1/2-point underdog, controlled the ball for 40 minutes and 35 seconds. It was UTEP's first victory over Boise State. The Broncos lead the series 6-1. - UTEP/AP College Football


rJr/2024 QB Gavin HardisonTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP/AP College Football
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  UTEP committed a national season-high seven turnovers in its 27-10 loss at New Mexico, including five in the second half. Gavin Hardison threw three interceptions and Calvin Brownholtz was picked off on his only attempt. All three fumbles came in the second half. New Mexico did not convert any of those turnovers into points. In fact, the Lobos have netted just one touchdown on 10 takeaways over three games. - AP College Football

rJr/2024 QB Gavin HardisonTexas-El Paso
News Source: AP College Football
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  SEPT 12 CONFERENCE USA SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UTEP K Gavin Baechle converted two field goals (29, 46) and made a pair of extra points on his way to eight points in UTEP's 20-13 win over rival New Mexico State in the 99th Battle of I-10 on Saturday night in El Paso. Baechle put the first points of the game on the board, courtesy of a 29-yard field goal in the first quarter. He added a 46-yarder in the third quarter that extended the lead to 20-6 at the end of the period. - Conference USA Football

rSr/2023 K Gavin BaechleTexas-El Paso
News Source: Conference USA Football
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  UTEP football returns one of their most important pieces on the offense for 2022. Trent Thompson, a senior tight end, is ready to take his game to the next level for the Miners as they approach the beginning of their season. "He is one of the most important guys on our football team," said UTEP head coach Dana Dimel. "He brings so much to the team and is one of our very, very best players on the team and at his position. He's an outstanding blocker, can catch the ball well when he gets his opportunities and just a really physical football player, so we love Trent. He's a really, really important to our ball club." In 2021, Thompson had his best year for the Miners, as he was the team's primary tight end target.

He collected nine receptions for 133 yards and four touchdowns. Thompson finished his 2021 season on a high note. The product out of Houston, Texas recorded career highs in yards (52) and touchdowns (two) against Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl. One of his signature moments, was when Thompson was the one on the receiving end of a 51-yard score against the Bulldogs in the bowl game. For 2022, Thompson is aiming to have the best season of his collegiate career. "This is going to be the best year, in my opinion," said Thompson. "You could take my 2020 and 2021 seasons and combine that together. That is what you're going to get a bunch of pancake blocks and hopefully double the amount of touchdowns." - KTSM


rSr/2023 TE Trent ThompsonTexas-El Paso
News Source: KTSM
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  2022 PRESEASON WUERFFEL TROPHY (COMMUNITY SERVICE) WATCHLIST: Deion Hankins, UTEP, So., RB,...Hankins, heading into the 2022 season as a redshirt sophomore, ranked tied first on the team with six rushing touchdowns last season. The El Paso product ranked second on the squad with 458 yards rushing in 11 games played. Besides his on-field accomplishments, Hankins has been active in the community and on campus. He's serves on the Fellowship of Christians Academy (FCA) at The University of Texas at El Paso, while he's worked with current Green Bay Packers' running and UTEP great Aaron Jones's A&A All The Way Foundation (dedicated to making an impact in the lives of the nation's youth). - UTEP Football

rSo/2025 RB Deion HankinsTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  2022 PRESEASON ROTARY LOMBARDI AWARD WATCHLIST: Praise Amaewhule, UTEP, Rs, Jr DE,...The redshirt junior, who started all 13 games in 2021, led the Miners with 13.0 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. The redshirt junior rated second on the team in sacks (5.5) and breakups (seven). He ranked 22nd nationally in forced fumbles (.23). - UTEP Football

Sr/2023 DE Praise AmaewhuleTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  2022 PRESEASON CHUCK BEDNARIK AWARD WATCH LIST: Praise Amaewhule, UTEP, Junior DE,...Amaewhule was named to the 2021 All-Conference USA first team. The redshirt junior, who started all 13 games, led the Miners with 13.0 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. The redshirt junior rated second on the team in sacks (5.5) and breakups (seven). He ranked 22nd nationally in forced fumbles (.23). - UTEP Football

Sr/2023 DE Praise AmaewhuleTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  2022 PRESEASON BUTKUS AWARD WATCHLIST: Tyrice Knight, UTEP,...Knight, who started all 13 games during his junior season, ranked second on the team with 102 tackles in 2021. Knight added 9.0 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, an interception, three pass breakups, two quarterback hurries, a pair of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. The product of Lakeland, Fla., concluded the season by amassing 15 tackles at the 2021 New Mexico Bowl against Fresno State. Knight's efforts surged the Miners to their first winning campaign and bowl appearance in seven seasons. - UTEP Football

rSr/2023 ILB Tyrice KnightTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  In a preseason media poll released by the league on Monday, UTEP was picked to finish sixth in Conference USA during the 2022 football season. The Miners' middle of the pack selection entering Dana Dimel's fifth season comes after UTEP narrowly lost to Fresno State in the 2021 New Mexico Bowl, capping off a 7-6 season. UTEP was picked to finish either last or second-to-last in the preseason poll Dimel's first four seasons at the helm of the Miners. UTEP returns a good portion of its key contributors from a season ago and there is optimism for a finish higher than sixth at UTEP.

Five Miners were also honored on the C-USA Preseason Watch List on Monday. Quarterback Gavin Hardison; defensive end Praise Amaewhule; wide receiver Tyrin Smith; offensive lineman Elijah Klein; and punter Josh Sloan are on the list of players pegged by the conference. Additionally, linebacker Tyrice Knight was named to the preseason watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, given annually to the best linebacker in college football. - KTSM


Sr/2023 DE Praise AmaewhuleTexas-El Paso
News Source: KTSM
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  2022 PRESEASON BRONKO NAGURSKI TROPHY WATCHLIST: DE Praise Amaewhule, UTEP,...Amaewhule was named to the 2021 All-Conference USA first team. The redshirt junior, who started all 13 games, led the Miners with 13 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. The redshirt junior rated second on the team in sacks (5.5) and breakups (seven). He ranked 22nd nationally in forced fumbles (.23). The 6-3, 245-pound had a dominating performance that helped the Miners rally from a 13-3 deficit at halftime to a 20-13 victory against New Mexico. Amaewhule posted 1.5 tackles for losses, a forced fumble, two pass breakups and racked up a career-high seven QB pressures against the Lobos. - UTEP Football

Sr/2023 DE Praise AmaewhuleTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Deion Hankins (So.), UTEP,...After finally exhausting his allocation of freshmen seasons (2019, two games and redshirt; 2020, seven games and Covid allowance; 2021 a redshirt freshman season that counts), running back Deion Hanks (6-0, 215) heads into his redshirt sophomore season with enough exposure to earn watch list attention. Last season, whatever grade you call it, he was UTEP's second-leading rusher with 458 yards on 121 carries (3.8 avg.) and tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns; caught four passes for 24 yards (6.0 ypc). - UTEP Football

rSo/2025 RB Deion HankinsTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  2022 PRESEASON DOAK WALKER AWARD CANDIDATE: Ronald Awatt (Sr.), UTEP,...In 2021 as a redshirt junior, UTEP running back Ronald Awatt (6-0, 205) led the Miners with 844 rushing yards on 159 carries (5.3 avg.); Averaged 65.0 yards per game with six rushing TD's; Caught 11 passes totaling 158 yards (14.4 avg); Played in all 13 games, making nine starts. - UTEP Football

rSr/2023 RB Ronald AwattTexas-El Paso
News Source: UTEP Football
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  UTEP graduated only 11 players from 2021's bunch and while they also lost top receiver Jacob Cowing to Arizona in the transfer portal, this is an experienced Miners team that many players quietly think is the most talented UTEP has had in years. Leading the charge will be redshirt junior quarterback, Gavin Hardison, who is now entering his third year as UTEP's starter. An All-Conference USA Honorable Mention choice a year ago, Hardison threw for 3,217 yards, 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2021.

But the last game of the season left a bad taste in his mouth; Hardison's fumble late in the fourth quarter vs. Fresno State ended a promising Miners drive that could've tied the game. It's motivated him all offseason. "I've had a lot of goals that I've accomplished this offseason and taking care of the ball is one of them. It's an extremely motivating scene, what happened the last time we played and we're excited to get out here for week 0," said Hardison. - El Paso Times


rJr/2024 QB Gavin HardisonTexas-El Paso
News Source: El Paso Times
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  2021 ALL-CONFERENCE USA SECOND TEAM (COACHES): LB: Breon Hayward, RS Jr., UTEP,...Hayward leads UTEP with 97 tackles. The Houston product ranks tied fourth in C-USA in total tackles and fifth in tackles per game (8.1). Hayward ranks second in C-USA with 71 tackles in league only games, while also ranking second with 8.9 stops per game in league only contests. He added 6.5 TFL (20 yards), 1.5 sacks (nine yards), three breakups, four QB hurries and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Hayward racked up a season-high 14 tackles at FAU, and matched that number at North Texas. Scored on a 55-yard fumble return at Southern Miss, while also adding eight tackles and 1.5 TFL. He gathered 10 stops in a win against New Mexico. "Breon obviously, we feel like our linebacking duo of Breon and Tyrice (Knight) is the best in the league," Dimel said. "Those two complement each other and the play upfront as really helped Breon to get the kind of season he's having. He's been such a great player for us and had multiple games of double-digit tackles, so we're very happy for him." - Texas-El Paso Football


rSr/2023 ILB Breon HaywardTexas-El Paso
News Source: Texas-El Paso Football
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