The Dig: 19 Days Till UTEP Miner Football Opening Kickoff Edition

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In The Dig:  The Miners wrap up Camp Socorro; A Frosh TE is Turning Heads; UTEP offers a California DT that looks great on film; and updates on two more Miners in NFL Camps.

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Socorro, Oh How We Love Thee

The Miners are back in El Paso and after a Monday off will begin practicing on campus today.  Here is the final Camp Socorro Video from UTEP Athletics- featuring an interview with Miner coach Bob Connelly.

 

A New Weapon

Freshman tight end Kevin Perry is turning heads at practices.  Remember, UTEP's top two tight ends, Jonny Moore and Elijah Goldtrap, are both seniors.  Perry and Katrae Ford might be the future of the position for the Miners.

Freshman Kevin Perry, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound physical marvel who turned down basketball offers to attend UTEP, is back after missing his redshirt season to a knee injury and while his blocking needs work, his pass catching will make him a star sooner rather than later.

Meet the Miners

If you've got kids, or not, you should definitely check this out.  Here's a nice chance to meet the Miners in person.  The players and coaches appreciate all the fans that go and support them.

UTEP football fans will have the opportunity to interact with Miner players and coaches, as well as obtain autographs, at the team's annual Fan Appreciation Day this Saturday (Aug. 21) in the concourse of Sun Bowl stadium.  The event will start at 11:30 a.m.

On to the Next One

The Texas vs. The Nation Game is moving on to San Antonio.  Last year, the event coordinators were upset that only 26,000 fans attended.  In San Antonio, you'll be lucky to have 2,600.  I will say that I think the game is good for UTEP players and I hope Miners still get a chance to play.  Ask Cornelius Brown if the game helped him-  last year's MVP would almost surely say it did.

Lovin' UTEP Blog Sites

Jacquie Cason's Miner Volleyball blog isn't too happy with the C-USA main website.

Conference USA is out with their pre-season all conference team-as voted by the coaches-zero Miners on the list. The CUSA web site also has a link to 2010 signees. No Jacquie and no Taylor Nix on that list. Crackerjack staff over there at CUSA HQ.

Miners in the NFL

Big Cous:  Former UTEP lineman Oniel Cousins is finally healthy again at Baltimore Ravens camp.  If you're a Miner fan you'll love this article.  It appears Cousins is moving over to RT to help bolster the Ravens line.  Check out what offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said about Cousins:

"One thing I like about Cous - you know exactly what you're getting. He's not one guy one day and another guy the next day. He shows up, he's there every day, he's where he's supposed to be, he gives you his best effort.

Nice Start:  Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith played in his first preseason game with the Detroit Lions.  He had four tacklesand he also recovered a fumble on the 7 yard line, stopping a Lions scoring opportunity.

Miners in the NBA

It's official, Derrick Caracter has signed a contract with the L.A. Lakers and is a rich man.

The Lakers announced Friday that they signed second-round draft pick Derrick Caracter. Caracter, a 6-foot-8 power forward, signed a two-year contract worth about $1.1 million in which just the first year at $473,604 is guaranteed.

Recruiting Hits:  Football

Gaining Interest:  Dual threat quarterback Jonovan Griffin out of McKinney is starting to generate more and more buzz.  UTEP has offered but now the Big 12's Texas Tech is in the mix.  Scout.com ($) has a good story up on him.

So far, Texas Tech, Memphis, Tulane, UTEP and Wyoming have made Jonovan Griffin an offer. But all of this has not distracted him nor has him feeling like he is rushed. ...

The Truck:  The Miners have also offered, according to Scout, 6'2, 275 lb. defensive tackle Brandon Tuliaupupu out of Claremont, CA.  Kansas, New Mexico, San Jose State, and Washington State have also offered him.  After watching this highlight reel on Brandon, I can't help but think he reminds me of a truck parked in the middle of the line.  Watch this, he's a strong, big kid, and UTEP desperately needs some bodies at DT.  Rivals has him rated as a 3 Star Prospect.

Recruiting Hits:  Basketball

Rivals is reporting that UTEP has offered Nevin Johnson, a 6'4 shooting guard out of Spring, TX (Spring High) a scholarship.  ESPN ranks Johnson as the 126th best SF in the country.  Johnson will apparently visit Creighton in the fall and also has an offer from Wichita State.

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Hopefully, Not:  CBS Sports has some C-USA predictions up.  CBS thinks UTEP finishes 4th in the West.

Nice Idea:  The Memphis Tigers football promotional department has gotten creative with their billboards.  Many feature local athletes with the heading "Represent" around their old neighborhoods.  Others do this:

The billboard campaign isn't limited to Memphians. Offensive lineman Ronald Leary, a junior from Baton Rouge, La.; receiver Jermaine McKenzie, a junior from Bradenton, Fla.; and safety Marcus Ball, a senior from Atlanta, have their own billboards, too. Leary appears under the headline "Blue Plate Special -- Pancakes."

Not So Fierce Pass Rush:  UAB's Neil Calloway is worried about his lack of a pass rush.

"We've only got two guys who can pressure and that would be Elliott Henigan and Bryant Turner," Callaway said.

Papa Ruff?  Yes, that's East Carolina coache Ruffin McNeill's new nickname.  

 

19 Days, Gentleman.....

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