This post is sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 2011.
This is a great summer topic to kick around- who's your All-Time Favorite UTEP football player or players? Making a list like this is a lot more difficult than you would think. UTEP has had some elite, NFL quality talent over the years, and we have also seen some incredible overachievers. Try to remember that this is a "Favorite Player" countdown, not a best player- No Don Maynard here since I never had the pleasure of watching him play in a UTEP uniform.
#3: Robert Rodriguez.
The linebacker from Montwood High embodied everything right about El Paso football. A consummate team player and hard working player, Rodriguez won over Miner fans with his work ethic, leadership, and knack for seemingly always being around the ball. Coach Rod ranks fifth on the all-time UTEP tackles list with 443 stops, including 33 for losses. Rodriguez led the WAC in tackles in three of his four seasons at UTEP. He was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004, when he had 121 tackles and 16 tackles for losses. How sick are those numbers? As a player, Rodriguez was the consummate hometown hero. As a coach, he's bringing NFL experience and a relentless work ethic to Andre Patterson's staff.
#2: Donald Buckram:
Many might say that one season can't make an all-timer. Those who do, weren't paying attention to Buckram's legendary 2009 campaign. The stats are easy. In 2009, Buckram finished:
- 4th in the NCAA in rushing yards per game (132.83)
- 11th in the NCAA in all purpose yards per game (170.58)
- 3rd in the NCAA in scoring (10.5 points per game)
#1: Quintin Demps:
A safety? Not just any safety. Quintin Demps was the single most dominant defensive player I've ever seen at UTEP. He was excellent in coverage. He was a ferocious hitter. And, he found ways time and time again to make incredibly clutch plays when UTEP needed it the most. It felt like he had a a marquee play in every game he played at UTEP. Demps played on some of UTEP's best teams, and to me, he was always the best player on the field.
So, I got Robert Rodriguez, Buckram and Demps. Who are your Top 3?