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No. 9: The Ball Hawk; Cibolo Steele Safety Shane Huhn Commits to the UTEP Miners

UTEP's secondary received a much needed boost over the weekend when Cibolo Steele safety prospect Shane Huhn committed to the Miners.  MI's Chris Avila was first to report the signing.   Huhn has solid speed- and has been timed at 4.47 in the 40.  He is also a stellar baseball prospect and was Honorable Mention All State as an outfielder.Huhn was selected to the second team All District 27-4A football team.  According to MaxPreps he he had 54 tackles (18 solo and 36 assisted)as a junior.  He also had four interceptions including one that he returned for a touchdown for the powerhouse Steele High.

National recruiting expert Jeff Howe attended Cibolo Steele's practice yesterday morning.  I asked Jeff what he thought of Huhn.  He responded:  

(Huhn's) a good ffootball player.  He has the size I think to play weakside linebacker.  Looks like a good fit as an OSS in a 4-2-5.  He's not going to blow you away with his measurables but he'll bring it every snap.

A UTSA fan site scouted some Cibolo Steele practices and games and came away impressed with Huhn.

Shane Huhn; 6'0" 185lbs (DB) 
This hard hitting safety quickly made a name for himself as one of the key cogs in the Knights’ defense, and will most certainly get a chance to play D1 ball as well. Huhn has developed a reputation for being a ball hawk with above average ball skills. Shane also stars on the baseball diamond for the Knights.
(Schools of interest: Rice, etc....)

"Ball hawk."  "Bring it every snap."  Those are the kinds of things you want to read when discussing a safety, right?

 UTEP will be very thin at safety after this coming season.  With the incoming class consisting of several stellar linebacker prospects, headlined by Brandon Durant, I think it's safe to say Huhn will stay in the secondary.  The Miners missed out on safety prospects Brandon Connette (San Jose State) and Jared Brackens (Iowa State), so landing Huhn was definitely a necessity.  

Take a look at UTEP's depth chart.  At strong safety, Braxton Amy and his backup Wiston Jeune are seniors.  At free safety, Brandon Miller, currently listed as the starter is also a senior.  Deshawn Grayson, an all C-USA Freshman selection last season, is the only safety on the two deep that isn't a senior.  Austin Contreras, out of Americas High School, is also now a senior and has only played sparingly in his career.  

UTEP's 2011 recruiting class brought in Chad Moncure who was ranked a Top 75 safety by Rivals.  The Miners also signed Michael Pickett, out of Cedar Park, who was a stellar high school receiver but will focus on playing safety at UTEP.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Moncure, Pickett, or both, redshirt in 2010, but one of the back stories for this coming season will be to see if either of them gets on the field and contributes because Grayson will need a running mate in 2011.

Bringing in Huhn is a nice start, but expect the Miners to continue to pursue other safeties in this class. It's not really an option at this point.