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The Dig: UTEP Miners Fall Camp Socorro is Finally Here Edition

At long last, Camp Socorro is here.  This time:  Trevor Vittatoe says the shoulder is fine; the Miners give out three new offers in football and one in basketball; some basketball schedule details emerge; some local kids cross over to the dark side; and more.  In  The Dig.


Good to Hear

The El Paso Times reports that UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe is feeling good about the state of his shoulder going into fall camp.

 The Miner says, "All summer I did what I could to recover from shoulder surgery. It feels really good, I can't tell the difference at all." 

From the Man with the Keys

Bob Stull has a new piece up in El Paso, Inc.  Stull used the opportunity to highlight UTEP athletes strong community service efforts.  

It volunteered with a variety of organizations, including Race for the Cure, West Texas Food Bank and the Child Crisis Center. Our student-athletes also took care of business in the classroom. A school record-tying 119 UTEP student-athletes earned placement on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better is required to make that list.

Third in the West

The Examiner has some C-USA predictions and thinks UTEP will finish third in the West.  

3) UTEP. The Miners boast a veteran QB in Trevor Vittatoe and the best RB in the conference in Donald Buckram. They play at Houston on Sept. 10, but they get SMU at home. Another well coach football team that could surprise. This same team destroyed Houston last season.

The Not so Bear's Den

The Haskins family still endorses the Bears Den, a new bar/museum dedicated to honoring Don Haskins, but the family has scaled back their involvement in the venture.

"We just feel it is in our best interest not to be involved," he said. "We might possibly do something in the future. We'll be looking at other options. It is our understanding some others who have ties to UTEP basketball might be getting involved in The Bear's Den and, like I said, we wish them all the best

Basketball Schedule Notes

Yellow Jackets:  It's official, UTEP will take on Georgia Tech in the Legends Classic.  What a matchup for two teams rich in basketball tradition.

Rivalry Renewed:  Hell yes, the Miners will take on BYU at their place on December 23, 2010.  Would anything be better for Christmas than a Miner beat down of BYU?

Recruiting Notes:  Football


The Right Kind of Package Deal:  UTEP already received a commitment from Las Vegas Gorman's A.C. Patterson.  Now, the Miners have reportedly offered his teammate, defensive lineman Bryson Mook.

Also, Gorman defensive lineman Bryson Mook has an offer from UTEP. Mook moved to Las Vegas from Hawaii. Gorman already has three who have committed to colleges — defensive lineman Jalen Grimble (USC), center AC Patterson (UTEP) and safety Evan Zeger (Washington

Here are some Byrson Mook Highlights.  He looks strong, has good speed, and just seems to have a nose for the ball.

The Blind Side:  UTEP is first to offer San Diego Westview offensive tackle prospect Taylor Reich.  Reich, a 6'7, 285 pound prospect sounds like he's going to be a good one.

San Diego (Calif.) Westview offensive tackle Taylor Reich, a 6-7, 285-pounder, got his first offer on Monday. "Taylor got his first official offer from UTEP faxed over," said his father, Jeff. Reich is one of the top offensive linemen in San Diego in the class of 2011

The Field General:  UTEP has offered a scholarship to Nederland Quarterback Dionte Forney.  Forney is a 6'5, 240 quarterback.  Yes, I said 6'5, 240.  He played defensive end for Nederland before the teams starting and backup quarterbacks were knocked out with injuries.  He made the switch and now has a D-1 offer to play QB at UTEP.  

Forney was a defensive end for Nederland but was moved to quarterback because he played the position when he was in middle school. In four games, including a playoff loss to Crosby, he threw for 941 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions last season.

Here's a link to Fiorney's Rivals page.

Recruiting Notes:  Basketball

Sweet Home, Chicago:  UTEP's Tim Floyd is hitting his old stomping grounds to pursue Chicago All-City Selection Phil Greene.  Greene is about to transfer to a prep school and colleges are coming a calling.  UTEP has offered him a scholarship.

Greene, an honorable mention selection on the Sun-Times All-City team currently holds scholarship offers from West Virginia, St. John’s UTEP, DePaul, Southern Illinois, and Bradley.

Visit Scheduled:  Mychal Ammons is one of the top prospects in Mississippi.  The small forward prospect is looking long and hard at UTEP, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Missouri.  He will visit UTEP in the fall.

I began last night to start to get up with some top in-state 2011 hoops prospects since their AAU slate finished Saturday (didn't want to bug them until AAU Nationals were over with). I spoke with Vicksburg's Mychal Ammons last night. The small forward said he is really looking hard at four schools now - UTEP, MSU, South Carolina and Missouri. He said he is visiting UTEP and South Carolina within a month and will decide on his other visits later. He said he plans to make a commitment somewhere before November, or before he starts his senior season.

Here are some Ammons Highlights- Impressive Stuff.

Other Miner Sports


A Local Flavor:  UTEP volleyball is kicking off fall practice and is led by four local prospects including Burges High graduate Kyla Muela.

The Bowerman:  Please, please vote for Blessing Okagbare for the Bowerman award.  She's not doing well in the fan voting. 


The Commish:  C-USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky says conference expansion may not be done yet.  

"Obviously this conference realignment thing had a lot of folks anxious from coast to coast," Banowsky said. "It seems like that has settled somewhat, but we're still focusing on ways to improve ourselves through membership change – being proactive on that front. We haven't completely discounted the possibility on membership change."

The Southern Miss. Golden Eagles:  The Eagles might be the second best team in the East.  They need to get healthy.

Southern Miss enters preseason camp with three key players coming off serious injuries. Quarterback Austin Davis missed eight games a year ago with an ankle injury, defensive lineman Roshaad Byrd missed the final seven games with a leg injury, and cornerback C.J. Bailey couldn't play in the New Orleans Bowl or during the spring. "It was good for all those guys to get back out there and put a helmet on again," Fedora said.

The Boot:  Marshall's Doc Holliday kicked three freshman off the team for violating team rules.  

Famous Last Words:  UAB's Neil Calloway says the time to win at UAB is now.  Remember he set the bar that high.  It might come back to bite him....


A Glance Up 1-10

The Dark Side:  Three El Paso area high school football players have made the roster at New Mexico State.  Del Valle's Ruben Escarsega, a transfer from NMMI, Montwood running back Jake Swenson, and Irvin High's Davonte Wallace, an offensive guard, have made the cut.  It's always good to see local kids make it at the college level, but it's bittersweet when they land at NMSU.