There was plenty going on around UTEP sports this week. Some of it we got a chance to cover, and other stuff not so much. But, we'll get it all to you here in this special, all UTEP, weekender edition of "The Dig". Enjoy.
Per Rivals' Brian Peroni, UTEP football has offered a scholarship to Kennedale HS (TX) TE/DE Dalton Vondra. The class of 2013 tight end prospect comes in at 6'5 265 lb, and is rated as a two star athlete by Yahoo Sports. He has also reportedly been offered by Colorado St. and Yale, and is receiving interest from the likes of Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, and Tulsa, among others.
Former Rancho Verde (CA) class of 2011 OL Eric Lee, a 6'1 295 lb'er, has reportedly been offered a scholarship by UTEP. Idaho is also said to have offered.
Pair of Former Miners Get Picked up by NFL Teams
This week, two former UTEP football players were picked up by NFL teams. WR Kris Adams, who was released by the Vikings last month, was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts. Adams joins his former QB at UTEP, Trevor Vittatoe, who was given a 3 year deal by the Colts just a couple of months.
Also, former Miner RB Joe Banyard was picked up yesterday by the New Orleans Saints. According to multiple reports, Banyard was signed to a 3 year deal. It'll be interesting to see how he figures in to the Saints' offense, as that backfield is already pretty loaded. Congrats to both Kris Adams and Joe Banyard.
UTEP athletics put out a release yesterday announcing that because of new NCAA Legislation, the Miner basketball team will be able to get an early start on summer workouts this year.
Per UTEP Athletics
"In the past, NCAA rules prohibited coaches from conducting skill-related instruction during the summer. All summer activities, including strength and conditioning, were voluntary...New legislation, adopted in January of 2012, allows two hours of full squad, skill-related instruction and six hours of mandatory strength and conditioning per week, sprayed out over an eight-week period."
Normally, these type of team workouts were not allowed until mid September, so the extra time will give a young Miner team a couple extra months of preparation before heading into the much anticipated 2012-13 season. In all, 5 newcomers will join the team, and every member of the team is expected to be back in town in the coming days, in order to attend summer school, and begin practice.
***A couple of notes
Former UTEP G Michael Perez has now taken visits to both Penn St. and Nevada, and will also be visiting Purdue in the coming days. A decision on what school he will attend should be expected in the coming weeks.
UTEP recruit Dwight Coleby (MS), a 2013 PF, is reportedly taking a visit to Memphis this week. His recruiting was a bit quiet early on, but he now holds offers from the Miners, as well Memphis, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State.
MINER TRACK AND FIELD
The Prospector's Daniel Ornelas is reporting that UTEP freshman track and field runner Anthony Ritoch has qualified for the NCAA finals in the 3000M steeplechase. Ritoch posted a personal best 8:41.14 in the event on Thursday night, good for 3rd in his heat, and 8th overall. The top 12 athletes advanced to the NCAA finals which take place on Saturday in Des Moines, IA.
Earlier this week, three UTEP track and field athletes were named to the Conference USA All-Academic team. Sophomore javelin thrower Richard Olson, sophomore hurdler Janice Jackson, and senior multi event athlete Marine Menez were the three athletes named to the squad. Olson maintained a 4.0 GPA, while Jackson and Menez had a 3.8. Congratulations to all these athletes on their achievement.
Track and Field Inks Pair of Local Stars
Earlier this week, Parkland track star Tommy McCoy signed a letter of intent to run track at UTEP. The hurdler had been receiving plenty of interest from Division II schools, but was offered by the Miners after his recent performance at state.
Also, Burges star distance runner Danny Tarango has also signed a letter of intent to run track for the Miners. The district 1-4A Male Athlete of the Year won two gold medals at state. Congratulations to both athletes in signing their LOI's to compete for UTEP.
Last, but certainly not least, former UTEP softball player Camilla Carrera is now playing professional ball in Italy. That news is a little old, but definitely still worth mentioning. Congrats to Camilla. Thanks for checking out this edition of "The Dig". Hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great weekend.