Sean Kugler has only been the UTEP head football coach for a little more than a month, but he hasn't wasted any time in the recruiting process. Since he was named the head man, he has gotten nine verbal commitments, to go along with six holdovers from the CMP era.
Here's a quick rundown of the recruits that committed during the Price era. All seem to be on pace to join the Miners in the summer/fall, but we will not know definitively until national signing day.
|Quentin Tezeno||CB||5'11 - 170LB||West Orange Stark HS (TX)|
|Tyler Batson||WR||5'11 - 158LB||Westfield HSh (TX)|
|Jaylon Scott||CB||5'8 - 165LB||Carter HS (TX)|
|Ryan Metz||QB||6'3 - 165LB||Andress HS (TX)|
|Dewan Edmonson||DT||6'1 - 260LB||Manvel HS (TX)|
|Charles Sanders||OG||6'3 - 275LB||Bellaire HS (TX)|
Tezeno is considered a two star prospect by Rivals, Batson is considered a two star prospect by Scout, Scott is considered a three star prospect by scout, and Edmonson is considered a two star prospect by Scout. Metz and Sanders are not given star ratings.
As we heard from coach Kugler on the day of his press conference, he will look to run a two back offense. The Miners have a couple of solid running backs already on campus, but Kugler has done well to nab a couple guys for the future. And, he is also working on filling some of the holes that the team has heading into the 2013 season. Here is a rundown of Kugler's recruits for 2013.
Darrin Laufasa - RB/FB - 6'0 224LB - Bothell HS (WA) - #70 RB - 3 Star (ESPN)
Laufasa is the latest commit for the Miners. While not the quickest guy (high 4 - 40), he fits right into the two back system as the power back. He has great size, and is apparently one hell of a blocker. He had offers from Idaho, Portland St., and Wyoming, and was previously committed to BYU.
Aaron Jones - RB - 5'10 175LB - Burges HS (TX) - #104 RB - 3 Star (ESPN)
Jones is a local kid who never sparked the attention of major programs, but is certainly a diamond in the rough. He's got great speed and agility, and can also be used as both a slot receiver, and return man. He held offers from Adams State, Northern Colorado, and New Mexico State.
Derek Elmendorff - OT - 6'4 286LB - Franklin HS (TX)
Elmendorff is another local kid that was actually a nice offensive tackle prospect. He drew attention from the likes of Houston, Missouri, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech but never saw the offers come. He originally committed to the Miners under Price, but decommitted and switched to UTSA during the change. He has since recommitted to the Miners.
Mack Leftwich - QB - 5'10 182LB - North Allegheny HS (PA)
Leftwich is a guy that caught the attention of coach Kugler long before he was the coach of the Miners. A bit undersized, he was also unable to draw the attention of major Division I programs, and had originally committed to Stephen F. Austin before Kugler came to UTEP. In his senior year Leftwich threw for 3,300 yards (66% completion), 45 touchdowns, and had only 4 interceptions en route to a state title, and a number 4 national rank.
Nick Usher - DE - 6'2 210LB - Junipero Serra HS (CA)
Usher is a guy who has great speed, but will need to bulk up a bit to play the defensive end position at the Division I level. He also had interest from Oregon State.
Alvin Jones Jr. - ATH - 6'0 175LB - Burges HS (TX)
Jones is another local kid who just so happens to be the twin brother of running back Aaron Jones. He played some quarterback and safety in high school, but will likely be a defensive back for the Miners. He also had offers from Adams State, Northern Colorado, and New Mexico State.
Devin Cockrell - CB - 6'1 175LB - Memorial HS (TX)
Cockrell has good size for the corner position, and showed good leadership on a unit that held opponents to only 70 yards receiving a game. He had 25 tackles, one interception, three pass deflections, and a forced fumble. He also held offers from Morgan State, Stephen F. Austin, and Texas State, and was originally committed to Morgan State.
Nick Gathrite - ATH - 5'9 175LB - Riverside Community College (JC - CA)
Gathrite is a bit undersized, but is an experienced guy who will likely make an immediate impact for the Miners. In 2012, he racked up 25 tackles, 2.5 for loss, 3 interceptions, and 1 fumble recovery. He was also offered by UTSA.
Jameel Erving - S - 6'1 190LB - Riverside Community College (JC - CA)
Irving is a guy with great size for the Division I level. In 2012, he had 44 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 interception, 3 pass breakups, and a forced fumble. He drew attention from some high major Division I programs, but was only offered by the Miners.
It's nice to see that Coach Kugler and his staff have been hard at work on the recruiting trail. Seeing the commitments they have already gotten, no corner of the country will be left untouched. And, there is already an apparent commitment to ensuring that local talent stays here. The Jones brothers and Elmendorff were some of the best prospects to come out of El Paso this year, and Kugler landed all of them. Add to that the commitment of another three prospect and a handful of other talented guys, and I'd say not bad for a month on the job. The future of UTEP football looks bright.