Sean Kugler and his staff are expecting a hefty amount of officially visiting, 2015 prospects over the weekend, and thanks to the efforts of recruiting insider Angel Luna we have confirmed ten of the possible 13 visiting prospects.
Hard to point out one recruit that out-highlights the other as all are immediate, down the road depth and impact starting needs that will top-to-bottom solidify UTEP's 2015 class.
One of the names we have been chasing down since the fall is Las Cruces dual-threat quarterback Kavika Johnson. Johnson is a Rivals two-star prospect, and has offers from UConn, Army, NMSU, New Mexico, and is scheduled to take an official visit to UConn next week.
UTEP will be his second official visit, and the athletic Johnson could figure in becoming a dark horse in the 2015 quarterback competition if he becomes a Miner.
Sticking on the offensive side, one of the highest rated offensive 2015 UTEP targets running back Jonathan Forrest out of New Rochelle, New York is also flying into El Paso for the weekend.
UTEP has been on Forrest's trail for quite some time, and he confirmed with us back in December that he would be visiting this week. Forrest is a three-star prospect by almost every major recruiting site.
Also visiting is 6'6, 235 pound tight end Cole Ford who played for Bothell High School in Bothell, Washington that won a 4A Washington State Title this season. Out of all the prospects visiting, Ford is the highest candidate in our crystal ball for popping a verbal commitment to the Miners over the weekend.
On the defensive side, 6'5, 290 pound defensive tackle Demikal Harrison out of the Oklahoma City area will also take a key visit this week as his recruiting process has picked up with North Texas recently making a hard late push.
Interesting UTEP-plus fact on Harrison, he is good friends with UTEP basketball's Omega Harris, and holds offers from South Dakota, and Central Arkansas.
The highest rated defensive target coming into town is defensive back TJ Jallow out of Mississippi. Jallow is a three star prospect, and has visited Mississippi State, and has an offer from Louisville. UTEP is his last known official visit.
Keeping with Kugler's New York to Texas connection, the Miners offered Buffalo's Canisius High School standout linebacker Brad Zaffram. Zaffram played in nine games this season and piled up 91 tackles, with 19 TFL's.
If Canisius sounds familiar, Miners red-shirt freshman defensive end Augie Touris was a 2014 UTEP signee. UTEP is Zaffram's first D-1 offer, and will also be in town this weekend.
To say this highly anticipated recruiting weekend is huge for UTEP is an understatement. The Miners will host up to four visits in the final weekend of 2015 recruiting next weekend, and expect a handful of commitments after this second round of heavy official visit traffic this weekend.
Proof of how important these official visits are at UTEP is when Coach Kugler told us during the season UTEP may have a few official visits during the season, but December and January are important because of El Paso's location. 23 of 25 official visits committed during their official visits in 2014.
Here is a confirmed list of 2015 prospects that will be in El Paso over the weekend, and a probability percentage based on a sheer guess of their UTEP commitment for funsies.
Kavika Johnson, 2015 HS QB, 6'2, 200 lbs, 4.5-40, UTEP commitment probability: 65%
Jonathan Forrest, 2015 HS RB, 5'11, 200 lbs, UTEP commitment probability: 70%
Cole Ford, 2015 HS TE, 6'6, 235 lbs, UTEP commitment probability: 90%
TJ Jallow, 2015 HS DB, 6'1 200 lbs, Olive Branch, MS, UTEP commitment probability: 50%
Demikal Harrison, 2015 HS DL, 6'5 290 lbs, UTEP commitment probability: 70%
Foster Dixson, 2015 HS LB/TE/DE ATH, 6'5 230lbs Los Angeles, California, UTEP commitment probability: 75%
Christian Gibson, 2015 DB/WR ATH, 6'1, 190 lb 4.4-40, Dallas, Texas, UTEP commitment probability: 65%
Tyrone Nelson, 2015 HS RB/DB ATH, 5'11, 185 lbs, Los Angeles, California, UTEP commitment probability: 70%
Brad Zaffram, 2015 HS LB, 6'2 220 lbs, Buffalo, New York, UTEP commitment probability: 80%
John Clark, 2015 HS DE, 6'4 255 lbs, 4.8-40, Marysville, Washington, UTEP commitment possibility: 80%
Official visit to UTEP this Friday.— Gip (@Blessed_CMG) January 22, 2015
Can't wait to get out to Texas for my first official visit this weekend #UTEP— Brad Zaffram (@BradZaffram) January 21, 2015
Nice in home visit with coach Higgins ! #Utep bound on Friday— Jonny Forrest (@jforrest_21) January 20, 2015
Just had a great home visit with UTEP, the future looks bright ☝️— Fba$ed (@foster_tank) January 20, 2015