Los Angeles running back/athlete Tyrone Nelson along with Buffalo, New York linebacker Brad Zaffram, and defensive back Kalon Beverly from New Orleans have verbally committed to play for Sean Kugler and the UTEP Miners this evening.
Nelson, Zaffram, and Beverly were all in El Paso over the weekend, and combined give UTEP six verbal commitments since yesterday from a heavy round of 12 confirmed official visits this past weekend.
The 5'10, 185 pound Nelson ran for 1,913 yards, and also rushed for 16 touchdowns the past two seasons at University High School in LA where he was selected as the LA Times Western League Co-Offensive Player of The Year this past season.
Nelson was also being courted by UTEP as a safety, he racked up 104 tackles the past two seasons at safety as well in part of his All-City selection this season.
One of Nelson's biggest rushing outputs of the season was a 217 yard rushing game where he scored two touchdowns that helped snapped a 43-game winning streak by section opponent Venice back in October.
He joins a young, and crowded backfield slated for next season, but I would project him as a red-shirt who will provide productive depth at either running back or safety, based on depth chart needs and his development in his early years as a Miner.
Nelson also joins fellow UTEP 2015 commit Foster Dixson as LA Times Western League Player's of the Year, Foster was the Co-Defensive Player of the Year by the LA Times and committed to UTEP last night.
Zaffam played in nine games last year for Canisus racking up 91 tackles with 19 TFL's and was Canisus' team MVP.
A three time All-Western New York selection as a linebacker, the 6'2, 220 pound Zaffram was apart of a Canisus team that was ranked number one in the state of New York, and a top-40 program for most of the season by USA Today.
UTEP continues to strengthen the New York pipeline getting its second Canisus prospect in consecutive classes. Red-shirt freshman Augie Touris was a 2014 signee from Canisus out of Kugler's old New York stomping grounds.
Zaffram has the perfect combination of speed, and controlled reckless physicality that is needed to be productive in the 4-2-5 scheme. His toughness made his defense at Canisus one the top units in the state the past few seasons, as he helped them rack up a 21-2 record in his two seasons there.
Kalon Beverly is a Rivals two-star prospect who had offers from Houston, Tulsa, Tulane, Southern Miss. among others.
Beverly is a long 6'1, 175 pounds, and is also a high level track athlete at Edna Karr High School. In his last recorded track meet, Beverly clocked in at 56:32 in a 400m race.
His versatility, having played both safety and corner as a prep, is his biggest asset he can bring to the Miners defensive secondary. A rangy athlete, he has long arms, and quickly covers a lot of ground with his strides and natural speed. I feel he could develop into an impact starter down the road of his career, and can also contribute in a major way on specials teams.
With his high school pedigree of playing high level competition, and his overall athletic ability on film, it wouldn't be surprising to see him on the field in a package next season parlayed with a good fall camp in a possibly open competition for secondary personnel.
Edna Karr is known as one of the top high school football programs in Louisiana, before this past season Karr had made four straight state championship game appearances, producing a number of elite Division One prospects during that run.
More than his size and athletic ability, Beverly is a schematic fit in the 4-2-5 either at corner or safety, and expressed interest in playing in a system with five defensive backs during his recruiting process. Beverly recorded two interceptions, six PBU's and had 26 tackles primarily playing corner this past season.
UTEP now has 13 confirmed verbal commits, with two JUCO signees already on campus, and more official visits expected this coming weekend.
Here is the updated list of 2015 UTEP football verbal commitments.
Elliot Oldham, WR, JUCO-enrolled
Markos Lujan, OL, HS
Terry Juniel, WR/PR, JUCO-enrolled
Tyrone Nelson, ATH, HS
Brad Zaffram, LB, HS
Kalon Beverly, DB, HS
Brad Zafram Game Film
Tyrone Nelson Game Film
Kalon Beverly Game Film
Just committed to the University of Texas El Paso! #MInerStrong— Tyrone Nelson (@TyroneNelson_) January 27, 2015
Proud to say that I officially committed to play college ball at The University of Texas El Paso #MinerStrong #UTEP pic.twitter.com/kTFw1KlvGd— Brad Zaffram (@BradZaffram) January 27, 2015
I AM NOW OFFICIALLY COMMIT TO UTEP #MinerStrong pic.twitter.com/Q2TV2FCJBZ— Kalon Beverly (@KSherm25) January 27, 2015
Congrats to @GRIDIRONFOOTBAL Participant @TyroneNelson_ on his commitment to The University of Texas El Paso pic.twitter.com/EfHGJ296Sf— GRIDIRON FOOTBALL (@GRIDIRONFOOTBAL) January 27, 2015