clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

UTEP football: Coaching staff is painting regions outside of Texas orange and blue

Reaching far depths of the map to find players, the UTEP coaching staff has tapped into big time high school programs for legit talent.


There are three main things Sean Kugler has consistently done while piecing together his two full season recruiting classes. 

He has brought size, he gets schematic fits, and he is tapping into pipelines that will hopefully flood UTEP with size, fits, and a pedigree of hard work mixed in with high level winning for classes to come.

Take for instance Cole Ford's commitment earlier in the week.

Ford is from Bothell, Washington and just came off a Class 4A Washington state title this past season.  Bothell was also the home of valuable UTEP junior-to-be running back Darrin Laufasa who signed in Kugler's first ever signing class. 

Bothell is a perennial Washington Class 4A power, and was even featured in ESPN's Burger King Bowl series making a national TV appearance.

On the opposite side of the good ole US of A, you have Canisius High School in Buffalo, New York which is also becoming a UTEP pipeline.

Kugler is from Lockport, NY, less than 30 miles from Buffalo where he has had two commitments from prestigious Canisius.

2015 linebacker commit Brad Zaffram committed to a UTEP gray shirt earlier this week, and fellow Canisius alum red-shirt-freshman-to-be Augie Touris figures to be in the mix at defensive end this fall.

Both were a part of a two year run that led Canisius to a 21-2 record over the past two seasons.   The dominant Western New York program has produced three NFL players since 2009 and finished 30th in the nation this past season by USA Today's national rankings.

Kugler has also offered a few other 2015 prospects from the NY area that have committed elsewhere, but I would expect at minimum at least one commit from NY every class.

But the pipeline construction doesn't stop there.

Both Foster Dixson, and Tyrone Nelson were LA Times Western League respective defensive and offensive players of the year this past season.

Foster is out of Fairfax High, while Nelson went to University High.  The Los Angeles City Section features some of the best untapped talent in California with a wide range of FBS level Athletes that can be overlooked by schools in their own back yard.

Some of the most talented and under recruited kids can come from big inner cities like LA,  Foster and Nelson are no different with their athletic backgrounds, and accomplishments.

The LA area, and partially the CIF LA City Section may become a key pipeline for Kugler as both Foster, and Nelson have an opportunity to garner legit playing time in the next 2-3 seasons.  The hope is other prospects will take notice and listen a little more clearly when Kugler & Co. call, as the other solidified UTEP pipelines have done so far.

Then you have the most recent commitment in Kalon Beverly out of New Orleans.

Beverly played alongside Isaiah Washington who is committed to LSU, and current Texas A&M Aggie Speedy Noil after successful impact careers at Edna Karr High School.

Actually, successful is a huge understatement when talking about Edna Karr.

Before this past season Edna Karr had made it to four straight state championship games, and even had a deep playoff run this year with Beverly leading the charge on defense.

Imagine a pipeline in the heart of SEC country that consistently funnels prospects like Beverly into El Paso? 

All of these schools and areas Kugler is tapping into breeds the winning, hard work culture, and if kids see guys like these UTEP commits do their thing on national TV, UTEP will become a household name for mid-to-high-major level talent at these possible feeder schools.

Two JUCO commits will also be well traveled after their UTEP tenure.

Wide receiver Elliot Oldham is from Ferndale, Michigan, and played his JUCO ball in Minnesota.  Defensive tackle Demarcus Womack is from Orlando, Florida, but played his JUCO ball in New York. 

The old recruiting saying of turning over every stone, and looking at every corner of the map to find prospects is holding true for Kugler and his staff.

Last season Kugler signed defensive ends Joseph Kraemer from Ohio, and Luke Elsner out of Wisconsin, both should see action in defensive packages this coming fall.

Texas will always be a goal for any Texas FBS school, and while Kugler has signed quite a few guys outside of the Lone Star State, Texas is certainly still on his radar.

The staff did offered a few 2015 guys out of the Houston, and Dallas areas, some of whom had big offers from Power Five schools, though did get a commit with Denzel Chukwukelu out of Rockwall-Heath.

You saw a few possible Texas hubs being tapped into the 2014 class as well with Adrian Hynson out of Corpus Christi,  David Hamm from Klien, Mookie Carlile from Stephenville, Jerrod Brooks, and Justen Tatum from Dallas, and Derron Gatewood from Odessa.

Those types of Texas prospects are usually available to UTEP as is the El Paso area, but it's interesting to see Kugler and his staff venture outside of Texas for system fits that are used to winning with prestigious prep programs.

During Mike Price's tenure it was mainly a Texas, and deep California pipeline, but with Kugler he is on the mission of building multiple proven pipelines in untapped UTEP areas to fill his yearly recruiting plan he has publicly laid out since day one.