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UTEP football: Minimal defections, heavy freshman depth highlight released roster

UTEP updated the official 2015 roster on their website showing a number of freshman, and plenty of proven depth throughout.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

UTEP Athletics had released the 2015 football roster a few weeks ago before signing day then added the signed class of 2015 so I took a look at the demographics.

Freshman depth is plenty

UTEP has 41 freshman listed on the 2015 roster, 24 are red-shirts from the freshman class of 2014, and 17 are true freshman.

A huge chunk of the red-shirt freshmen can be found this coming year along the defensive and offensive fronts and also in the secondary vying for depth chart and package spots.

Not included in this group are gray-shirts Trayvon Hughes (RB), Eddie Sinegal (WR), Warren Reddix (WR) or Stephen Forester (DE) which if all four are on the roster come fall, the Miners will have 45 total freshman with a possibility of all four vying for depth chart spots.

UTEP will have 17 sophomores with majority dotting the upcoming depth chart as either starters or key reserves.

The Miners will have 24 juniors including three JUCO transfers in defensive lineman Sky Logan, wide receiver Elliott Oldham, and defensive lineman Demarcus Womack.

15 of UTEP's 24 juniors are two year letter winners, add in tight end Hayden Plinke who transferred before last season, and UTEP has about 19 juniors with legit playing experience.

UTEP will have 22 seniors this coming year headlined by defensive play makers Roy Robertson-Harris, and Trey Brown.

Autrey Golden, M.J. McFarland, and Jeremiah Laufasa will be the only seniors among UTEP's offensive skill positions.

With a lot of starter turnover in the secondary, Ishmael Harrison, Da'Carlos Renfro, and Kelvin Fisher all saw plenty of time last year in the secondary and should be towards the top of the depth chart looking to fill productive holes this coming season as the only seniors out of the defensive back group.


Just like the coaching staff, the roster has a lot of continuity, but the Miners also saw three players listed on 2014 roster no-show on the 2015 roster.

Nick Jones was a JUCO signee as a tight end in 2014 but is no longer listed, as is defensive end Dewan Edmondson, and punter Mike Ruggles.

Graduate assistant and former UTEP linebacker Jeremy Springer took an official job at Texas A&M working along side former UTEP assistant Jeff Banks.   Kugler had said Anthony Puente will join the staff as a graduate assistant, no other coaching movement was reflected on the 2015 roster.

Scholarship estimate

I've accounted/estimated 62 returning scholarship players who are on the roster plus McFarland and the three JUCO mid-year transfers add up to an estimate of 66 scholarship players (Demarcus Womack is not on campus yet) that will be participating in spring ball.

Brad Zaffram has already said he will receive a gray-shirt, and there are quite a few other gray-shirt candidates in the class of 2015.  Over the next month or so preferred walk-ons should also be added to the roster adding to the freshman count.

Unless someone has been granted a scholarship, I count 15 seniors who are under scholarship this coming season.

It appears there are no jersey number changes, though one interesting mark is Autrey Golden is listed as a running back and not a wide receiver.  No surprise transfers have been added as of yet.

Looking at the roster as a whole, UTEP has some nice starting depth with plenty of proven upperclassmen that will be relied upon for increased or sustained production in 2015.

The most important aspect of the 2015 roster is the 41 freshman who will either gray-shirt, red-shirt, or provide depth at their respective positions in 2015. 

Meaning the future has the chance to be groomed behind proven players who have bought into the system, and will lead this young group in their maturation and development towards the future.

Coach Kugler's roster management grade: A

Red-Shirt Freshman Overall Freshman Sophomores Juniors Seniors
24 41 17 24 22

Roster position group breakdown

***Only person not accounted for below is long snapper Nick Dooley


Number of QB's 5
Freshmen (RS) 3 (2)
Sophomore 1
Juniors 1
Seniors 0

Running backs (Fullbacks included)

Number of RB's 10
Freshmen (RS) 4 (3)
Sophomore 1
Juniors 2
Seniors 3

Wide receivers
Number of WR's 10
Freshmen (RS) 1 (1)
Sophomore 4
Juniors 4
Seniors 1

Tight ends

Number of TE's 5
Freshmen 1
Sophomore 2
Juniors 1
Seniors 1

Offensive lineman

Number of OL 21
Freshmen (RS) 11 (6)
Sophomore 4
Juniors 2
Seniors 4

Defensive lineman

Number of DL 18
Freshmen (RS) 5 (3)
Sophomore 1
Juniors 8
Seniors 4


Number of LB's 14
Freshmen (RS) 5 (3)
Sophomore 3
Juniors 2
Seniors 4

Defensive backs

Number of DB's 16
Freshmen (RS) 7 (4)
Sophomore 1
Juniors 3
Seniors 5


Number of K/P's 4
Freshmen (RS) 2 (2)
Sophomore 1
Juniors 1
Seniors 0

2015 Roster

5 Ziere Banner WR 6-1/185 SO 1L Killeen, Texas (Shoemaker HS)
Chris Barnwell ATH 6-2/190 FR HS El Paso, Texas (Eastlake HS)
83 Tyler Batson WR 6-0/195 SO 1L Spring, Texas (Westfield HS)
Kalon Beverly DB 6-1/175 FR HS New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr HS)
Chance Bishop OL 6-6/310 FR HS Kennedale, Texas (Kennedale HS)
63 Gino Bresolin DL 6-2/285 JR 2L Redmond, Washington (Eastlake HS)
72 Jerrod Brooks OL 6-5/305 FR RS Dallas, Texas (Seagoville)
Jerrell Brown DB 6-1/175 FR HS Perris, Calif. (Citrus Hill HS)
35 Trey Brown LB 6-0/215 SR 3L Brownwood, Texas (Lancaster HS)
28 Mookie Carlile DB 6-1/200 FR RS Stephenville, Texas (Stephenville HS)
49 Daniel Carrillo LB 5-11/215 JR 0L El Paso, Texas (El Paso HS)
78 Michael Castle OL 6-1/325 FR RS Argyle, Texas (Argyle HS)
99 Kristopher Christian LB 5-11/237 FR RS Lovejoy, GA (Lovejoy HS)
Denzel Chukwukelu DL 6-4/295 FR HS Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall Heath HS)
27 Devin Cockrell DB 5-11/190 JR 2L Port Arthur, Texas (Memorial HS)
91 Vince Czerniewski DL 6-0/290 SR 0L Pittsburgh, Pa. (Duquesne)
70 Jerome Daniels OL 6-3/295 JR 2L Little Elm, Texas (Little Elm HS)
74 John De La Rosa OL 6-6/310 JR 0L Bay City, Texas (Bay City HS)
Foster Dixson DL 6-5/235 FR HS Los Angeles, Calif. (Fairfax HS)
64 Nick Dooley LS 6-8/310 SR 3L Scottsdale, Ariz. (Scottsdale Christian Academy)
32 LaQuintus Dowell DB 5-10/205 SR 3L Humble, Texas (Humble HS)
75 Derek Elmendorff OL 6-3/310 SO 1L El Paso, Texas (Franklin HS)
50 Luke Elsner DL 6-3/240 SO 1L Seymour, Wis. (Seymour HS)
38 Jason Filley K/P 5-9/160 FR RS EL Paso, Texas (Coronado HS)
54 Silas Firstley DL 6-1/265 JR 2L Mesquite, Texas (Poteet HS)
8 Kelvin Fisher Jr. DB 5-11/195 SR 1L Gilbert, Ariz. (Arkansas)
Cole Ford TE 6-4/235 FR HS Bothell, Wash. (Bothel HS)
44 Cooper Foster LB 6-1/210 JR 2L Cedar Park, Texas (Vista Ridge HS)
84 Cole Freytag WR 6-2/195 JR 2L El Paso, Texas (Coronado HS)
45 Brooks Friedman K/P 5-10/160 FR RS Colleyville, Texas (Covenant Christian Academy)
65 Derron Gatewood OL 6-3/310 FR RS Odessa, Texas (Permian HS)
8 Autrey Golden RB 5-11/180 SR 3L Willis, Texas (Willis HS)
Josiah Gray OL 6-4/290 FR HS Rancho, Calif. (Rancho Cucamonga)
Ruben Guerra OL 6-4/290 FR HS Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty HS)
24 David Hamm RB 6-0/220 SO 1L Klein, Texas (Klein HS)
66 Christian Harper DL 6-4/285 JR 2L Galena Park, Texas (North Shore HS)
2 Ishmael Harrison DB 6-0/195 SR 3L Red Oak, Texas (Red Oak HS)
5 Leon Hayes DB 5-10/200 JR 2L Las Vegas, Nev. (Desert Pines HS)
93 Matthew Heard LB 6-3/225 SR 1L El Paso, Texas (NM State)
76 Will Hernandez OL 6-3/320 SO 1L Las Vegas, Nev. (Chaparral HS)
Gene Hopkins DL 6-3/245 FR HS Elgin, Texas (Elgin HS)
19 Adrian Hynson DB 5-10/185 FR RS Corpus Christi, Texas (Flour Bluff)
Kavika Johnson QB 6-1/205 FR HS Las Cruces, N.M. (Mayfield HS)
29 Aaron Jones RB 5-10/185 JR 2L El Paso, Texas (Burges HS)
16 Alvin Jones LB 5-11/215 SO 1L El Paso, Texas (Burges HS)
58 Chris Jones OL 6-1/300 FR RS Corsicana, Texas (Corsicana HS)
Terry Juniel WR 5-10/170 SO TR Surprise, Ariz. (Glendale Community College)
94 Joseph Kraemer DL 6-3/245 FR RS Kettering, Ohio (Archbishop Alter HS)
67 Anthony Kyles OL 6-3/300 SR TR Los Angeles, Calif. (Los Angeles Southwest College)
30 Darrin Laufasa RB 6-1/235 JR 2L Bothell, Wash. (Bothell HS)
15 Jeremiah Laufasa RB 6-0/215 SR 1L Seattle, Wash. (Washington State)
60 Eric Lee OL 6-1/295 SR 1L Riverside, Calif. (Riverside City College)
16 Mack Leftwich QB 5-10/190 SO RS Wexford, Penn. (North Allegheny HS)
Michael Lewis DB 5-11/170 FR HS Trinity, Texas (Trinity HS)
Sky Logan DL 6-2/285 Natchez, Miss. (Hinds Community College)
Greg Long OL 6-4/290 FR HS El Paso, Texas (Eastwood HS)
Markos Lujan OL 6-3/325 FR HS El Paso, Texas (Americas HS)
97 Brian Madunezim DL 6-3/275 JR 0L Houston, Texas (Nimitz HS)
47 Jay Mattox K/P 6-0/185 JR 2L Las Vegas, Nev. (Las Vegas HS)
13 Hunter McEachern QB 6-2/200 FR RS Keller, Texas (Keller HS)
M.J. McFarland TE 6-5/250 SR TR (Texas)
12 Ryan Metz QB 6-4/205 FR RS El Paso, Texas (Andress HS)
79 Christopher Misaalefua OL 6-5/355 FR RS Lindsay, Calif. (Lindsay HS)
33 Lawrence Montegut LB 6-1/220 SO 1L La Marque, Texas (La Marque HS)
6 Brandon Moss WR 6-3/190 JR 2L El Paso, Texas (Chapin HS)
10 Jimmy Musgrave LB 6-0/240 SR 1L Victorville, Calif. (Victor Valley College)
81 Sterling Napier TE 6-4/245 SO 1L Rio Rancho, N.M. (Cleveland HS)
20 Nik Needham DB 5-11/185 FR RS Buena Park, Calif (Buena Park HS)
Tyrone Nelson RB 5-11/180 FR HS Los Angeles, Calif. (University HS)
Elliott Oldham WR 6-3/195 Detroit, Mich. (Minnesota West Community & Technical College)
53 Douglas Omoegbele LB 6-0/220 FR RS Sugarland, Texas (Kempner HS)
85 Hayden Plinke TE 6-4/255 JR TR Hollsboro, Ore. (Portland State)
71 Erik Ramirez OL 6-3/285 SO 1L El Paso, Texas (Del Valle HS)
26 Da'Carlos Renfro DB 5-10/175 SR 2L Orange, Texas (West Orange-Stark HS)
95 Devante Richardson DL 6-2/290 JR 1L Fort Worth, Texas (Juan Seguin HS)
12 Kionce Roberts DB 5-9/165 FR RS Corona, Calif. (Roosevelt HS)
43 Roy Robertson-Harris DL 6-7/255 SR 3L Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie HS)
38 Natanael Rodriguez DB 6-1/200 SR 0L EL Paso, Texas (Jefferson HS)
89 Cole Rogers TE 6-4/225 SO 1L Dripping Springs, Texas (Dripping Springs HS)
22 Noah Siegrist RB 5-9/185 FR RS Hudson, Fla. (Hudson HS)
86 Daniel Siller WR 6-1/200 SR 1L Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico (Universidad de las Americas Puebla)
68 Josh Silvas OL 6-4/350 SR 1L El Paso, Texas (New Mexico Military Institute)
56 Devin Simmons LB 6-0/215 SO TR El Paso, Texas (Adams State College)
17 Garrett Simpson QB 6-7/250 JR 2L The Colony, Texas (The Colony HS)
21 Dashone Smith DB 6-0/200 JR 2L Spring, Texas (Klein Oak HS)
55 Mike Sota DL 6-4/270 FR RS Placentia, Calif. (Valencia)
39 Sloan Spiller RB 6-0/225 FR RS Katy, Texas (Katy HS)
37 Mikael Sroka K/P 5-10/185 SO 1L Argyle, Texas (Liberty Christian HS)
41 Cole Staudt RB 6-0/235 SR TR Pearland, Texas (Tyler JC)
88 Damian Stevenson WR 5-10/150 FR RS Euless, Texas (Trinity HS)
39 Nathan Stukes LB 5-11/200 SR 1L Anderson, S.C. (Charleston Southern)
57 Justen Tatum LB 6-1/240 FR RS Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Academy)
77 Chris Thomas OL 6-4/315 SR 1L Lancaster, Texas (Cisco College)
73 Chris Thummel OL 6-4/280 SO 1L El Paso, Texas (Hanks HS)
88 Augie Touris DL 6-4/235 FR RS Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius HS)
48 Patrick Trinidad FB 5-8/230 FR RS San Antonio, Texas (Antonian College Prep)
36 Nick Usher DL 6-3/235 JR 2L Los Angeles, Calif. (Serra HS)
51 Josh Valdez OL 6-1/275 FR RS El Paso, Texas (Jefferson HS)
Jayson VanHook LB 6-3/200 FR HS Perris, Calif. (Citrus Hill HS)
92 Alex Villarreal DL 6-4/300 SR 1L Hidalgo, Texas (Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College)
7 Donovan Walker WR 6-0/175 SO 1L Chino Hills,Calif. (Chino Hills HS)
9 Jaquan White WR 5-11/190 JR 1L Dallas, Texas (Lancaster HS)
Demarcus Womack DL 6-3/335 New York, N.Y. (Globe Institute of Tech)
Brad Zaffram FB/LB 6-1/225 FR HS Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius HS)