Part of the ongoing UTEP football recruiting plan is to never let FBS talent slip out of El Paso without a long and serious look by the UTEP coaching staff, and Sean Kugler has delivered on the promise even heading into the class of 2016.
2015 signee Markos Lujan was a can't miss offensive line prospect out of El Paso Americas who was offered, and quickly committed at a chance to continue turning the UTEP football program around.
The 6'4, 300 pound lineman played mostly guard in high school, notching back-to-back First Team All-District honors in 2013 and 2014. A three-year varsity player, Lujan helped pave the way for Americas to average 235.1 yards rushing this past season for a total of 2,586 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.
Under Americas Head Coach Patrick Melton, Lujan was a huge part of a respectable football resurgence at the East El Paso school that produced two FBS signees in 2015.
Lujan recently attended the UTEP spring scrimmage, and we caught up with the Miners' future offensive lineman.
Can you take me through the recruiting process, and what stood out when UTEP came calling?
The recruitment process was amazing, I had Robert Rodriguez as my recruiter. What I loved about him (Robert Rodriguez) is that he was always honest and he told me everything that I wanted to hear and he never lied about anything. Kugler, he told me the truth, he told me the straight up facts, and what I love about it him is he's 100% about education. He wants you to get your education before the sport so I love that about him.
How special is it to play to college ball in your hometown?
Its amazing because I get to have my family here, and I get to watch my other friends. I'm just looking forward to it because I will have all my friends and family here to support me.
What are your thoughts on the smash mouth blocking and running style that UTEP uses on offense?
Its amazing because you get to hammer other people's heads and you just get to keep going and going. You just can't stop it, its just one of those things lineman love.
Coach Melton has changed the culture at Americas, how instrumental was he in your recruiting process?
He was a big help because my name wasn't really out there. But he always kept pushing UTEP to show them that I'm really good. I really thank him for everything he has done for me.
What are your main strengths in your skill set?
I don't ever give up. If I'm failing at something I'll get better, I'll work on that and I won't stop. I'll get better to do what I need to get done.
Other than the hometown excitement what else has you fired up about being a Miner?
I won't have to worry about doing some pass blocking crap, I get to pound some heads and do what I want scheme wise and I get to have fun while I'm here.
Everyone talks about Kugler creating a family atmosphere here during the recruiting process, did anything stand out to you on that part?
It was a big thing because we came here on my official visit and we started playing knockout with the coaches and I'm like, who gets to do that with their college coaches? Who plays basketball with their coaches? Their still connecting with us, and I think family is an important thing in football because everybody has to support each other.
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