UTEP’s continual efforts to stockpile versatile defensive backs just got a little deeper with today’s verbal commitment from JUCO safety and California native Houston Haynes.
The coaching staff offered Haynes back in May, and the 6’4, 205 pound safety gave UTEP a verbal commit for the class of 2016 today recruiting coordinator Bryan Wilson from Los Angeles Pierce Community College confirmed to us.
Haynes was a red-shirt freshman last season in 2014, appearing in eight games as a free safety in 2013, and recorded 21 tackles including a sack, and an interception in what appeared to be a reserve role as a true freshman.
Missing all of last season with an injury, Haynes is poised for a bigger role and more production this upcoming season than he saw in 2013, and the down year Pierce went through last season.
"I’m looking for this team to turn around from what happened last year, because last year we didn't do so well, With all the talent we have back this season and the new coaching staff, it’s a good chance that we could go undefeated, so I’m just looking to win." Haynes told TheRoundupNews.com back in May.
"Honestly, I expect to be a lot more consistent on and off the field," Haynes said. "And that just goes as far as buying into what our coaches have, especially what coach [Torry] Hughes (defensive coordinator) has set up for us in regards to staying disciplined and working hard. I expect to have a really good year this year and become that leader that coach Hughes is trying to mold me in to."
Haynes is rated as Rivals two-star prospect, and had interest from Louisville, Wyoming, and Texas State according to Rivals. Out of high school Haynes was hearing from UCLA, USC, and Oregon State, and participated in some prestigious camps out of high school as well.
He was a versatile athlete in high school that played all over, starring for Palmdale High in Palmdale, California. In his three year varsity career Haynes piled up 118 total tackles in 30 games, with three interceptions, and two forced fumbles.
Showing FBS level ready footwork, and very fluid lateral movement, plus a 4.6 40-yard dash time, Haynes will give UTEP plenty of options across the defensive backfield in the 4-2-5 either as a cover guy or rover safety.
He moves exceptionally well with his long strides in pass coverage, and his verbal gives UTEP its second confirmed verbal commit for 2016.
UTEP on my mind @gfranklin16— Houston Haynes (@houhaynes) July 9, 2015