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UTEP Football: Coaches host busy official visit weekend

Nine prospects visited the UTEP campus over the weekend.

With a little over a week until signing day, UTEP held an out of town heavy official visit weekend with a number of out of town targets from California, and Texas this past weekend.

All of UTEP's El Paso commits and targets visited last weekend, with the final two weeks of visits focused on out of town targets.

The remaining strategy with about 4-6 available scholarships appears to be leaning heavily on the defensive side of the ball.

Here is who we can confirm visited El Paso over the weekend which included some UTEP commits.

  • Quardraiz Wadley, RB, Kennedale, Texas (UTEP Commit)
  • Kolbi McGary, OLB, Cedar Hill, Texas
  • Broderick Harrell, DB, Lubbock, Texas (UTEP Commit)
  • Justin Rogers, DB, Los Angeles, California (UTEP Commit)
  • Dylan Parsee, DE/LB, San Angelo, Texas
  • Ayo Shogbonyo, OLB, Arlington, Texas
  • Jalen Walker, DB, Lawndale, California
  • Robert Awunganyi, DB, Burbank, California (UTEP Commit)
  • Steven Mason, DE, San Diego, California

The most recent offers have gone out to a number of linebackers who can provide depth this year and in the future, while integrating the new 3-4 defense. The focus is also on shoring up depth in the secondary, and possible linebacker/safety hybrids.

Sean Kugler talked about the plan earlier this week.

"We've got a lot of recruiting to do at the linebacker position."  Sean Kugler said.  "Definitely going to a 3-4 we're going to have to change our mentality on that.  We'll sign as many as five linebackers in this recruiting class, which would be a record for us."

"We'll probably sign 4-5 defensive backs." Kugler continued.  "Then our defensive line count will probably be down a little bit.  We feel structurally, it fits what we do (3-4).  It's a heck of a lot easier to get linebackers/safety type guys who can run, rather than get 300-pound defensive linemen, which has always been tough to get here."

Guys like Shogbonyo, Parsee, McGary, Mason, and a possible visitor for next week in Chris Hunter could be main targets on the defensive side, providing quality athletes who fit what UTEP is looking for on the defensive side either now or in the future.

Shogbonyo will make a decision next week, and will not take any other visits, the rest of this weekend's uncommitted visitors are mulling over multiple offers.  Parsee is committed to Stephen F. Austin.

Kugler said in November there are 16 available scholarships for 2016, freshman fullback Brad Zaffram is no longer on the team which opens up another scholarship.  Kugler also said UTEP plans to sign at least 20 kids for the 2016 class.

Next week a number of West Coast, and Pacific Northwest targets are expected to be in El Paso on the final weekend of official visits which will be confirmed and set up during the week.