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UTEP Football: Which 2016 signees can contribute as true freshmen?

The list maybe small this year, but some interesting scenarios and possibilities are intriguing.

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Sean Kugler is continually building the roster in where most of his recruiting classes will be red-shirted or gray-shirted before they see game action in the Sun Bowl.

But as he's stated before, good athletes won't do the Miners any good standing on the sidelines.

"Oh yeah, most of these guys are extremely athletic." Sean Kugler replied when asked if any true freshman will see the field this coming season.  "Some of those DB's, not only were they productive on defensive side, they were very productive on the offensive side of the ball.

Kugler continued, "As we get through this process we're always looking to get guys in the right position to help the team, and we'll always do that.  We want as many athletes out on the field as we can."

Another thing to remember is UTEP will also have class of 2015 members who gray-shirted/red-shirted also vying for depth chart spots in the spring at running back, offensive line, linebacker, and defensive back.

Two members of the class of 2016 won't be on this list as they are double-signees and will enroll in a JUCO for the fall semester. Tight end  Amorama Noel will be at Blinn College in the fall semester, while defensive back Joseph Pickney will enroll at Navarro College.

The class of 2016 is a prime example of the depth building, and the class staggering process Kugler has laid out, making the path of CSK's best recruiting class an interesting follow.

Here's an early glance at some projected plans we came up with for the class of 2016.

Most likely to play in 2016

Tiano Tialavea, DT, 6'3, 350 lbs

Gino Bresolin has the nose guard spot locked up, but depth behind him is a spot Tialavea can slide into with his size, and package production he could provide.

Keith Sullivan, DE, 6'7, 255 lbs

UTEP was looking for a replacement for graduating defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris, and found the perfect fit with Sullivan.  He maybe a couple of seasons away from his full potential, but its hard to see him not cracking a reserve role on the depth chart.

Antonio Dupree, RB, 5'11, 225 lbs

Dupree, Treyvon Hughes, and possibly TK Powell will all be behind a healthy Aaron Jones in 2016.  If he can develop into a chain moving, physical pile mover, expect him to grab most of the secondary carries behind AJ.


Christian Johnson, DE, 6'3, 255 lbs

A red-shirt year will benefit the still physically growing defensive end.  If there is a need due to injury, Johnson could possibly slide in, but a gray shirt year could also be a possibility and be used to define his frame.

Eric Foster, DB, 6'0, 185 lbs

Foster doesn't have the frame of a true freshman, although he still has room to grow, but already has long, and filled out arms from high school days of hard work.  Another prospect who can benefit from a red-shirt year, but can help UTEP at a spot of need at cornerback.

Justin Rogers, 5'11. 195 lbs

UTEP might needs some help in the secondary, and based off his film, Rogers might have the speed to immediately help. When Kugler mentions productive offensive players who were recruited to play DB at UTEP, Rogers is who he might be talking about.

Dylan Parsee, OLB, 6'2, 210 lbs

His length and range is what UTEP needs at OLB. but like everyone is who is in the tweener category could greatly use a red-shirt year.  Parsee is one of those guys when you watch film, he's everywhere the ball is.  Can a year of development sharpen his physical skills, or can he help an area of need right away?

Kevin  Dove, RB/FB, 6'0, 250 pounds.

Dove had a crazy productive senior year of high school, and looks physically ready to help out.  He would play behind Darrin Laufasa, but UTEP also lost Sloan Spiller, and Brad Zaffram so fullback/H-back is another area of need we could see Dove fill next season.

Quardaiz Wadley, RB. 6'0, 180 lbs

Kugler compared Wadley to Aaron Jones, and even went as far back as saying Wadley had some John Harvey in him.  On second glance of his high school film, his speed looks like it can translate with a few touches designated each game.  This will be one of the more interesting red-shirt decisions from the coaching staff.

Most likely to red-shirt/gray shirt

Walter Dawn Jr, RB

Josh Ortega, DL

Justin Rogers, DB,

Broderick Harrell, DB

Sione Tupou, LB

Dedrick Simpson, LB

Kolbi McGary, LB/S

Brannon Bulitt, WR

Richie Rodriguez, WR

Ronald Awatt, RB

Mark Torrez, QB

Jared Goldwire, OL

Bobby DeHaro, OL

The tweeners in this group could be Awatt, Dawn Jr, and maybe McGary, or Harrell.  Most of the positions for many of these signees in this category have returning or two or three year starters ahead of them right now.  The area of most needed depth is at linebacker, so it won't be surprising to see a few linebackers mis-projected based on this list.

Also of note, Jared Goldwire will play offensive tackle after it was thought we would be play defense.

Kugler signed plenty of high school prospects who will be around the program for awhile, no matter their road to the depth chart unfolds.