The UTEP Football team is back in El Paso to finish up fall camp, but here is a quick look at the stars and standouts of the Miners’ 12-day stay in Ruidoso.
Most of us were hoping one would stand tall above the other, but the truth is all three improved and look like they all could start and help the Miners win games.
Zack Greenlee appears to be the leader at the moment, but Kavika Johnson, and Ryan Metz held their own as expected making this a truly too close to call race.
Athletes see the field at UTEP, so even if Greenlee is the QB1, both Metz and Johnson could be used in other spots, unless they are smartly redshirted if not needed in 2016.
For the second straight year, senior wideout Cole Freytag had another strong camp in Ruidoso. He's a proven deep ball threat, who has strong hands in the air.
The big question last year was why he wasn't targeted more, something I doubt will be a major question this season.
Depth is plentiful, they are big in size, and looked solid throughout camp.
Even with some defensive starters out on Sunday, the offensive line kept the quarterbacks clean, and were dominate in short yardage work.
Some jobs and roles are still up for grabs, but all indications from Ruidoso is the Miner offensive line is looking good, real good.
Alvin Jones, Devin Cockrell, Gino Bresolin, Dashone Smith, Nick Usher, and Sky Logan all were given time off, or had their snaps reduced from Sunday's final scrimmage in Ruidoso.
Those core five defenders are the main reasons why UTEP's defense has potential to avoid a leaky start to the season, but depth behind them needs to grow up quickly
These vets could be all-conference candidates, and looked sharp in Ruidoso.
Ladies, and gentlemen meet the future.
Freshman tailback Quadraiz Wadley can pretty much do it all, and will be another joy at running back watch over the next four years.
UTEP will usually have about a 10-15 carry window after Aaron Jones' carries, so between Wadley, and Darrin Laufasa. Those chances will be key in watching this future star grow up before our eyes.
In the past when UTEP has made full scale scheme changes, and even in the first two years of the Kugler era, you constantly hear about the adjustment period.
Not once in Ruidoso did you hear the Miners being behind in the regard, or still learning.
The coaching staff did not waste anytime in the spring in terms of teaching the Miners new defensive and offensive philosophy. After the first few practices of the spring, the foundation was set, and guys were able to practice fast and maximize their reps.
The natural energy from the Miners' new coaches, infused the players excitement whether it was Tom Mason's "easy to learn defense" or the experience and big name feel brought by Brent Pease transferred over from the spring into the fall.
Most of the coaches speak this time of the year, is "we're learning", "it’s a process", "were behind on where we want to be."
But not in Ruidoso, it was about making plays, and finding guys who can win jobs that help win games.