clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UTEP Football 2016 Position Group Preview: Offensive Line

New, 3 comments

They're huge, experienced, and three deep along the Miners depth chart.

playerspictures.com

Left Tackle Depth Chart

  • Jerome Daniels, 6'3, 305 lbs, Senior
  • Greg Long, 6'4 290 lbs, Freshman

Daniels returns to the Miners starting lineup having started 24 games the past two seasons at right and left tackle.

Athlon Sports placed Daniels on their fourth team All-C-USA preseason team, but the senior could end up garnering more awards with a solid season.

Look for NFL scouts to keep an eye on the talented senior throughout the season.

Long is one of the unsung stars of fall camp.

Kugler gushed at the talented young lineman from El Paso Eastwood, and his size, footwork and physicality scream future all conference stud.

Left Guard Depth Chart

  • Will Hernandez, 6'3, 315 lbs, Junior
  • Derek Elmendorff, 6'3, 310 lbs, Junior

Between Elmendorff and Hernandez, they have combined to start 44 career games.

Hernandez is UTEP's top offensive lineman NFL prospect for 2018, and was named to ESPN's Preseason first team All-C-USA squad.

Elmendorff could also see action at right guard, and when UTEP goes with an unbalanced line it will be interesting to see where he falls in that mix.

Having two starter level talents at one position is a good problem to have, but I feel Elmendorff can win a starting job somewhere along the line as the season goes on.

Center Depth Chart

  • Derron Gatewood, 6'2, 310 lbs, Sophomore
  • Tanner Stallings, 6'1, 300 lbs, Junior

After being moved around from center to guard in his freshman season in 2015, Gatewood found a starting home at center as expected.

Some around the program felt like Gatewood was the Miners' best offensive lineman last season before a foot injury ended his season midway through the year.

Stallings is another lineman who could be possibly moved around in packages as the season goes, and is a nice asset to have behind Gatewood and can also slide over to guard.

Expect some awards and honors to come Gatewood's way after hopefully a healthy and breakout season in 2016.

Right Guard Depth Chart

  • John De La Rosa, 6'6, 315 lbs, Senior
  • Anthony Kyles, 6'3, 305 lbs, Senior

If I had to name one player in the UTEP football program who has significantly improved since Sean Kugler took over without a doubt its John De La Rosa.

From a scout team member in 2013, and 2014, De La Rosa started six games at right tackle out of injury needs last season, and flourished.

He's battling an injury right now, but is expected be a full-go for the NMSU season opener.

Kyles has been a solid backup in his UTEP career, and started the last four games last season at right guard.

Another spot along the offensive line in where the depth is three depth with potential starters lurking in the background.

Right Tackle Depth Chart

  • Jerrod Brooks, 6'5, 330 lbs, Sophomore
  • Chris Thomas, 6'4, 300 lbs, Senior

The recurring theme of having two starter level players at one position lives deeply at right tackle.

Brooks was thrown into the fire late last season as UTEP battled a number of injuries along the offensive line. He already has NFL ready size, and will certainly become another one of the Miners top offensive line pro prospects in the coming seasons.

Thomas started six games at right tackle last season, and started in the 2014 New Mexico Bowl.

Both are very good athletes who will anchor a very strong, and a very deep and talented offensive line unit.

Other notable lineman to keep an eye on

  • Chris Thummel, 6'4, 290 lbs, Junior
  • Chance Bishop, 6'6, 325 lbs, Freshman
  • Chris Misaalefua, 6'5, 375 lbs, Sophomore