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Nick Usher, Hayden Plinke to Participate in NFLPA Bowl

eniors Hayden Plinke and Nick Usher will represent UTEP at the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. MT on FS1.

The Miners will travel to Carson, Calif. to participate in a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League. Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. Scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attend the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s practices and game.

Plinke started all 12 contests and earned All-Conference USA first team honors after producing a record-setting season. The senior stomped and raced past defenders on way to eight receiving touchdowns, the most ever by a UTEP tight end during a single season. The tight end led team in receptions (38) and touchdowns grabs and ranked second in receiving yards (456). He registered a career-long 72-yard touchdown during a season-finale victory against North Texas.

Usher started all 12 contests and earned Conference USA honorable mention after leading team in tackles for loss (8.0-41), sacks (5.5-31) and quarterback hurries (five). The linebacker ranked third on team with 77 tackles (35 solo) and added two pass breakup and a blocked kick. He ranked tied no. 8 in C-USA in total sacks and finished career ranked tied no. 10 with five other Miners in career sacks (12.0).