UTEP senior left guard Will Hernandez was recently invited to play in the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl on Jan. 27, 2018 in Mobile, Ala. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. MT in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The contest will be televised on NFL Network.
Hernandez is the first Miner to receive an invite since the 2008 Senior Bowl. The Las Vegas, Nevada, native has started at left guard in every game played (47 games) since his freshman season in 2014. Since Hernandez made his first start on Aug. 20, 2014 at New Mexico, UTEP has boasted one of the better offensive lines in, not only Conference USA, but the nation. The Miners ranked tied for eighth in FBS following the 2014 season, allowing only 13 sacks in 13 games. In 2015, the Miners moved up a few spots, ranking tied for sixth (12 sacks allowed in 12 games). Last season, UTEP ranked tied for third in C-USA (22 sacks allowed).
Hernandez was also instrumental in paving the way for current Green Bay Packers’ rookie running back Aaron Jones to become UTEP’s all-time rushing leader. Jones capped his career with a 301-yard output against North Texas in last season’s finale, as Hernandez and company helped open up big holes.
Hernandez joins 10 other Miners who have played in the prestigious bowl game. The list includes LB Fred Carr (1968), WR Reggie Barrett (1991), LB Keith Powe (1991), RB Toraino Singleton (1996), TE Brian Natkin (2001), LB Thomas Howard (2006), QB Jordan Palmer (2007), WR Johnnie Lee Higgins Jr. (2007), OL Oniel Cousins (2008) and DB Quintin Demps (2008).