UTEP senior offensive lineman Will Hernandez added another accolade to his long list as he was named to the Phil Steele All-Conference USA first team, along with senior linebacker Alvin Jones who also earned first team recognition. Junior long snapper Jake Sammut was named third team special teams on Wednesday.
Hernandez, who was recently named AP All-America second team on Dec. 11 for a second consecutive season, started all 49 games at the left guard position during his four-year career, protecting the ‘blind side’ for UTEP quarterbacks. Overall during Hernandez’s career, the Miners allowed 1.47 sacks per game. Also during the 49-game span, the Miners allowed one or no sacks in 27 games and zero sacks in 12 of those contests.
Jones, who recently earned a 2017 C-USA honorable mention, led the Miners in tackles for a third consecutive season. The native of El Paso racked up a career-best 102 tackles during his senior campaign, while adding 47 solo stops, 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks to lead the defense. Jones also ranked tied for third in C-USA and 17th in FBS with a trio of forced fumbles. Jones recorded 15 tackles against Arizona and LA Tech.
Sammut, who competed his first season with the Orange and Blue after transferring from College of Canyons and earned a 2017 C-USA honorable mention, played in all 12 games for the Miners. Sammut, thought listed at 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, played big as he tallied four tackles. Sammut registered a pair of stops at Middle Tennessee while downing an Alan Luna punt inside the 20-yard line.