Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required
Prospector Poll

Are you going to be surfing the web or the waves this summer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

UTEP football announced its 2019 recruiting class

Prospector File Photo
UTEP football Head Coach Dana Dimel addressed the media after announcing his 2019 recruiting class Feb. 6, at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center.

UTEP football announced its 2019 recruiting class today, Feb. 6, as part of National Signing Day, at the Larry K. Durham Sports Center announcing a total of 32 signees.

Head Coach Dana Dimel and staff had their first calendar year for recruiting, after being late to the dance last year, Dimel and company were able to get their own batch of recruits and prospects heading into year two of the Dimel era here at UTEP. Dimel did not disappoint, taking advantage of the later signing day period to attract recruits who didn’t have UTEP on their radar.

“As everybody says this is a time as a coach trying to come in and build your program,” Dimel said. “It’s obviously a big day for us as a coaching staff, and one I look forward to all year, putting all of the pieces of a recruiting class together. All of the stories and tribulations that come to this day is what makes our business so much fun. It’s an important part of what you do as a football coach and all of that comes down to signing day. The dynamics have changed a little bit guys and ladies. There are two signing days now.

“We had our head coaches meeting in January and we talked about that a little bit. I think that has been a really positive thing for UTEP, having the early signing day allows us to really see what’s out there for us and allows us to do what we do best. Its what you do with your evaluation tools. That is how we are going to build our program is by being great evaluators. That is obviously what we had done at Kansas State to turn that program around, and the other places that I have been and had success is because we have been great evaluators. So that is a big part of what we did with this class.”

With a total of 32 signees, nine are transfers and 23 are high school student-athletes who will be attending UTEP next semester. A total of 15 offensive players, 14 defensive players, and three specialists make up the 2019 signing day roster.

Dimel and company recruited heavily in the state of Texas with 21 student-athletes being from the lone star state, including six from the Borderland, seven from California, two from Arizona, one from Kansas and one from Pennsylvania.

Coach Dimel acknowledged that one of the states they want to start recruiting more aggressively is the state of Arizona, this recruiting class was just the beginning for the Miners in the state of Arizona according to Dimel.

During the press conference, Dimel acknowledged which freshman might come out of the gate and start seeing action on the field as soon as the season starts. Freshman signees Dimel signaled out were two former El Paso running backs in Parkland high school’s  Deion Hankins and Andress high school’s Jalen Joseph.

“Deion (Hankins) will get a chance to step onto the field,” Dimel said. “We don’t have great numbers at the running back position and Jalen Joseph too at the running back position has a chance to step up and get on the field.”

In addition, one name that Dimel said would make an immediate impact on the defensive line is Sua’ava “Juice” Tupua. The freshman defensive tackle from Harbor City, Calif. Was scouted at a USC camp that had four and five starters compete against each other and Tupua apparently dominated the camp and made a lasting impression on Dimel and his staff.

“Of the freshmen right now, who I can see having a chance to get on the field is (Sua’ava) “Juice” Tupua, who really has a chance, even though we have some good returners on the d-line, he’s a guy who went to the USC camp where there was a bunch of four and five-star athletes, he completely dominated the camp,” Dimel said. “He’s a guy who stood out as a guy who was wreaking havoc out there and is a freshman who can help us for sure.”

One of the 23 high school student-athletes that are already on campus getting a head start on the playbook and competing for playing time is freshman quarterback TJ Goodwin, from Houston Texas.

“He’s that type of a new modern day quarterback that can throw the ball well, also athletic and create things on the move,” Dimel said.

Goodwin was one of the first recruits to sign early on and stick with UTEP while other commits decided to go elsewhere during the recruiting process. Goodwin decided to stick with UTEP because the coaching staff convinced him while breaking down his film that he would be a difference maker for the program. That is why Goodwin decided to graduate high school early to come and get a head start on the process.

“I wanted to come out here and compete,” Goodwin said. “Try my best to compete with the older guys that’s why I got here early. I could have easily came in the fall and decided to make my mind up as a redshirt. But me getting here and me being able to compete against these guys is really going to help me try to play early.”

Junior college transfer redshirt junior tight end Luke Laufenberg is one of the nine transfers that are here currently enrolled on campus. Son of former NFL player Brandon “Babe” Laufenberg previously played at Mesa Community College where he appeared in six games. He had a combined 10 receptions for 100 yards during the 2017 season.

“We know how important the tight end position is in our scheme so I’m looking forward to Luke having a great career for us,” Dimel said.

Laufenberg last year while being recruited by the Miners started experiencing symptoms of a sickness which resulted in Burkitt leukemia. It wasn’t till May 3, where he announced he was cancer free. Since then it has been a constant mix of working out and dedication to school work that got Laufenberg to UTEP.

“A year ago if you would’ve told me I’d be here right now I would have been a little skeptical,” Laufenberg said.  “Although I always thought there’s a chance I play again definitely, (I) had some concerns.

“The big thing for me was just getting back to my old life and football was honestly part of my old life so I didn’t want anything to change,” Laufenberg said.

UTEP will begin spring ball on March 5 and will have its annual spring game on April 13 at 12 p.m. at the Sun Bowl.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Daniel Mendez, Staff reporter
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Prospector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
UTEP football announced its 2019 recruiting class