Local impact: El Pasoans looking to make mark for UTEP football


El Pasoans will always be the biggest contingent on the UTEP football team.

Most of the 18 locals on the current roster going through this spring are walkons, not all will see the field, but some will. In many of these cases that will be the fulfillment of a dream held since watching the Miners years ago in the Sun Bowl.

UTEP center Ivan Escobar snaps the ball to quarterback Skyler Locklear during Wednesday’s practice at the Sun Bowl

“Gotta love playing here,” said tight end Julian Lopez, a Chapin alum. “I grew up here, I grew up coming to the games. I love playing on that field.”

“It means the world,” coach Scotty Walden said Wednesday after his team wrapped up the seventh of 15 spring workouts. “It’s fun watching them everyday, they’re living a dream every day. There’s a sense of pride. I said when we got here, we want to recruit the best players in El Paso, we want to start in El Paso first and work out.

“It just means more to those guys. That’s the thing I see, they take an enormous amount of pride in detail and what we do and it’s fun to watch those guys every day come battle. They are doing it in their hometown, for their family and for the city they grew up in.”

Here are a look at a few of the El Pasoans who could make an impact for UTEP this year.

Julian Lopez, senior tight end

Lopez emerged last year as a redshirt junior when he played all 12 games. A lot of his time was on special teams but caught three passes for 16 yards and with starter Zach Fryar graduated and gone, this could be a year for Lopez to make a splash as a playmaker.

He’s excited about the direction of the program under Walden.

“I love the change, it’s completely different, especially the energy,” he said. “I love coming to meetings early in the morning and coach Walden is already up there screaming, getting us ready to practice….

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/local-impact-el-pasoans-looking-173427760.html

Author : The El Paso Times

Publish date : 2024-04-03 17:34:27

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