NCF On The Trail: UTEP Miners

Hoosiers get first DB for 2014

July, 3, 2013
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Donovan Clark (Fort Wayne, Ind./South Side), a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback, has pledged to sign with Indiana, according to multiple reports.

Prior to receiving his offer from the Big Ten's Hoosiers, Clark was pursued heavily by Mid-American Conference programs such as Ball State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan. Iowa and Michigan State also expressed interest.

Clark is Indiana's seventh verbal for 2014.

Buffs lands productive LB Gamboa

June, 30, 2013
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Rick Gamboa (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade College Prep), the 2012 L.A. Daily News Defensive Player of the Year, has committed to sign with Colorado, the Daily Camera reports.

He selected the Buffaloes over scholarship offers from Idaho and UTEP. Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, UCLA and Washington also showed interest in the 6-foot, 220-pound rising senior.

Last fall, Gamboa registered 159 tackles, including two games with more than 20 stops, seven sacks and one interception from his inside linebacker spot. He posted 113 tackles as a sophomore.

Colorado now has five players on board for 2014.

BC dips into Florida for a pair

June, 25, 2013
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Monday, the Eagles received verbals from Sunshine State prospects Gabriel McClary (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) and Ty Schwab (Merritt Island, Fla./Merritt Island), according to multiple reports.

McClary is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver. Appalachian State, Illinois, North Carolina and South Florida have offered. Additionally, 247Sports lists Arizona, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Marshall and Western Michigan as also having offered.

Schwab is a 6-foot, 208-pound linebacker who was also pursued by Massachusetts, Tulane, UTEP and Western Michigan.

Head coach Steve Addazio, in his first full recruiting season with the Eagles, has quickly secured one of the country's largest classes, which is rated 25th by ESPN RecruitingNation.

Texas State camp: WR Zamora competes 

June, 11, 2013
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KATY, Texas -- As one of the 18 commits -- and counting -- in Baylor's 2014 recruiting class, Houston Elsik receiver Ishmael Zamora has little, if anything, left to prove.

With nearly a dozen offers and five from power-conference schools, the 6-foot-4, 201-pound prospect secured his college football future when he committed to the Bears on May 21.

SMU lands playmaker Nate Gaines

June, 4, 2013
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On Monday, defensive back/wide receiver Nate Gaines (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) committed to play for the SMU Mustangs, the Dallas Morning News reports. He was recruited by SMU associate head coach/defensive coordinator Tom Mason.

Arkansas State, Colorado State, Louisiana-Monroe, Navy, Nevada, Northern Illinois, Utah State, UTEP and Texas-San Antonio also extended scholarship offers to Gaines.

Despite his pledge, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound prospect still hopes to visit Baylor and Oklahoma State this summer.

Gaines, a two-way contributor, caught 29 passes for 296 yards and six touchdowns and registered 48 tackles and nine interceptions as a junior.

SMU has seven commitments for 2014.
The legend of Dalton Santos was the talk of Van, Texas, a couple of years ago. Santos, a former Under Armour All-American, now is making his name even bigger as a Texas Longhorns linebacker. The Santos name continues to make waves around Van, as Dalton’s younger brother makes a case for being one of the state’s top offensive linemen.

Class of 2015 offensive guard Wyatt Santos has watched his stock rise in recent weeks after an outstanding performance at the East Texas Sports Network Combine on May 19 in Tyler, Texas.


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Lessons learned: ETSN Combine 

May, 19, 2013
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TYLER, Texas -- East Texas often is considered one of the nation’s most underrated areas in finding elite talent when it comes to college football recruiting. Sunday featured the inaugural East Texas Sports Network combine, which showcased more than 100 players from East Texas.

The event took place at the Accelerate Performance Enhancement Center (APEC) training facility, which has trained professionals such as quarterback Graham Harrell, running back Kendall Hunter and pro baseball pitchers Phillip Humber and Josh Tomlin.


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QB William Crest picks WVU 

April, 19, 2013
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The Mountaineers have added quarterback William Crest (Baltimore/Dunbar) to their Class of 2014, multiple sources report. Crest is currently rated as the nation's No. 16 QB-DT.


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Huskers win battle for Dwayne Johnson 

February, 5, 2013
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Three-star offensive tackle Dwayne Johnson (Houston/Bellaire) pledged Tuesday to sign with Nebraska, multiple sources report. He visited the Huskers on Jan. 18.

Johnson originally committed to Purdue in August but reopened his recruiting in January. He visited the Boilermakers on Sept. 21, Washington State on Jan. 11 and Arkansas on Jan. 25.

Colorado, Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma, SMU, Tulsa, UTEP and Virginia also extended scholarship offers to the 6-foot-6, 275-pound senior. Baylor, Houston, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Wake Forest showed interest.

ESPN writes in his evaluation, "Although Johnson plays the center spot efficiently, we feel his present size, growth potential and athleticism are better suited for the offensive tackle position ... This guy is a mixture of the toughness and intelligence we look for when evaluating offensive linemen. Johnson's two position potential could earn him early playing time at the BCS level of play."

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Texas DE Ejiofor heading to ACC 

January, 27, 2013
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It has been a whirlwind of a month for Houston Alief Taylor defensive end Duke Ejiofor.

Since the former Rice commit and the Owls parted ways, Ejiofor has been busy taking visits and looking for a new home. On Sunday, he found one.


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Texas DE Ejiofor nearing decision? 

January, 26, 2013
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Former Rice commitment Duke Ejiofor (Houston/Alief Taylor) has several options since recently parting ways with the Owls.

And he's leaning toward one of them with a possible decision coming soon, possibly as early as this weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound defensive end is on an official visit to Wake Forest this weekend after receiving an offer from the Demon Deacons on Jan. 17.

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Texas kicker Callahan chooses Baylor

January, 24, 2013
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When 2013 kicker Chris Callahan (Houston/Second Baptist) attended a camp at Baylor over the summer, he felt he performed well, but he didn't hear much from the Bears.

Six months later, the Bears came calling, and Callahan was all ears.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound placekicker and punter gave his commitment to Baylor on Thursday, picking the Bears over Mississippi, Southern Mississippi, UTEP and William and Mary.

"It's such a relief and a nice weight off my shoulders and everything, so I'm happy," Callahan said.

Baylor receivers coach/passing game coordinator Kendal Briles reached out to Callahan a week ago, offering Callahan a grayshirt opportunity. After talking it over with his family, Callahan felt it was the right choice.

"They've got a great program that's been on the rise, and the facilities are top-notch," Callahan said. "The staff is great, the school itself, it's a great education and a great private school."

Callahan was 10-of-13 on field goals this season for Second Baptist, with a long of 47 yards. He averaged 44.5 yards per punt and 73 yards on kickoffs. He'll serve as a kicker and punter at Baylor.

The first-team all-state selection in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools [TAPPS] said he will join the Bears for the summer on scholarship, take the fall off, then re-enroll at Baylor in January 2014 on scholarship.

It took awhile for the Bears to recruit Callahan, but he's glad they did.

"I went to their camp this past summer, and I thought I did really well," he said. "I didn't hear from them at all until last Thursday. Then six, seven months later they came in the picture and swept me off my feet, and I'm married to them the next four years. ... I feel truly blessed that I got this opportunity."

Miners land big three-star RB 

January, 24, 2013
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Three-star running back Darrin Laufasa (Bothell, Wash./Bothell), a one-time Brigham Young verbal, is now set to play for UTEP, multiple sources report. He officially visited the Miners this past weekend.

Laufasa, a versatile 6-foot, 224-pound senior, also holds scholarship offers from Idaho, Portland State and Wyoming. California, Utah and Washington State were among the other programs to show interest.

ESPN writes in his scouting report, "Laufasa is a power back with the ability to dominate at the line of scrimmage and through to the second level ... Is an effective run blocker off the edge demonstrating the ability to run through defenders and step on their toes with excellent follow through and finish; is a hands catcher, flashing the screen and check down ability which could keep him on the field in long yardage situations."

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Spartans land juco defender 

January, 22, 2013
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Defensive end Garrett Guanella (Santa Rosa, Calif./Santa Rosa J.C.) has committed to San Jose State, multiple sources report.

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Twins stay home, will be teammates 

January, 17, 2013
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Twin brothers Alvin Jones Jr. and Aaron Jones (El Paso/Burges) have done everything together. Most recently, they were big contributors on a Burges team that advanced three rounds deep in the Texas Class 4A Division I playoffs.


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