Photo: Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball.com
UTEP senior offensive lineman Will Hernandez, senior linebacker Alvin Jones and junior long snapper Jake Sammut were all recognized to the 2017 Phil Steele All-Conference USA team on Wednesday.
Hernandez, who has been racking in tons of awards during this post-season, including a recent AP All-America second team honor, started all 49 games at the left guard position in his colligate career. He was the protector of the “blind side” for UTEP quarterbacks and is a highly sought-out NFL draft prospect. During the 49 games, the Miners allowed one or fewer sacks in 27 games and no sacks in 12 of those. He will finish his college career at the 2017 Senior Bowl in 2018.
Jones, an El Paso native, finished his senior season as a 2017 C-USA honorable mention and led the Miners in tackles for three straight years. He brought in 102 tackles, a career-best, during his senior season and added 47 solo tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for the defense. He’s tied for third in C-USA and 17th in the nation with three forced fumbles. His best outings were against Arizona and LA Tech, where he contributed with 15 tackles each game.
After transfering to UTEP from the College of Canyons, Sammut finished his first year with the Miners on top and received a 2017 C-USA honorable mention as a long snapper. This season he played all 12 games for the Miners. He is just 5-foot-8, 170 pounds, but added four tackles this season, and even downed a punt inside the 20-yard line against Middle Tennessee .