Top El Paso Athletes to Watch Ahead of Wednesday’s National Signing Day

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Photo: Adrian Broaddus/TexasHSFootball

Tomorrow afternoon, high school students throughout the city of El Paso will get to claim an opportunity to sign a letter of intent to their respective institutions and further their career on the collegiate gridiron.

From the Division I ranks to the Junior College level, these athletes will ink their final decision on Wednesday. Below are the top fifteen signings to watch for tomorrow:

Cedarious Barfield  (El Paso El Dorado, QB/DB)

Committed: San Diego State

Cedarious Barfield, one of the most illustrious quarterback and player in the city will go on to the Division I level. The former quarterback for the El Dorado Aztecs, however, will trade in his gunslinger edge to play in the defensive backfield for the San Diego State Aztecs.

Barfield played on both sides of the ball in high school at quarterback, safety and as a special teamer. During his four years of varsity football, he threw for 5,670 passing yards, 3,760 rushing yards and 59 total touchdowns.

San Diego State wants him as a defensive back, but he may play on kickoff return or return punts—just put the ball in his hands and he will do work.

Andrew Fernandez (El Paso Montwood, QB)

Committed: Tyler Junior College

El Paso Montwood quarterback Andrew Fernandez . Melynda Venegas/TexasHSFootball

After having a spectacular year of his own and winning the co-district championship for the Montwood Rams, and attracting different attention from all over the region, quarterback Andrew Fernandez decided to choose Tyler Junior College as his destination for collegiate football.

During his four-year varsity career with the Rams, Fernandez put up city record-breaking numbers. He finished with 7,832 career passing yards, 87 passing touchdowns and 1,609 rushing yards.

If you were to ask him to throw a 50-yard pass, he could do it. If a team asked him to march down the field and score in under two minutes, he would. And, if the pocket collapses, chances are he’s going to make defenses pay with his running ability on the ground.

Down the road, this gunslinger could easily transfer out and play at a Division I college.

Tyrese Andrus (El Paso Montwood, WR)

Committed: Incarnate Word

El Paso Montwood wide receiver Tyreese Andrus was an All-State Honorable Mention in 2017. Photo courtesy Alex Nicolas

Tyreese Andrus, Fernandez’s go-to receiver, is one of the best athletes in the city.

As he goes off to play for Incarnate Word, Andrus will bring his undeniable speed and impressive ability to catch the ball. He amassed 3,027 receiving yards and 33 receiving touchdowns with the Rams this year and helped lead them to a district title.

What stands out about Andrus is his pure athleticism. On the field, he runs hard on every down and is able to run quick routes, which makes defenses hate covering him. During the football off-season Andrus plays basketball, where he’s currently one of the best players for the Rams.

Tristin Tuialuuluu (El Paso Del Valle, OG)

Committed: UTEP

El Paso Del Valle left tackle Tristan Tuialuuluu (71) started 35 straight games in his career for the Conquistadores. Melynda Venegas/TexasHSFootball

Coming off his most impressive senior tenure as a lineman with Del Valle High School, left guard Tristin Tuiluuluu was the only El Paso native to be offered by the coaching staff at UTEP under new Head Coach Dana Dimel. What the new coaching staff probably saw was a powerful big man standing at 6-foot-3 that could help the team’s offensive line greatly.

During his time with Del Valle, Tuialuuluu finished with 86 pancake blocks in 34 games played. He started all 12 of the games in 2017 with the Conquistadors and helped lead them to a district title. What stands out with Tuialuuluu on film is his ability to perform at a high level in a balanced offense.

UTEP may have snagged a good one in him.

Ivan Avina (El Paso Eastlake, WR)

Committed: New Mexico State University

El Paso Eastlake wide receiver Ivan Avina had 112 yards receiving and a rushing touchdown in a win over El Paso Hanks. Adrian Broaddus/TexasHSFootball

It seemed like it was forever until Ivan Avina, Eastlake’s main source of explosiveness on offense, would find his landing spot at the collegiate level. However, he eventually rose up the ranks to the next big step in his football career and found an almost perfect fit.


Through his time at Eastlake, Avina played at just about every position imaginable on offense. He lined up in the slot and caught a pass down the middle for a touchdown or scored on jet sweep hand-off from his quarterback. He totaled 1,067 receiving yards, 841 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns for the Falcons and helped them reach the area round of the playoffs.

Although he has not officially declared for the Aggies, it is likely that he will sign with them tomorrow.

Jake Hernandez (El Paso Eastwood, DL)

Committed: Texas State

Hernandez, a 6-foot-3 defensive lineman with Eastwood, finished 2017 with more than 60 tackles and three sacks. Photo courtesy

When you hear the name Jake Hernandez, you know you’re going to get a hard-worker on the field and an animal on defense.

Hernandez dominated the defensive front this fall season for the Troopers, totaling 69 tackles, 3.5 sacks and averaged almost six tackles a game. He was offered by Texas State as a preferred walk on, which will give him the opportunity to find his niche with the team.

Because of his size differential, there’s also a possibility that Hernandez could be utilized at the linebacker position in college given his speed and ability to stop the run.

Tre Maestas (El Paso Andress, WR)

Not Committed

El Paso Andress cornerback Tre Maestas (15) defends a pass intended for El Paso Bowie receiver Carlos Varela (4). Adrian Broaddus/

When looking at each player across the city who will sign their letter of intent tomorrow, there’s not one who has the same ability to spark an offense from catching the football like Tre Maestas does.

With just 21 catches, he gained 412 receiving yards and scored four times for the Eagles. He’s quick, agile and has a lot of potential in the slot position. Maestas, similar in potential to teammate Avina, has not officially declared his intent to play for NMSU.

There, however, is a high chance he sticks with the Aggies tomorrow.

Kevin Averette (Pebble Hills, WR)

Committed: University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Pebble Hills running back Kevin Averette. Photo courtesy Twitter

Pebble Hill’s utility man in Kevin Averette was fun to watch this year with his powerful ability to catch the football and run. He’s 6-foot-2, 190 pounds of pure strength. He helped lead his team to an impressive 8-3 record and finished his career with 964 receiving yards, 548 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns.

Averette is a pure athlete and almost unmatched when it comes to finding holes within the defense. He can snag some impressive catches, too. UTPB could use this man as a backup running back or a slot receiver in a spread formation. He, like Andrus, also plays basketball and could easily have found a scholarship playing ball.

Instead, one of the Spartans’ best roundball players will go the football route.

Matthew Zubiate (Chapin, RB)

Committed: University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Chapin running back Matthew Zubiate goes airborne trying to get past Lubbock Coronado defenders Sean Anderson (32) and Christian Hayes (2) in their area matchup. Photo courtesy Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

When you get the likes of running back Matthew Zubiate, you get a hefty back who loves to find the end zone.

During his time as a varsity starter with the Chapin Huskies, Zubiate finished with 2,251 career rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, he has a knack for finding space in the open field and ample speed for one his size.

With UTPB, Zubiate will join Averette, and could possibly be converted to a fullback or H-back position, at tight end, or even a place on defense because of his size and speed. He is also not afraid to take any big hits and never backs down from big-time plays.

Seth Dominguez (El Paso Franklin, RB)

Committed: Colorado State University-Pueblo

El Paso Franklin running back Seth Dominguez (21) ran for 316 yards in a win over El Paso Eastwood. File photo by Tony Venegas/TexasHSFootball

As the best Franklin High School running back since Nick Bingham, Seth Dominguez dazzled the city during a breakout senior season. He stands at 6-foot and 180 pound and is a powerful back that has the skill to make big plays on the ground. Dominguez finished with 2,879 rushing yards on 459 carries and totaled 21 touchdowns.

Dominguez, a strong player with a lot of athleticism, could possibly switch over to the defensive side in college. Colorado State University-Pueblo could give the ball to him on occasions and possibly on kick or punt returns.

Other players in the El Paso area who will play at the next level:

Pete Cedena (El Paso Eastwood, WR)

Committed: Benedictine College

Cadena has everything you want in a receiver – size, strength and speed. He finished his senior season with 1,161 receiving yards off 81 catches and recorded 12 touchdowns.

Justin Wolfe (Pebble Hills, WR)

Committed: Clarke College

A fast addition to any team who can be a utility man on offense. Wolfe finished his time with the Spartans with 74 catches for 887 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Diego Lewis (El Paso Andress, WR)

Committed: New Mexico Highlands University

Lewis was the focal point on offense for the Andress Eagles last year, especially his game through the passing game. He totaled 758 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see him move over toward the secondary spot on defense if New Mexico Highlands wishes him to.

Jacob Hernandez (Pebble Hills, S)

Committed: Western State Colorado University

Through all of last year, Jacob Hernandez manned a sharp Spartans’ defense in the secondary. He finished with 168 tackles, four forced fumbles and two interceptions during his time with Pebble Hills.

Oscar Del Real (Canutillo, DL)

Not Committed

Although he hasn’t committed yet, defensive lineman Oscar Del Real will soon find his landing spot off his six offers from various colleges — including Sul Ross State University and Sterling College.

He is a run-stopping lineman that loves to get after the quarterback.

Cameron Seabrook (Pebble Hills, RB/WR)

Committed: Eastern New Mexico University

Seabrook can be used all over the field because of his ability to become an all-around football player. He finished with 66 points scored for Pebble Hills, both through receptions and off handoffs.

Totaling for 795 receiving yards, it would be a shock if this man wasn’t asked to use his abilities on offense at Eastern New Mexico.

Kevin Esquivel (Pebble Hills, LB)

Not Committed

Esquivel was one of the most fun defensive player to watch from all of last year. Although he hasn’t officially committed to any team, his most recent offer was that of Clarke College.

Esquivel, who was named defensive player of the year for El Paso last year, finished with 110 total tackles and six sacks.

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