Tight ends looking to have bigger impact in Price’s offense
Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05
With plenty of new faces in the offense this upcoming season, the Miners tight ends feel ready to take a leading role and help the team improve on their 5-7 record from 2011.
Junior tight end Kevin Perry led the group last season with 17 receptions for a total of 203 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore Eric Tomlinson, had six receptions for 83 yards and one touchdown, while sophomore Craig Wenrick had only four receptions for a total of 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Former program coordinator Chad Raymond is back at UTEP, after Jeff Woodruff resigned in May.
Raymond spent the 2011 season with the New Mexico Highlands as the tight ends coach, and spent the spring with his alma mater Tarleton State, until May when head coach Mike Price decided to bring him back to El Paso.
Raymond was the program coordinator from 2008-2010 and was also in charge of the offensive line during those three seasons, but now, he is back as the tight ends coach and his personnel is quickly adapting to his style and philosophy.
“It’s easy to adapt to him, because we have known him from when he was here before,” Perry said. “He is a cool guy, he is young and we can relate with him more.”
However, this season they might be used a lot more in the offense, since the Miners will only get two wide receivers back from last season, senior Mike Edwards and sophomore Jordan Leslie.
“I’m really looking forward for the opportunity we all are going to have this year, we got more plays and more opportunities to have an impact,” Wenrick said. “We have done stuff now that we have never done before, he is really trying to make us better all around players.”
Last season, the Miners offense struggled, averaging only 226 yards per game, ranking 67th in the country and averaged 155 yards rushing ranking 61th in the nation.
Raymond has not given the passing game the priority for his men, and is trying to work on all the different aspects to prepare for stiff opposition early on the season.
“He is really helping us out with our blocking a lot more, to improve that part of our game. He is a great coach and I’m really looking forward to the start of the season,” Tomlinson said. “We are a much more physical group and we have great chemistry, hopefully we can translate that into the field.”
The team believes they can turn things around this season. The most important players in the offense know each other well and are really aiming high for the 2012 season.
“I am really looking forward to winning a conference championship. I think we really got the tools and the depth to do it this year,” Perry Said. “We just need to do our job to help the team win games.”
Edwin Delgado may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.