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Unfortunate step ends stellar career

Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 13:05

braxtonamy

Bob Corral

Senior defensive back Braxton Amy returned a punt against Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sept. 4 at the Sun Bowl.

After the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility for sustaining an injury in the 2009 campaign, defensive back Braxton Amy's career at UTEP came to an end Sept. 10 in Houston.

Amy, who has been battling injuries since high school, tore his Achilles tendon in the 54-24 loss to Houston. He will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining the injury.

"I really feel bad for Braxton Amy," head coach Mike Price said at the media luncheon Sept. 13. "With the injury he had, he popped an Achilles tendon. He will be out the whole year."

Amy finishes ninth all-time in interceptions for the Miners with 10 in his career. He was widely considered the best all-around athlete on the team with his size, strength and speed. But after two games, he was lost when he attempted to make a tackle late in the third quarter.

"It wasn't in a contact situation, it was just out in the middle of the field," Price said. "He was real emotional and probably still is. It's a tough pill to swallow for a young guy like that."

Injuries are something you cannot prepare for when playing football, they just happen. The coaching staff said they were taking every precaution necessary to try and keep Amy healthy the entire season.

Amy has sustained more than his fair share of injuries throughout his entire football career. Dating back to his senior year in high school, when he was committed to Wisconsin, he blew out his knee. Subsequently the Badgers repealed his scholarship after the injury.

UTEP stepped right in and Amy chose to play for the Miners, where he made an impact with his ball hawking ability and knack to make the big plays.

The Miners will now look to other players to fill the void that was left by Amy. One player who could fill his role is junior defensive back Travaun Nixon, who had a 68-yard interception return against the Cougars.

"We are looking at who will take over. We have a number of candidates. Brandon Miller, Winston Jeune and Richard Spencer are out backups at that position," Price said. "Travaun Nixon played really well. He didn't back up (on defense), he was going for it all the time. It's nice to have him back there, he'll help us."

The loss of Amy is a stunning blow for the Miners who lost star running back Donald Buckram days before facing Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Price said at the media luncheon his team is physically and mentally tough and can handle the challenges ahead.

"I think for the most part this team has good character," Price said.

Alex Morales may be reached at prospector@utep.edu.

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