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February 06, 2013

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Ed

I'm 5'10", 185 lbs. and 44 years of age. I think I can play at UTEP.

I assume Kuglar scrutinized the new recruits, but in a sport where size matters, UTEP came up on the short end of the stick. He signed a bunch of runts, short runts. Division 2 schools landed more sizable athletes.

Am I missing something? Did UTEP convert back to the 3-3-5 defense, and are now recruiting f/that defense by loading up on d-backs. Or, is UTEP converting their offense to a spread or wishbone offense?

Surely, Kugs has a rabbit up his sleeve, and will show up this spring with Godzilla like athletes.

georgeofthedesert

I think that because Kugler got here late and completed his staff even later, recruiting went by the board this year. I'm not holding out any hope for at least two years.

I too questioned if the Miners are converting to a 3 man defensive line format with a 5'10" 320 pound defensive tackle. He should plug up the middle if he had any talent at all.

Price didn't produce because he got lazy and relied on his son to be his offensive coordinator and recruiter. Aaron Price can't coach, and doesn't recognize talent, and can't recruit. What more can you say. If the coach is lazy, it relfects in his team.

I anticipate four wins this year, no more. The problem is that C-USA is now so weak that it has slipped behind the defunct WAC as the weakenst league in the FBS. Too bad, and doesn't bode well for the Miners in the future.

Ed

Georgeofthedesert: I'm not going to give Kugler a grace period from scrutiny. He could've been at UTEP 4 to 6 weeks sooner than he ended up showing up. Most new-hire coaches would've bolted from their previous employer in a hurry to get started.

He chose to stay in Pittsburgh - which tells me he really was on the fence about this job. The Steelers weren't going to make the playoffs; and as an offensive line coach, his presence with the team is marginalized. It would've been different if he was the offensive coordinator. I don't think the Steelers upper-management, or their head coach would've cared if he left early - they probably expected him to do so.

I'm also concerned because his son is going to Michigan and not UTEP. What kind of family loyalty is that? If he can't direct his kid, do you expect him to be able to provide guidance to his athletes?

I don't think he'll last long at UTEP. He'll either get frustrated, or run out of town.
I bet that idiot Stull runs him out of town within 2 years, and then brings Price back, similar to how K-State brought back their old-timer.

Ed

I don't know what kind of football players these kids will develop into, but if the size statistics of the new recruits is correct, UTEP could field great gymnastics, soccer, track, and bowling teams. That Nonu kid would make a great rhythmic gymnast. Remember the fat kid in the movie Old School.

tickam

People ripping on Kuglar because his kid isn't coming to UTEP are just plain idiots!

A Fan

Give the new coach a chance. That's all we can do.

For starters, we should begin the year with low expectations. We are talking about UTEP, one of the worst football programs on the planet. So, anything approaching four wins next season should be fine. More, great.

Canaima

Joe writes:
"OK. I'm still a Mike Price fan."

What? I seem to recall Joe at the forefront of the rip Price campaign.

UTEP always seems to be in transition. Frequent coaching changes wreak havoc on recruiting. So all of you that were clamoring for Price's firing: a weakened recruiting class is a by-product of staff turnover. And you can't criticize the coach too much on this first recruiting class (because it really isn't his class but mostly Price's last class).

Ed

Canaima: Coach Price was a bad coach. He did well at WSU, but never recovered emotionally from the 'bama firing. He did a poor job after he went thru Nords recruits. Stull stuck with him way too long.

A new coach arriving should've given UTEP a boost in recruiting, especially a former pro-coach. New programs typically benefit in recruiting (most) in a coaches initial & third recruiting campaigns.

The initial recruiting campaign usually excites players interested in his announced schemes, and the third year recruiting campaign yields improved recruits if they are successful during their first 2 seasons (i.e. more wins than losses & a bowl, not undefeated).

I'm trying to be positive, but the size of the athletes recruited is not good. Lets hope they have hearts the size of Dallas, and can get after it on the football field. Unfortunately, size matters in this sport; the size of the fight in the dog metaphor is negligible in this case.

Canaima

Not that I think Bleacher Report is a 1st class sports site (it isn't) but here is what they say about UTEP's class:

Bleacher Report says:
The UTEP Miners are bad. It really is that simple.

There is no star recruit who wants to head to a program constantly in a state of flux. This team is not very good right now, and the recruiting efforts are not helping this team climb out of the No. 118 class ranking.

Jaylon Scott is a corner who has enough talent to make waves as a true freshman. The Miners need all the help they can get. Most every other prospect will rely on a redshirt season for development.

Grade: D

Ed

A grade of D is generous. It could, however, be worse - UTEP could be recruiting the garbage NMSU gets.

A Fan

Yeah Ed. Let's compare ourselves to a worse program and feel good. Five winning seasons in the last 40+ years and that's all we have..."We get slightly better players than NMSU." Yippee!

Miner Maniac

Not the best recruiting class but we do with what we can get. Looking forward to the Kuglar era.

football team

Maybe there will be a potential star in this list. I think that's their thinking.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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