Price Pleased With First Day of Camp Socorro
The UTEP Miners arrived in Socorro, N.M. Saturday afternoon, and had a sharp 24-period practice later in the day to kick off their week-long camp at New Mexico Tech.
"It was a good practice," UTEP head coach Mike Price said. "I thought we might be sluggish, considering that there were a lot of other things going on - the bus ride up here, checking into the dorms, the heat and the humidity. But it was a very upbeat practice with very good enthusiasm."
Besides practicing a total of 11 times in Socorro, the Miners will participate in a variety of team-building activities -- a staple under Price. On Sunday's agenda is a dominoes tournament. Later in the week, UTEP's schedule includes a pool party and barbecue, a golf tournament, and a wiffle ball game.
The Miners will practice on Sunday at 9 a.m. Monday's first day in full pads is also the first of three two-a-days in Socorro, with drills scheduled for 9 a.m. and 4: 30 p.m.
Freshmen Offensive Linemen Show Potential
UTEP Offensive Line Coach Lawrence Livingston, Sr. likes what he sees from true freshmen Tanner Cullumber, Anthony McNac and Alex Solot, and didn't rule out the possibility of one or more of them stepping onto the field this fall.
"It's possible," he said. "The way they're working, they've got a chance. We'd like to redshirt these guys, but the best are going to play and they've got a chance to work their way in."
Cullumber was a four-year member of the varsity team at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., and earned All-State honors as a senior. At 6-4, 265 pounds, he isn't as physically imposing as McNac (6-4, 300) or Solot (6-7, 310). But Livingston said he has been the "surprise of the group" to this point.
"Tanner has been doing just as well as the other two," he said. "He's not as big as McNac or as tall as Solot. But his work ethic and how he's picking up the offense have been very impressive."
McNac was labeled a top-100 player in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a senior at Lancaster High School, where he was a three-year starter in the offensive line.
"Anthony has a lot of power and size, and he moves well for a big man," Livingston said. "We've still got to get him into football shape - that's what we're working on, and he's doing a good job."
An All-State player at Rincon High School in Tucson, Ariz., Solot was also listed as one of the top offensive linemen in the West by PrepStar magazine.
"Alex has great size and great flexibility," Livingston said. "He can do some things athletically that most people his size can't. He needs to work on the knowledge of what he is doing, and we've got to quicken up his feet a little bit."
Junior right guard James Riley, one of UTEP's most seasoned returning linemen, believes the future of the Miner O-line is bright.
"These freshmen have a lot of size and a lot of ability -- they're a little bit raw, but they have a lot of potential," he said. "I think even the walk-ons have good potential and good technique, where they can help us with the scout team or possibly even playing in the future."