Martinez, Vincent, Vittatoe Earn MVP Honors for 2008 UTEP Football Season
Dec. 8, 2008
Martinez, a senior kicker, was tabbed Special Teams MVP after leading the squad with 105 points. The Lou Groza Award semifinalist was 20-for-27 on field goal attempts and 45-for-46 on PATs. He hit a 64-yard field goal against UCF, the second-longest without a tee in NCAA history. Martinez is tied for fifth nationally in field goals (1.7 avg.) and 17th in scoring (8.8 ppg).
Vincent, a senior linebacker, was named Defensive MVP. He ranked second in Conference USA and tied for 25th in the country in tackles with 9.2 per game, and had double-digit stops in eight of 12 contests. He ended the year with 110 tackles, 7.5 tackles for losses, 1.5 sacks, five pass break-ups, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble.
Sophomore quarterback Vittatoe was appointed Offensive MVP. He completed 246 of 418 passes for 3,274 yards and a school-record 33 touchdowns. Vittatoe is tied for 20th nationally in total offense (270.3 ypg), and also rates 20th in passing efficiency (146.39). He threw for three or more touchdowns in eight games this season, and had a career-best 410 yards passing versus SMU.
Jamar Hunt was the recipient of the "Pick Axe" Award, given to the player with the "most Miner spirit." A senior tight end, Hunt caught 31 passes for 367 yards and two scores in 2008.
Senior center Robby Felix was recognized as the team's Most Inspirational Player. He started 46 straight games for the Miners and played an integral role in the team averaging 32.9 points (25th-best in the nation) and 406.5 yards (30th-best) this season.
Sophomore receiver Kris Adams was given the Bob Stull Most Improved Award after leading the team in receiving yards (958) and touchdown catches (14). Adams had five 100-yard performances, including in each of the last three games.
Cromartie-Smith, a junior Miner back this season, will be the team's leading returning tackler for 2009. He compiled 77 stops, including two for losses, with a sack, two interceptions, three pass break-ups and a quarterback pressure in 2008. Cromartie-Smith posted 26 tackles over the final two games - a career-high 14 at Houston and 12 at East Carolina.
Stephenson II made seven starts at left corner as a junior this season, recording 38 tackles, two interceptions and five break-ups. He was credited with his season-high eight stops (seven solos) at Houston.
Other 2008 award-winners included Mike Farrar (Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year), Drew Thomas (Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year) and Austin Contreras (Dr. Natalicio Academic Award). Contreras, an El Paso native and political science major, tops the team with a 3.80 cumulative grade point average.