UTEP's Running Back Situation
UTEP has a tough enough task replacing Aaron Jones, now the task has become even more difficult with a shoulder injury to Quadraiz Wadley. Wadley will miss 2017 with the injury. The Miners now turn to a committee of backs to fill in, among them; T.K. Powell, Kevin Dove, Walter Dawn, and Ronald Awatt.
Dove is the most accomplished of the three, having carried 19 times for 101 yards in 2016. He's a 250 pound thumper out of El Campo. T.K. Powell, a former walk-on, rushed for over a 100 yards against Louisiana Tech in 2015. Powell took last season off to focus on academics and injury limited him this spring.
One of the more intriguing options is Walter Dawn, the diminutive converted receiver. Dawn makes the transition to running back full time. Dawn demonstrated the ability for explosive plays as a true freshman, including his three touchdown performance against UTSA.
Following in Jones' footsteps is true freshman Josh Fields from El Paso Americas, another local product who was extremely productive as a high schooler. Fields rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his three years at Americas including a 2,477 season in 2016. Fields was a 6A All-State performer as a senior.
UTEP was always going to need a committee to replace Jones, now they just have to figure out how to use the various backs they have to create a solid run game.
Houston Picks Up a Grad Transfer
Former Arizona State Sun Devil and Denton Guyer Wildcat Ellis Jefferson is transferring to Houston to finish out his college career.
Jefferson, a 6-4 receiver, played in 38 games for the Sun Devils. In 2014 Jefferson caught 11 balls for 144 yards and two touchdowns. In 2015, he caught 12 balls for 160 yards. Last year Jefferson caught just two passes for 21 yards for the Sun Devils.
Jefferson helped lead Guyer to its first of back-to-back state championships in 2012 and was the Wildcats' leading receiver that year with 901 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Houston now has several big receivers to stretch the field for transfer quarterback Kyle Allen.
Baylor's New President
Linda Livingstone became the 15th president in Baylor history and the first female to hold the position. Livingstone taught at Baylor from 1997 to 2002. After Baylor she went to Pepperdine where she was Dean of the Business and Management School. The last two years she's been George Washington leading the business school.
Livingstone takes over during a period of high tension in and around the Baylor campus with various Title XI suits, the Big 12 threatening to hold back distributions, and ongoing image issues.
For her part Livingstone claims that she understand the issues Baylor faces and asked specifically about the situation during her interview. Her hiring has been widely lauded by not only Baylor's faculty but outsiders as well. Big money donors appear happy as well. John Eddie Williams called Livingstone a "beloved teacher" and endorsed her hire.
Texas Wesleyan Takes the Field for the first time in 76 years
The Texas Wesleyan Rams are restarting their football program in 2017 after a 76 year absence. Their spring game is on Saturday at Farrington Field in Fort Worth. The Rams are coached by former Texas High School coach Joe Prud’homme. Prud’homme had stops at Nolan Catholic in Fort Worth and T.K. Gorman in Tyler.
The Rams open play in 2017 and will play in the NAIA. They'll play home games at Farrington Field. They'll play in the Central States Football League with Texas schools Wayland Baptist, Texas College, and Southwest Assemblies of God.
The Rams last played in 1941 after most if not all their players signed up to go fight in the war. Since reinstating football, applications have gone up 33% and for a small school like Wesleyan that's a big deal. The Rams hope to have an on-campus stadium that seats 5,000 in the future.
Best of luck to the Rams and welcome back to college football.