With the arrest of Kai Locksley and last year’s struggles at quarterback, Dana Dimel is making moves to give UTEP options heading into 2019 by adding Gavin Hardison and Isaiah Bravo from the junior college ranks. According to Dimel, both Hardison and Bravo are on campus and competing in summer workouts.
Hardison is one of the most prolific prep passers in New Mexico history after throwing for 5,347 yards as a senior. He ranked second nationally in yardage with a gaudy 59-9 touchdown to interception ration. His yardage total set a New Mexico High School record and was the first 5,000-yard season in state history as well. He spent last season at New Mexico Military where he threw for 408 yards with four picks and four touchdowns.
On his hudl film, Hardison exhibits a quick, over the top release, and a decent arm. He moves pretty well, a necessary trait for a quarterback in Dimel’s offense. Hardison doesn’t come across as fast, but crafty might be the best way to describe his running style. He moves in the pocket to throw, rather than make plays with his legs, though at times his mechanics get a little wonky.
Bravo is a tall, lanky quarterback from Cerritos College, by way of West Covina High School in SoCal. He’s listed at 6-3, that looks accurate on film, but who knows. He’s got a whip-like arm, and when he sets his feet, he can sling it around. The stats are a little concerning, Bravo completed just 52% of his throws at Cerritos. But he threw for 2,125 yards and twenty touchdowns to ten interceptions. Completion percentage tends to track even as competition levels raise.
UTEP may need to add some seats to the quarterback room with Locksley, Brandon Jones, T.J. Goodwin, Mark Torrez, and Calvin Brownholtz all in the fold. Dimel isn’t just open to playing multiple quarterbacks in a game, at Kansas State he seemed to prefer it.
UTEP opens the season on August 31st against Houston Baptist in the Sun Bowl.