June 8, 2007

Fresh faces in the receiving corp

The UTEP football team was fortunate to have four seniors help out their young core of receivers last year, but that support is gone. Returning is a slew of unproven receivers who want their time to shine under the bright lights of the Sun Bowl.

Low down

Spring practice had a different feel this year. The receivers practiced their route running and catching drills without UTEP's all-time leading receiverJohnnie Lee Higgins Jr. (1319 yards) and second big-play option Daniel Robinson (606 yards).

Higgins and Robinson combined for 119 catches and 1925 yards, which contributed to 51 percent of the Miners receiving production (3754 yards). Fortunately the Miners return senior Joe West who has earned a starting spot.

"[He's] the next guy to step up and take this role," receivers coach Aaron Price said. "Joe has been a mainstay for three years, and now it's his turn."

The void left by Higgins and Robinson has not affected the team, according to the staff. In fact, Aaron Price is excited at the prospect of seeing how well the group of talented young receivers pans out.

"We are real young but we have great athletes top to bottom," Price said. "That's why this spring [and summer] is so important because we have to get the practice in."

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