Dumas, Smith working out with UTEP football after returning to El Paso

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Last week, KTSM reported that wide receiver Tyrin Smith and running back Aaron Dumas had returned to El Paso to play for UTEP football. Now, the pair is working out in the summer heat with the Miners. Smith returns to UTEP after leading the Miners in receiving in 2022. He transferred to Texas A&M in January, but quickly had second thoughts and chose to return to UTEP. He told KTSM on Thursday that he spent the spring semester at A&M, working out on his own at the student recreation center. Smith said many of his credits at UTEP didn’t transfer to Texas A&M, which played a role in wanting to return to the Miners, but there were other reasons for it as well. “A lot played a part in it. Me losing credits and stuff like that too, but it was mainly just me wanting to be back here with the guys. I truly wanted to be back with a team I bonded with from the beginning,” Smith said. UTEP head coach Dana Dimel told KTSM that Smith will be eligible immediately for the Miners as he returns in 2023. Dumas, meanwhile, will need a waiver from the NCAA in order to be eligible at UTEP in 2023. Dimel said that UTEP feels good about the chances of Dumas getting the waiver approved. Smith’s return to El Paso is huge for the Miners offense. He broke out in 2022 for UTEP, catching 71 passes for 1,039 yards and seven touchdowns as the Miners went 5-7, narrowly missing out on a second straight trip to a bowl game. He’s looking to build on that this fall. “The ceiling is high for this team to go out there and win it all. Everyone is bought in and focused on achieving the goals we all know we can achieve,” Smith said. Meanwhile, Dumas is a 2021 graduate of Americas High School in El Paso, where he broke the city’s single-season rushing touchdown record. Out of high school, he played at New Mexico in 2021, leading the Lobos in rushing as a true freshman. From there, Dumas transferred to Washington in the Pac-12, but did not see the field in 2022, eventually using it as a redshirt year. After spring football, he put his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal and he jumped at the opportunity to return to his hometown. “It’s been a long journey. I’m grateful for everything I’ve been through and all the coaching. Throughout the process I was just trying to find myself and where I fit in as a player,” Dumas said. “I think the biggest thing about coming back home was just being around family and getting that support and do this in front of the people I love. I want to be a role model for my little brothers and they get to see what it takes to be a college football player.” Dumas is noticeably bigger than he was in high school and even in his freshman season at New Mexico. The Miners hope he can get the eligibility waiver and join a stacked running back room in 2023. He entered the 2021 season as the back-up running back to Bobby Cole at New Mexico, but took over as the lead back by the end of the season. His 658 yards and two touchdowns on 136 carries was far and away the best on a Lobos team that went just 3-9 that year. His time spent at Washington in 2022-23 served him well, even though he didn’t see the field. “I’ve been developed in the last year at Washington. Coaching has gotten me to a different level that I wanted to be at,” Dumas said. “It’s transcended me to a different level in football and gotten me to where I want to be today. I’ve learned defenses and really breaking it down, taking it slower. I want to let the play do the talking for me in the future.” UTEP will open fall camp ahead of the 2023 season on July 27. The Miners begin the 2023 regular season on Aug. 26 on the road at Jacksonville State. Elsewhere on the UTEP football front, former Miners safety Dennis Barnes was named the head football coach at Hot Springs High School in Truth or Consequences, N.M. on Wednesday. The job is Barnes’ first coaching position, after he played at UTEP from 2020-2022, starting the majority of the games he played in. MORGANTOWN -- West Virginia is the latest stop for Cortez Braham in his path for a better future. And while the Mountaineers are helping him do that, the wide receiver is hoping to help the Mountaineers this fall.

Players mentioned in this article

Tyrin Smith

Aaron Dumas

Cortez Braham

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