As the 2020 fall season approaches, University of Texas at El Paso football coaches are preparing to pick their starting quarterback and former Hobbs Eagle Gavin Hardison is someone they favor.
Coaches and players are excited for the upcoming season but they are still worried about COVID-19. The games are going to be different with various precautions in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
UTEP opened their fall camp on August 7 and it is quite different from any previous camp the players have been familiar with due to the virus. The camp will be doubling down on safety measures with temperature checks as well as practices with masks and social distancing as much as possible.
“I’m excited to get started and get back to normal, it is not going to be normal obviously because we have to follow a lot of safety measures,” redshirt sophomore Gavin Hardison said. “But we’re still working hard and we’re all excited.”
The quick-on-his feet 20-year-old is going into his second year at UTEP and has been favored by coaches this summer due to his quick growth and adaptation mentally on the field.
“I’ve made improvements in defense,” he said. “Learning the offense a lot better and overall, everything about my game has improved, but mentally I have grown a big part.”
Hardison played in only two games last season completing 27 passes out of 61 attempts. He threw for 335 yards, including a long of 36 yards, had one touchdown pass, and no interceptions in his limited time.
UTEP is still scheduled to open its season against Texas Tech on Sept. 5 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas at 7 p.m. Last season the Miners lost to the Red Raiders 38-3, with their only scoring drive a field goal with 5:32 left in the game. The Miners finished the season 1-11 overall, 0-8 in Conference USA-West play, and tied for last with Conference USA-East Old Dominion Monarchs.
“Texas Tech is a good team. They are well coached but I’m sure our coaches have a good game plan in place that will make us come out on top,” said Hardison.
After facing Tech, UTEP will have a week off after the game at Nevada was canceled, a road trip to DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium against University of Texas Longhorns on Sept. 19, and a home game against New Mexico State Aggies on Sept. 26 to finish non-conference play. The Miners will open Conference USA play visiting Louisiana Tech with hopes of improving on last year’s winless season.