EL PASO, Texas / LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - What a day it is for high school athletes in the El Paso and Las Cruces area! Four borderland football players have signed D-1 letters of intent -- and all-four will be smacking helmets at the Sun Bowl as part of Sean Kugler's first recruiting class at UTEP.
Burges brothers Alvin and Aaron Jones, Franklin's Derek Elmendorff and Andress' Ryan Metz will all play football at UTEP.
In addition, Hanks High School senior (and standout for the El Paso Storm U18 Girls soccer team) Briana Thomas is signing with the UTEP Soccer team!
A few other story lines along the border: Franklin High had five athletes sign letters of intent. Two Cougars will play ball at highly-regarded academic institutions: Devin Houx will go to Air Force and Connor Potts will play in the Ivy League at Harvard.
Also gearing up for the role of student-athlete in the Ivy League: Coronado Senior Nick Annabi, who'll head to Columbia. His teammate Phillip Harris will play at John Hopkins University, another academically-rigorous 4-year-college.
Many El Paso and Las Cruces athletes will keep close to home, staying in the border southwest region. Get this - 7 borderland athletes (and counting) are signing with Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM.
Here is a complete list of borderland youngsters who are signing letters of intent to play college ball:
Aaron Jones - UTEP
Alvin Jones - UTEP
Ryan Metz - UTEP
Derek Elmendorff - UTEP
Devin Houx - Air Force
Connor Potts - Harvard
Vince Garcia - TSU
Jacob Fellows - Colorado Mesa University
Nick Annabi, - Columbia University
Phillip Harris - - Johns Hopkins University
Mario Balderrama - Eastern New Mexico
Gabriel Hernandez - Abilene Christian
Albert Delgado - Ventura College
David Jackson - Eastern New Mexico
Adam J. Mijares - Eastern New Mexico
Devonte Weeks - Eastern New Mexico
Marcus Inglemon - Eastern New Mexico
Jacob Banegas - Pima Community College
Lane Cummings - Pima Community College
Rudy Guerra - Eastern New Mexico
Taylor Tisby - Eastern New Mexico
Ricardo Zacarias (soccer) - Yavapai Junior College
--EL PASO STORM U18 GIRLS SOCCER--
Briana Thomas, (Hanks) - UTEP
Montanta Montes, (Franklin) - St. Mary's