Senior quarterback Jameill Showers, senior tight end Eric Tomlinson, junior kickoff returner Autrey Golden and sophomore running back Aaron Jones were named toPhil Steele’s 2014 Preseason All-Conference USA team.
Golden garnered first-team honors on special teams, Jones was named to the second- team offense, while Showers and Tomlinson earned fourth-team offense honors.
Golden returned 28 kickoffs for 774 yards and two scores during the 2013 season. The native of Willis, Texas two touchdown returns tied second in the nation as both scores went for 100 yards. His 27.6 return average ranked first in C-USA and 10th nationally. Golden will enter the2014 season tied for fifth in school history in kickoff returns (57), fourth in kickoff return yards (1,596) and first in kickoff return touchdowns (four). His career average of 28.0 yards per return ranks second in the Miner record book. Golden was named All-C-USA second team and to Phil Steele’s All-C-USA team after the 2013 season.
Jones led the Orange and Blue with a freshman-record 811 yards on 155 carries (5.2 average) and rushed for four touchdowns. The native of El Paso, Texas played in nine contests, making six starts, before sustaining a season-ending injury. Prior to the injury, the Burges High School graduate was the second leading freshman rusher in the nation. Jones’ 90.1 yard per game ranked fifth in C-USA, while he tallied three 100+ yard games, including a season-high 186 yards at Rice. After the 2013 campaign, Jones was named to the C-USA All-Freshman team, while earning an honorable mention to the College Football News All-Freshman team. He was also tabbed to the Athlon Sports Freshman All-America third team.
Showers too ended his season early due to an injury, but threw for 1,263 yards on 107-of-188 passing, 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions in seven starts. The native of Kileen, Texas also rushed for 195 yards and four scores. Showers’ rushing touchdowns were the most by a UTEP quarterback in 10 years. Showers established career bests at Colorado, throwing for 365 yards and totaling six touchdowns (five passing, one rushing).
Tomlinson started all 12 games and led all UTEP tight ends in receptions (30) and yards (304). He also caught a touchdown at Colorado State. The native of Klein, Texas established career bests in catches (eight) and yards (75) at Colorado State. Tomlinson’s receptions ranked third, while his yards ranked fourth amongst C-USA tight ends. His receptions were the most by a Miners’ tight end since the 2008 season. Tomlinson was named to the 2013 All-C-USA honorable mention team.
The Miners open the 2014 campaign at New Mexico on Aug. 30, while their home opener is on Sept. 6 against Texas Tech (9 p.m. MT).