A trio of Miners have been named to the 2014 Preseason Football All-Conference USA award list selected by the league’s 13 head coaches.
Highlighting the squad is running back Aaron Jones, who garnered his third preseason honor of the season. The sophomore is the onlyunderclassmen on the team. Last season, the El Paso native saw action in nine games and started in six games as a true freshman.
Jones led UTEP with a freshman-record 811 yards on 155carries and scored four touchdowns. He played on an offensive unit that racked up 2,216 rushing yards, the most since 1988. The running back tallied three100+ rushing games, the most by a UTEP freshman since 1985.
Also securing a spot on the offensive team is tight end Eric Tomlinson. The senior led all UTEP tight ends in receptions (30) and yards (304) during the 2013 season. His receptions were the most by a UTEP tight end since 2008. The Klein, Texas, native recorded career highs in catches (eight) and yards (75) at Colorado State, including a trip to the end zone.
Kick returner Autrey Golden received first-team special teams recognition. Last season, the junior returned 28 kickoffs for 774 yards and two touchdowns, which were 100-yard returns. The native of Willis, Texas, ranked first in C-USA and 10th nationally in return average (27.6).
Golden enters his junior year tied for fifth in schoolhistory in kickoff return (57), fourth in kickoff return yards (1,596) and first in kickoff return touchdowns (four).
Marshall had the most overall preseason selections with seven, while UTSA had five. UTEP and Rice each placed three players on the team. Nine C-USA schools had at least one player named to the squad.