EL PASO, Texas -- College football fans should remember the name Keenan Allen from Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, N.C. He's the younger brother of University at Buffalo quarterback Zach Maynard.
At 6-foot-3, 195-pounds, Allen is projected to become a starter at nearly every position on the college level with the exception of offensive and defensive lineman.
Here's what a Rivals.com scout said about Allen: "A tall, rangy athlete with long arms and a frame that can easily hold another 20 pounds. Has the appearance of a hybrid safety/outside linebacker and may remind some people of a young [Seattle Seahawks safety] Deon Grant. -- Allen is also a very versatile athlete and could play on either side of the ball. -- It would be shocking if he didn't play meaningful time as a true freshman."
He could make an official visit to UB but Allen is likely headed to a BCS program. He's already been offered scholarships by Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Michigan and Penn State among others.
"I want him to go somewhere bigger, but it's his choice," Maynard said. "I just want him to be comfortable at whatever school he wants to go to."
UTEP is playing on a newly-installed $500,000 Matrix 46 playing surface this season. The Miners had AstroPlay in the Sun Bowl from 2001 through last season. The players seem to prefer it over the old, hard turf.
"It's a lot softer," safety Braxton Amy told the El Paso Times. "On the old turf, you couldn't fall without scraping your skin."
Price said 18 players had offseason surgery, which he believes was related to the old turf. He said more than 30 players had surgery following the 2007 season.
"Part of it had to do with the hard turf," Price said. "The concussions that you get from hitting the hard turf, the shoulder bruises and injuries that you get, and I think we're going to cut our injuries in half with this new turf. It's the same turf that the Dallas Cowboys brought in and I told the team if it's good enough for Mike Price it's good enough for Jerry Jones."
Any tips for which shoes the Bulls should wear, Coach?
"The regular slippery, wet tennis shoes will be fine," Price said, chuckling.
Only five true freshmen made it on the UB travel squad for the trip to UTEP -- linebacker Darius Willis, fullback Nick Sizemore, tailback Branden Oliver, safety Bunduka Kargbo, and walk-on long snapper Tim Krantz.
A few players are climbing up the school record books. Senior wideout Naaman Roosevelt needs one TD to hold the school's career record of 20. He's currently tied with Chris D'Amico (1980-84) and Jamie Gasparre (1996-97) with 19.
Senior safety Mike Newton needs three solo tackles to move into eighth place in that category. He currently has 145. The school leader is Craig Guest (1993-96) with 236. Newton also needs one interception to move into seventh place; he has 10. Junior Davonte Shannon currently is in 10th place behind Newton with 143 solos.
Junior kicker A.J. Principe is one field goal shy of moving into second place in career field goals made. He's nine field goals shy of overtaking leader Dallas Pelz (2000-03) who finished with 35.
Senior wideout Brett Hamlin needs four receptions to move into fourth place for career receptions. He currently has 121. The school record is held by Drew Haddad (1996-99) with 240.