EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — UTEP football recently got some great production from its linebacker squad. Tyrice Knight, Cal Wallerstedt and James Neal all stepped up and played key roles in defending the Minors.
“Tyrice [Knight] plays at a high level and Cal [Wallerstedt] happened, and Cal ended up earning eleven helmet decals, and the max you can earn is 12. His production was really high. “said Dimel. “James Neal played a lot there [linebacker] not anymore because we think he’s probably one of our most athletic players on our defense so we really like the production we’ve gotten from those guys [New Mexico State] Game. We’re pretty happy with the position right now.
It comes as the miners’ depth at linebacker seemed to have taken a hit. UTEP is still without Breon Hayward due to waiver issues.
Knight currently sits with 23 total tackles on the season, which ties him with safety Kobe Hylton for the most on the team in three games. Knight also has the only interception for the minors so far this season. Knight was on the receiving end of a fly ball that was deflected by Blake Thompson when UTEP played New Mexico State last Saturday.
Meanwhile, Wallerstedt made his first start of 2022 at linebacker against New Mexico State. Wallerstedt immediately made his impact in the game felt. Wallerstedt led the Miners in tackles that night with nine. Three of them being solo tackles and the other six being assisted tackles.
Neal had four tackles against New Mexico State, including three solo tackles. Neal played in 12 games last year and had just four total tackles. You can already see the big leap Neal has made in production as he has already racked up eight total tackles in three games so far this season.
The linebacking squad will look to maintain that level of production as the Miners travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico to face New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 17 at University Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. MT.