Jamar Smith- Senior- UTEP
Jamar Smith is back for his second and final season at UTEP. He still hasn’t tasted the thrill of victory in El Paso. Under two coaches last season UTEP went 0-12 and now with a season-opening 30-10 home loss to Northern Arizona the Miners have the longest current losing streak in the FBS at 13 games. For the FCS Lumberjacks, who play in the Big Sky conference, the victory over UTEP was the first over a FBS school since 2012.
Jamar has a new number and a new coach. Last year Sean Kugler and Mike Price coached the Miners.This year Dana Dimel takes over after spending nine seasons as an assistant in Kansas State. Dimel has head coaching experience. He was 22-12 in three seasons at Wyoming and 8-26 in three years at Houston.
Last season Jamar wore number 45. The 5-10 230 pound linebacker played in all 12 games and made one start against Rice. Jamar had 34 tackles (22 solo), four tackles for loss (seven yards) and a quarterback hurry. He had a season-best six stops and added a tackle for loss against Army, five stops at number seven Oklahoma, tallied four tackles in three different games (vs. Rice, WKU and UAB), recorded a quarterback hurry at UAB and was credited with three solo stops versus Arizona.
In game one of 2018, wearing his new number 29, Jamar came off the bench and assisted on two tackles in the fourth quarter. On a first down and 15 play, Jamar teamed up with defensive end Christian Johnson to bring down Sherrod Page for a three-yard loss back to the Northern Arizona 21. On a second and 18 play, Smith and Thomas Lash tackled Aramis Aldredge for a two-yard gain to the Lumberjack 23.
Up next for Jamar are two road games- at the University of Nevada at Los Vegas on September 8 and then at the University of Tennessee on September 15.
Rig Tinoco- Freshman- Benedict College
The former Toombs County kicking great has earned the starting place kicking job at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. Rig’s Tigers turned the ball over four times and punted to end seven possessions in a 33-14 home loss to Florida Tech.
Tinoco, who wears number 33, opened Benedict’s season with a 63-yard kickoff that was returned from the two-yard line to the 33. After a first quarter safety the Tigers had the option of punting or kicking the ball from the 20. The decision was to let Rig boot the ball and he drilled it 65-yards down field. Florida Tech returned the kick 21-yards- from the 15 to the 36.
Also, in the first quarter, Tinoco kicked his first collegiate extra point to cut the Florida Tech lead to 16-7 and then he kicked off and placed the ball at the 19 where the Tigers made the tackle. Rig’s second PAT, in the fourth quarter, was also good and it was the final point scored in the game. His kickoff went to the 20-yard line and The Tigers yielded a 30-yard return to midfield.
As a TCHS Bulldog in his last two seasons, Tinoco connected on 72-of-his-77 (93.5%) extra points and he made 14-of-his-23 (61%) field goal attempts. His longest was from 50-yards out.
Up next for Rig is a short trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to play Johnson C. Smith University on September 8.
Ervin Mincey- Freshman- Holmes Community College
Ervin, who originally signed with Division 2 West Georgia, is following in Jamar Smith’s footsteps by playing at Holmes Community College in Mississippi. Ervin is no longer number 87. His new number for the junior college Bulldogs is 94.
Ervin played his first college game on Thursday, August, 30 and Holmes, thanks to a 40-yard field goal by Connor McKay with 34 seconds remaining in the game, pulled out a 29-28 home win over Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Mincey came off the bench and assisted on two tackles from his defensive line position. Even though he didn’t start, Ervin played most of the downs at left defensive end in the second half.
Up next for Mincey is a road game at Jones County Junior College on Thursday, September 6.
Check out an Ervin hit in a preseason scrimmage.
Note- Willie Campbell wears number 62 for the University of the Cumberlands (Kentucky). However, he has not played in the Patriots first two games. The Patriots opened up with a 27-26 road win at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and then crushed Cincinnati Christian University 65-0.