In the modern era of NFL football, we've seen a few names from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in the league today. But this is not a new phenomena; there have been MANY former UTEP Miners football players that have played in the NFL for YEARS for both NFC & AFC teams.

How many UTEP Miners have ever played NFL football?

Currently there are 4 Miners playing the league today; Aaron Jones, Nik Needham, Roy Robertson-Harris & Will Hernandez.

But we have seen UTEP Miners join the NFL dating all the way back since the 40s. The first was Ken Heinemann in 1940; he was drafted in the 6th round by the Los Angeles Rams (at the time they were the Cleveland Rams).

Since 1940, there have been a total of over 90 players that the NFL has picked up from UTEP. Some notable names include Chuck Hughes, Fred DeBernardi, & Tony Tolbert, one of the few UTEP Miners that would win a Super Bowl.

TONY TOLBERT COWBOYS
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Or what about Don Maynard? One of the only UTEP Miners to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame & had a stellar career with the New York Jets?

New York Jets v San Diego Chargers
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Another big name in the world of UTEP (and professional wrestling) is Bob Wyndham. He would play for the NY Jets & had a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints & Denver Broncos. Of course we also know Bob Wyndham as one of the greatest heels of all time: Blackjack Mulligan.

Of course we couldn't talk about amazing UTEP Miners who made it into the NFL without mentioned Coach Louis Lee James Jr, who briefly played for the Eagles in 1965-1967. He also came back to coach for several high schools in El Paso such as Parkland, Riverside & Bel Air.

Joseph James
Joseph James
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Louis's son, Joseph James, is also well known for being the drummer for the metal band Know//Suffer. Sadly Coach Louis passed away on December 26, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family. Our condolences to the James family.

Joseph James
Joseph James
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When will the next UTEP Miner join the NFL & when will they win a Super Bowl? Well considering we STILL see players join the league, it's only a matter of time...

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