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Gilman running back Antonio Dupree accepts UTEP offer, is team's 10th Division I commit

Durable back with 1,420 rushing yards last fall a good fit for the UTEP power run game.

Gilman running back Antonio Dupree committed Saturday evening to play for the University of Texas El Paso while on his official visit to the west Texas school.

Dupree is the 10th Gilman player in the Class of 2016 to commit to a Division I program. Two of his teammates -- offensive lineman Devery Hamilton (who switched from Michigan) and running back Dorian Maddox -- announced their commitments to Stanford earlier in the day.

A powerful 5-foot-11, 225-pound back, Dupree ran for 1,420 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall as the No. 1 Greyhounds finished 10-1 and won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship. They were ranked No. 13 in the final USA Today Super 25 poll.

He opted for UTEP over offers from Iowa, Charlotte, Kent State, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

Although he had talked with the coaches several times, he did not meet them until his official visit. Dupree said he went in with an open mind.

"I didn't have any expectations coming in, because I didn't want to overthink anything coming into to it, so I had an open mind," he said. "When I was hanging out with the guys on the team and starting to get to know the coaches better, I kind of saw myself here."

Dupree said he was impressed with the people he met.

"It was the people, honestly," he said of what sold him on the Miners program. "They're good people out here and they actually care about you, want to know how you're doing all the time, smile all the time. I felt like that was a big part of what I was looking for."

He said he believes he will fit well into coach Sean Kugler's offense.

"They run the ball a lot, so I'm a running back and I like the ball in my hands as much as possible to try to do as much as I can for my team," Dupree said.

Gilman associate head coach Henry Russell, who made the trip to El Paso with Dupree, agreed.

"Coach Kugler, as an offensive line coach, believes in power football and Antonio, that's exactly who he is," Russell said. "He's a power back that you can give the ball 30 times and he can wear out opponents. They love his size and strength and they're impressed with his leadership ability."

Dupree, a talented artist considering a major in engineering or architecture, said it's no surprise to him that his Gilman class has 10 players who plan to sign national letters of intent Wednesday to play Division I football.

"I think it's great," he said. "I think we've done our jobs to play for each other and get ourselves to where we need to be. I believe the whole team could have gone Division I in my opinion."

In addition to Dupree, Hamilton and Maddox, the Gilman Division I commits are defensive tackle Ellison Jordan (Penn State), offensive linemen Stephen Spanellis (Michigan), Wes Mehl (Navy) and Stewart Keehner (Georgetown), cornerback Korey Stevens (Villanova), wide receiver John Fitzgerald (Cornell) and linebacker Shamar Shanks (Monmouth).

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