Banyard begins NFL minicamp with Jags today
Joe Banyard — a former Sweetwater High School athlete who spent his last two collegiate seasons as a star running back at the University of Texas-El Paso — is scheduled to be in Jacksonville, Fla. today to begin a three-day NFL rookie minicamp after signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent.Banyard is one of the team’s 17 undrafted rookie free agents, which include LSU defensive end Kendrick Adams, Ohio State center Mike Brewster and Virginia Tech receiver Jarrett Boykin. Also signed were Banyard’s UTEP teammate Antwon Blake, Northern Colorado offensive tackle Lee Barbiasz, Bethune-Cookman defensive end Ryan Davis, Langston cornerback Antonio Dennard, Florida A&M receiver Kevin Elliott, Texas State guard D.J. Hall Jr., Murray State cornerback Dontrel Johnson, Western Michigan defensive tackle Drew Nowak, UCLA receiver Nelson Rosario, Cincinnati linebacker J.K. Schaffer, Wagner linebacker Julian Stanford, Memphis defensive end Frank Trotter and North Dakota tight end Matt Veldman.Banyard committed to play for Texas Christian Uni-versity after his SHS graduation in 2007, but he wound up playing for UTEP in 2010 and 2011. He finished his career by rushing for 1,440 yards on 236 carries, while averaging 6.1 yards per carry with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 176 yards.