KENNEDALE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – As Quardraiz Wadley works out at his high school alma mater, he knows when he returns to the University of Texas at El Paso that the hopes and dreams of the Miners this season will rest squarely on his shoulder.

“I just have to keep everyone in a positive mindset. I have to tell my guys. Stay together and don’t get divided,” Wadley said.

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Kennedale coach Richard Barrett says he remembers when Wadley played for him and the same thing that made him the 4A player of the year is the same thing he possesses. “He has a purpose and he’s passionate and when you have those kinds of things,” Barrett said. “The skies the limit.”

Entering his senior season at UTEP, Wadley will switch from jersey #4 to jersey #2 — the number Luke Laufenberg wore at UTEP before he passed away after a heroic battle with cancer in August 2019.

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Miners coach Dana Dimel says they “give it to the players that exemplify the same characteristics of leadership and and being a great teammate that Luke brought to our football program.”

Luke’s father, Babe Laufenberg, says, “The ancient Egyptians believed that if you say a man’s name, he is still alive. And my hope is that if you were the number, he still alive, or at least he’s going to live through the players that you tap that come along and wear the number two.”

UTEP running back Quardraiz Wadley and Babe Laufenberg

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Missing all of last season with a devastating foot injury, Wadley knows this season is his last chance to impress the NFL scouts. It’s also a chance to make good on a season where he’s playing for a lot more than himself.