120 Players To Know - UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe
UTEP QB Trevor Vitattoe
UTEP QB Trevor Vitattoe
Posted Mar 10, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe.

120 Players You Need To Know

UTEP QB Trevor Vittatoe

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Trevor Vittatoe? … In two years, Vittatoe has evolved into the face of the UTEP program. More than just a skilled passer with 33 touchdowns a year ago, he’s also the undisputed offensive leader and the best chance the Miners have of snapping their streak of three straight losing seasons. He’s earned his teammates’ respect by never giving up on a play, a game, or a season. And when things really start to get chaotic on the field, he’s in complete control of his team and his emotions. Vittatoe was actually a better basketball player for much of his youth before concentrating solely on football as a high school sophomore. Still, the college offers didn’t flow his way, largely because his high school team rarely threw the ball. He originally committed to Texas State and David Bailiff, but one look at the Bobcats’ stadium left him a little underwhelmed. That wasn’t a problem in El Paso, where the Sun Bowl met his need to play in front of large audiences, and the staff made him feel as if he wasn’t so far from home. The Miners liked Vittatoe at the time. Today, they couldn’t imagine living without him at the controls.     

Vittatoe’s best game so far was … Tulsa two years ago. Even in just the sixth game of his career, you could see that Vittatoe was going to be special. A redshirt freshman at the time, he brought the Miners back from behind in a thrilling 48-47 win, going 21-of-27 for 319 yards, three touchdowns, and one Conference USA Player of the Week award.

Why you should care about Trevor Vittatoe? … Alongside Houston’s Case Keenum, Vittatoe enters 2009 as one of Conference USA’s premier quarterbacks. He’s a great fit for Mike Price’s offense and a prolific passer, who has already thrown 58 touchdown passes in his first two years on campus. With top receivers Kris Adams, Jeff Moturi, and Tufick Shadrawy back together for another year, there’s no telling how good Vittatoe might be this fall.

Positives about Trevor Vittatoe … In terms of confidence, poise, and leadership ability, Vittatoe is exactly what any coach looks for in a quarterback. He’s the guy in charge in the huddle, raising his voice when his teammates need a lift or telling a joke when they need to lighten up. He’s forever positive, and at his best late in tight games. He has a firm grip on the Miner offense, and a lighting-quick release when his protection begins to break down.

Negatives about Trevor Vittatoe … Even one of the league’s top returning quarterbacks has work to do in the offseason. Vittatoe is constantly trying to improve his accuracy and get better at the little things, like his footwork when dropping back to throw. While he has good arm strength, he won’t be confused in that area with predecessor Jordan Palmer, who was better equipped to stretch a secondary.

A cool thing about Trevor Vittatoe you probably didn’t know … If you want to make a good first impression with Vittatoe, make sure you floss regularly and brush three times a day. Teeth are the first things he looks at when meeting someone, and he strongly considered dental school before learning UTEP didn’t offer a program. He has a great set of chompers, by the way, and used to get as many as eight cleanings a year before settling down in El Paso.   

Career Statistics
2007: 224-of-407 for 3,101 yards, 25 touchdowns, and seven interceptions
2008: 246-of-418 for 3,274 yards, 33 touchdowns, and nine interceptions

Statistics, information and photo provided by the UTEP sports information department