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Martin, Sparks honored while Cooper and Barfield lead NCAA D1 Football in Interceptions

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Over the years we've seen countless high school football players shine on Friday nights here in the Borderland. This year we're seeing plenty of those players do the exact same thing at the next level and make a name for themselves and El Paso.

Canutillo grad LJ Martin scored his first and second touchdown for BYU on Saturday in the Cougars 38-31 win over Arkansas. On Monday that saw the former Eagle dubbed as freshman focus honoree by the Football Writers Association.

Martin right now leads BYU in rushing yards with 195-yards of 45 attempts. He also has 16-yards from three receptions. He and the Cougars play at Kansas on Saturday.

Martin's fellow class of 2023 grad in Franklin's Beau Smith was also honored Monday. The former Cougar was named Freshman of the week by the Division 1 FCS United Athletic Conference after he gained 87-yards off 7 receptions in Utah Tech's 50-36 win over Northern Arizona. Utah Tech play at Missouri State on Saturday.

Meanwhile Andress grad Jeremiah Cooper and El Dorado grad Cedarious Barfield lead all of NCAA Division 1 FBS football in interceptions. The pair of El Pasoans, who used to light up the Borderland football fields, each have three interceptions on the year.

Cooper also has 14 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Barfield on top of his three INTs, has 17 tackles and one pass breakup on the season.

Cooper and Iowa State play Oklahoma State on Saturday while Barfield and San Diego State play Boise State on Friday.

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Rachel Phillips


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