2014 Commit(s) #4(Again) and #5
Whew, a lot to catch up on here. I know I’m terribly late to the party on these two as they both committed two weeks ago but I know a lot of folks out there depend on free sites like these to receive UTSA recruiting coverage. Glad you’re here! Coffee and name tags are on the table.
As noted in the post’s title, UTSA has already suffered attrition in the 2014 class. The first commit of the cycle, Greg Kelley was arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a child. We briefly spoke about Kelley’s arrest in a previous podcast, but I’d prefer to keep my mouth shut on the topic until the young man has his day in court. Obviously these accusations will follow him for life regardless of the actuality of guilt. Anyways, Coach Coker wisely decided to part ways with Kelley. In what may be a future post, there are still plenty of great strong safeties available in Texas. Whoever UTSA ends up with likely won’t be as hotly recruited or regionally regarded as Kelley but there’s hope to be had.
Moving along, the coaching staff was able to pull off a rare package deal for a promising duo of out-of-state athletes. Both commitments come at key positions of need for the Roadrunners in the 2014 class.
First up is Cameron Oliver, a bruising tight end that excels as a down-field blocker. Oliver’s highlights feature many clips of Cameron engaging multiple defenders, often covering several yards of open space to deliver blocks to separate defenders. Despite his plus size, Oliver doesn’t deliver his blocks with overwhelming force, instead using his hands and feet to seal off defenders, ensuring clear rushing lanes for ballcarriers. As Oliver works his way through a collegiate strength program he should progress as a blocker on the edge. Tight ends coach Charlie Reeve will also make sure Cameron bends his knees appropriately and keeps his legs moving throughout the duration of his blocks. With that knowledge and two to three years in the weight room Cameron should become a pancaking-machine.
Although his forte is blocking, Oliver is also a reliable receiver. With solid hands and a knack for finding open space in coverage, Oliver provided a nice safety net for his quarterback whenever he wasn’t able to reach UTSA’s other latest commit. Oliver is certainly not a pristine route runner, but neither was Cole Hubble when he first made the switch over to the tight end position. That worked out okay. Expect Jeremiah Moeller type production out of Oliver once he cracks the depth chart. Certainly not a bad thing, as Moeller has progressed fantastically as a receiver the past two years and may receive some NFL interest once that day approaches.
Oliver’s film also shows him taking snaps from the H-Back position but I doubt we see him used in that type of role at UTSA. To sum things up, UTSA did a fantastic job of meeting demands at the tight end position in the 2014 class. As Oliver progresses throughout the program he will provide excellent versatility and depth. Cameron chose UTSA over reported offers from ULM, New Mexico, Ohio, and Rutgers, per Rivals.
Oliver’s teammate John Cole Neph will be an interesting prospect to watch develop. At 6’5″ and 205 pounds, Neph certainly has the measurables of a BCS talent at wideout with a Kansas State offer to show for it. While Neph had previously admitted to heavily favoring the Wildcats, he elected to play college ball in San Antonio with his teammate and best friend. Neph is a guy that would probably have 10-15 offers if he ran a 4.5 second 40 yard dash instead of a 4.7 one. Despite his relatively slow speed, Neph is so talented at simply getting open that his lack of speed merely prevents him from extending plays after the catch. Whether that remains to be true at the collegiate level remains to be seen, but with Neph’s size advantage over 99% of the defenders he will face I think he’ll be able to compensate.
An advanced route runner, Neph is brilliant with his hands, not only when catching passes, but also when shedding press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Neph’s Hudl displays his superb reception skills and boundary awareness. The damage that Neph could do with a Division I quarterback throwing at him is scary and exciting, especially if said quarterback (Zach Conque) happens to be 6’4″+ himself.
Neph will see the field at a young age. While UTSA only has one senior at wide receiver this year, only four scholarship receivers will be left on the roster after Neph’s first year of eligibility and two of them have never caught a pass as a Roadrunner. UTSA has really struck gold at receiver the past two years, as Aron Taylor and John Cole Neph are the type of savvy receivers that can make a quarterback’s life easy. Having faith in your receiver’s route-running precision allows quarterbacks to semi-safely chunk up passes under duress and lead passes to receivers, allowing them to evade coverage.
With such a large group of receivers leaving the program in 2014, UTSA will likely end up taking two more receivers in this class. Neph is quite a foundation to build off of. If Coker is able to pull off yet another combo package and land Blake Bogenschutz’s primary target at Carthage in Terian Goree I might jump through a roof. After that the class would just need a shifty slot receiver with speed to kill.
By the way, my prediction for UTSA’s next commitment? Beaumont Ozen defensive end Myle Mouton. I’ll call my shot and say he commits in two weeks. Birds up.
2014 UTSA Commitments
Blake Bogenschutz QB – Carthage HS (6’0”, 175, 4.64)
Tank Kelly ATH – Galena Park HS (5’10”, 180, 4.46)
Kevin Strong DT – Cleveland HS (6’2”, 280, 5.1)
Cameron Oliver TE – Owasso (OK) (6’4”, 235)
John Cole Neph WR – Owasso (OK) (6’5”, 205, 4.73)
A UTSA alumnus that has been cast away to Austin, Jared enjoys live music and a craft beer. He thinks four verts is the best play in football but loves a QB sneak on fourth and inches. Twitter