2014 Spring Game – What to Watch
Hello dear readers. This Saturday marks the end of UTSA’s spring campaign and my last game as a student (*tear*). While fans generally have a good idea of what to expect from UTSA in 2014, here are a few players I recommend keeping an eye on at the spring game:
1. Jason Neill – Jason has dominated all spring after recovering from a severe knee injury in the first game of the 2013 season. I have been extremely impressed with how quick Neill has looked despite suffering a devastating knee injury just months ago. Jason is reportedly the strongest man on the team so you can imagine how hard he is to block. Look for Neill to be in the backfield all afternoon on Saturday.
2. Tank O’Neal – The athletic freshman linebacker has shown steady progression throughout his first spring, impressing the coaches and pundits with his ability to learn the defense and make plays. I expect O’Neal to receive a good number of snaps this season in order to prepare him to take the reins after Terry and Jeters graduate. O’Neal has the raw athleticism to be the program’s best linebacker since Steven Kurfehs.
3. Jarveon Williams – With Evans Okotcha graduating, UTSA is really going to need another running back to give David Glasco a break whenever he gets gassed. The top option to get those 10-15 carries per game is sophomore Jarveon Williams who opened eyes in his freshman campaign with his speed and shiftiness. Williams is still learning the running back position and struggled with consistency and ball security last season. It seems like this spring has been more of the same for Jarveon. A solid performance in the spring game could provide a nice confidence boost for Williams as he heads into summer workouts, as he is a guy that needs to be ready to roll come August.
4. Tucker Carter – The QB1 has really alleviated fears with a wildly impressive spring campaign. Carter has proven his worth as a leader and quarterback. Fans that haven’t had the chance to watch Tucker operate under center yet will be impressed by his arm strength and pocket presence on Saturday. The coaching staff should let Carter air out a few throws in the spring game which should be a real treat to the fans after sitting through three years of check-down passing.
5. Chase Dahlquist – It’s no secret that UTSA has struggled to establish consistency at the Rover safety position. With an injury to Brian King keeping him out of spring ball, Chase Dahlquist hopes to address those concerns by cementing himself as a true sophomore starter. Chase will have to fend off competition from veteran Mauricio Sanchez who has put on a considerable amount of muscle and seems to be fully healthy for the first time since his freshman year. I don’t think this is a position battled that will be fully settled after the spring game.
But most importantly, be sure to keep an eye on the recruits in attendance. According to a list available on Inside UTSA, there will be at least 40 recruits from the 2015, 2016, and 2017 classes in attendance at the Alamodome. At least seven quarterbacks will be in attendance, including top target Manny Harris and a personal favorite of mine in Jaylon Henderson. Don’t be surprised to see several “#BirdsUp” tweets go flying out come Saturday evening.
Tailgating note: TailgateSA will be present at the spring game by around 10 am. Since Lot C is closed and Lot B will be used for Fiesta Carnival parking the party will be in Lot A this time. Parking is $10 and alcohol is BYOCB (bring your own craft beer). Come hang out and be sure to check TailgateSA’s twitter for updates.
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