Backed into a Corner
As previously rumored, four cornerbacks have been dismissed from the team: Erik Brown, Maurice Poullard, Ja’Len James, and Tre Rosser. While Coach Coker has declined comment, you can view the campus police blotter here to make an educated guess at what could have happened. Since judicial affairs is rumored to have been involved, we can rest assured that police intervention most likely occurred. Back to football. Losing Erik Brown could end up being the focal point of this offseason, just as the loss of Marlon Smith was pivotal in 2011. It was not a loss that UTSA recovered from, as the defensive line failed to generate a pass rush against the more talented and experienced squads they faced. I think losing Brown will have similarly disastrous results for the cornerback position as the two young players most likely to lessen the impact of Brown’s dismissal are also heading right out the door alongside him.
Ja’Len James was cast as the fastest dude in the team, supposedly clocking a 4.3 second 40. He was small but stupid quick. His development into a shutdown corner was an unlikely one. Maurice Poullard was a JUCO guy that never ended up doing what JUCO guys are supposed to do– contribute immediately. On the flip side, he was instrumental to UTSA landing stud safety Tevin Broussard. The last loss is, in my opinion, the second worst after Brown. Tre Rosser was primed to be a stud cornerback. He had the size, speed, and was a former quarterback, providing him great instincts in the passing game. Rosser had originally committed to Kansas before Charlie Weis stepped in. After redshirting in 2012, I fully anticipated Rosser to see significant playing time as a freshman in 2013 and develop into an all-CUSA type player.
The bright side to this attrition, as always, is that it usually leads to a bump in recruiting as talented athletes know that their path to starting is relatively easy compared to at other schools where older players may block opportunities. Three star cornerback Chad Davis currently has UNT and Tulsa ahead of UTSA but is said to be looking for a place to contribute early. UTSA has outrecruited UNT and Tulsa in the past and within this very class; there’s no good reason to expect them to not be able to do it again. Additionally, two JUCO corners were on campus for visits this past weekend and both came away impressed(Jarrius James and Andre Brown) . I think Brown is a given and James is a good possibility. Signing two JUCO corners will definitely work wonders to help mend this currently depth-less position of weakness for the Roadrunners.
Sidebar: Names like Sean Hesler and Brain Vaugh have been tossed around as possible position changes. I think Hesler could be a good option but worry about his lateral movement coming off knee surgery.
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