Link Roundup – 8/1/11

Picture courtesy of UTSA Athletics

Dan McCarney – The Dawn of UTSA football approaches [mySA.com]


We got our first post-WAC media day check-in from dear friend Dan McCarney over at the Express News UTSA sports blog. Dan points out the general sense of optimism from WAC officials in Las Vegas, the uphill battle administration faces in raising funds for D1 caliber football facilities, and touches on upcoming position battles afoot.

On the more practical matters, specifically UTSA’s first season, which will get underway on Sunday with the first official workout.
The Roadrunners are expecting 90 players to report on Friday. The vast majority of this year’s signing class have already been on campus with summer school, with the only absences being Madison RB Troy Williams (academics, legal issues) and Brenham DB Desmon Mathis (academics).
It’s the first of nine scheduled practices — all of which will be closed to the public and media, save the first 30 minutes — before the first game on Sept. 3, against Northeastern St.
Media day is next Tuesday, but considering how drastically the team is going to change with the influx of new players, I’m probably going to wait for a week or two before providing any significant preview material.
There are a handful of guys you can pretty safely pencil in for starting positions barring injury — players like QB Eric Soza, LB Steven Kurfehs and DB Mark Waters — but otherwise, I expect things will be fairly wide open.
As such, those position battles will even more notable than they would on a more established team. That should make for an interesting camp.

Wasn’t aware that Desmon Mathis didn’t qualify. Big loss from a talent perspective, but Coach Neathery has a swarm of stud secondary players to work with. Hopefully Desmon was able to get some work done in community college this summer and will be good to go for the fall. For those that hadn’t heard, Troy Williams is currently facing sexual assault charges. I think the story sounds fishy so I’m going to reserve judgement until Troy has his day in court. Actually, I don’t really care since it’s safe to say he’s DOA at UTSA. Yet again, a big loss in talent at a position the Runners are thankfully stacked at. These two hombres are case exhibit 1.0 as to why college football fans must curb their excitement when a 17 year old kids decides to play ball at your university of choice.

As far as position battles go, I’ve got my eye on Blake Terry vs. Brandon Reeves for the second linebacker spot. Reeves brings some valuable experience from his JUCO days in SoCal, while Blake is a high-ceiling athlete and extremely motivated. Reeves didn’t do too much during this year’s spring game, but it’s hard to fault a guy that only had a few weeks of practice with the current regime. Some more promising battles are Josiah Monroe vs. Kam Jones at slot receiver and the two defensive end spots. I really like Jason Neill as a true freshman– great frame and a nose for the ball. Kristian Bryant has a very high ceiling, while Marlon Smith showed great improvement throughout the past year. Ole Miss transfer Lekenwic Haynes will man one of the slots if he is not used as a Super Strong Safety in the 4-2-5. It’s nice to have choices.

Tyler Mayforth –  The WAC’s Future Salvation [San Marcos Daily Record]

Texas State and UTSA will save the Western Athletic Conference.

Think about it: What does the WAC need other than two football-playing schools?

Here’s a hint — it’s called a rivalry.

Right now, every other conference in the Football Bowl Subdivision has one.

cont.

In 335 days, the WAC will finally have two schools that are developing animosity for each other join its ranks. The Bobcats and Roadrunners can’t wait to get on the field with each other.


“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione said, downplaying his seething hatred for all things UTSA. “From what I watched during basketball season, this rivalry can get testy and adding football can only make it better.” 

Some good thoughts here from Texas State’s resident beat writer, Tyler Mayforth. I’m glad he’s starting to ditch his previously held pessimism regarding the WAC. This conference still has plenty of life and equity, despite however ugly 2012 might be. Rivalries are an excellent way to generate interest from fringe fans and instill pride in students. Ain’t nothing more American than hatin’ on the guy next to you. The I-35 rivalry is already a very good rivalry. I once watched Rowdy dip a bobcat doll in fake blood then rip it apart in front of the UTSA student section at a freaking volleyball game. Football is going to take this to whole new paradigms. I’ve already heard a lot of people with no connections to UTSA or State express interest in attending the first I-35 game in the Alamodome next year which is GREAT for both schools. I just hope ESPN picks it up.

Darrell Williams – Projected 2011 Two-Deep Roster [utsafootball.wordpress.com]

Roster projections are next to impossible for UTSA right now. So many moving parts and an infinitely small sample size to draw from. Check out Darrell’s projections and let him know what you think, but don’t be an anonymous ass wipe like “nobody” and bash him without offering up any alternatives, kapish? A few of my thoughts– I have Josiah Monroe returning kicks and punts, Brandon Armstrong is definitely option #2 though. Have a feeling that Jason Neill is going to get a lot more burn this year than most are expecting. Darrell didn’t even list him in his top four for D Ends. While Nielsen and Kazen are sure-fire tight ends, I think David Morgan is going to make some big catches when Coach Bush throws out a spread offense. I guess he technically wouldn’t be a tight end in that situation though, huh? Charting out the offense and defense likes this really hammers home just how thin the Runners are going to be for the next two years. Keep the voodoo dolls on the shelf because injuries could decimate this team in a week’s time.

UTSATailgaters – BREAKING NEWS!! UTSA vs UTEP (b-ball) [UTSATailgaters.com]
Really dig this. Always good to establish rivalries with fellow UT system schools. UTEP fans pack their stadium and it should be a great game considering how similar the two schools’ seasons were last year. Thought about making the road trip but… yeah.

Oddities

I can’t remember where I read this and my Google-fu is failing me, but I believe Football jerseys are being officially revealed on August 3rd. Don’t quote me on that though.


Edit: Thanks Darrell, you’re the man.

Episode 4 of “Birth of a Program” was the best in the series so far. Loved the music choices- Kid Cudi, Phoenix, etc. I’ve been really surprised at how often Fox Sports Southwest has been showing the program, ratings must be fairly decent. Incredible tool for UTSA. Can’t wait to see the show continue to develop and improve with episode 5.

If you haven’t heard already, UTSA landed a huge pick up in Ashaad Mabry recently. Mabry could be a game changer for the defense. Might do a full post on this at some point in time. Hat tip to Darrell at utsafootball.wordpress.com (Bookmark his site, dammit).

About jared

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