Fresh off a strong 7-5 season, UTSA won't need to replace many starters in 2014. While the roster is mostly as expected, new names are sure to pop up, whether it be thanks to new opportunities, a return from injury, or the addition of eligibility. Here are five guys that I think Conference USA fans will learn to hate in 2014. Be sure to drop your breakout candidates in the comments section.
Farewell to the days of all-everything quarterback Eric Soza. The guy was pretty good at football. Carter certainly isn't as nimble as Soza was but with a strong arm and plenty of familiarity with the offense, Carter will be a great quarterback on his own accord. The 6'3", 220 pound senior lead Allen to a 5A Texas High School State Championship after starter and TCU signee Matt Brown went down with a season-ending injury. Carter ended up signing with Trinity Valley, a JUCO program in east Texas, where he would post gaudy numbers en route to earning 2011 Southwest Junior College Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.
UTSA's stout defensive front will get even stronger in 2014 as Jason Neill returns to the program after suffering a torn ACL against New Mexico last season. Neill performed well as a freshman and sophomore and is finally healthy and stronger than ever. A former prep quarterback, Neill has bulked up to a rock solid 6'2", 260 pounds while still maintaining twitchy quickness. Jason proved to UTSA fans and coaches that he was finally ready to realize his potential by terrorizing offensive tackles and quarterbacks during spring practices this year.
Williams was a nice little recruiting win for UTSA as the Roadrunners were able to pry him away from offers at Northwestern, Rice, FAU, and Texas State. A dynamic athlete, Jarveon has only been playing running back for two years. One of the few true freshmen to see playing time last season, Williams showed flashes of brilliance while also struggling with consistency and ball control. With fellow running backs Jalen Rhodes and Brian Vaughn out indefinitely due to injury, Williams will need to fine tune his game in order to ease the loss of former UTSA back Evans Okotcha.
The Roadrunners will have to replace another entrenched starter in Hawk linebacker Steven Kurfehs. With similar play styles and speed, Jeters should be a great fit to replace the accomplished Kurfehs. Coker has raved about Jeters' agility, calling him one of the fastest players on the defense. At 235 pounds, it's a little hard to believe that Jeters runs the 4.4 second 40 yard dash that Coker claims he does but it's still a promising sign for fans that are anxious about replacing Kurfehs. Jeters saw limited time in 2013, totaling 29 tackles through 12 games.
Between Bennett Okotcha and Crosby Adams, the starters at cornerback are all but decided. Fortunately for Air Force transfer Fred Blow, UTSA often trots out a third cornerback in a nickle look to play in the slot against spread offenses. Blow could flourish in this role as he displayed impressive technique and physicality in his first spring season this year.