UTSA's topsy-turvy 2016 continues to shell out pleasant surprises. The latest is the addition of the program's very first four-star recruit, Jaquelle Green, from Biloxi, Mississippi. A standout safety at D'Iberville High School, Green ranked #30 among the nation's best safeties on ESPN's Top 300, and the third-best safety in the state according to Scout.
Originally recruited by former-Southern Miss secondary and safeties coach Pete Golding, Green accumulated offers from six different SEC schools and made a verbal commitment to the ACC's Louisville in September 2015. However, Green never actually visited the campus and Terrell Buckley, who recruited him to the school, left Louisville for Mississippi State. Also because Green's exceptional play on the field hasn't transferred over to the classroom, the two more or less backed off of one another.
Golding, now UTSA's defensive coordinator under Frank Wilson's revamped staff, convinced Green to come up to San Antonio and visit the campus. Obviously it went well, and here's how Green described the trip to Patrick Ochs of the Sun Herald.
"When Golding went over there he brought (UTSA) to eveyrone's attention here on the Coast," Green said. "(The visit) was great. It was right in the city. The campus is great. The academics are great. We really didn't expect that."
Green said he has confidence in Wilson, who was LSU's recruiting coordinator.
"Coach Frank is a good guy. There's a lot of confidence around him there," Green said. "They feel like he's going to turn the thing around and he's one of the best recruiters in the nation."
Wednesday morning the safety made his decision and signed with the Roadrunners. He stands at 6'1", 195 pounds, and runs the 40 in 4.58 seconds.
Playing both sides of the ball in high school, Green was a stud on both offense and defense, but is projected to be safety at the collegiate level. As a sophomore, Green intercepted eight passes and returned four of them for touchdowns. He intercepted three passes as junior and recorded 25 tackles. In his first four games as a senior he recorded 15 tackles, two fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble.
A monumental landing for UTSA as the program graduated top safeties Mauricio Sanchez and Duke Wheeler this year. Green is just what the Roadrunners needed. Now, the Roadrunner Faithful need to keep their fingers crossed as Green must qualify academically over the summer or he'll be sent to JUCO for two years. Not that it's unlikely, but it will be an uphill climb for him in the classroom this offseason.