While graduating 36 seniors leaves a huge sting on UTSA's program in regards to experience, it also opens up an abnormally large number of scholarships for the coaching to retool the roster with. Since UTSA only signed 16 athletes in 2014 they were able to sign five early-enrollees to join the program in January while retroactively counting against 2014's annual scholarship allotment. Not to be confused with the ubiquitous SEC maneuver of "over-signing", this recruiting method rewards good students by allowing to begin their college careers early while also allowing the football program to exceed the annual 25 scholarship limit. With that in mind, let's take a look at how UTSA has done recruiting at each offensive position in 2015. I'll be back with a post on the defense soon. All athletes are Texans unless otherwise noted.
Manny Harris - Copperas Cove HS (6'0", 225, 4.7)
Jaylon Henderson - Kingwood Park HS (6'2", 197, 4.81)
With Blake Bogenschutz now expected to start the next four years after being granted a medical hardship redshirt for 2014, UTSA seems to be passing on JUCO and transfer quarterbacks. I like both commitments here and Henderson brings the additional benefit of being an early enrollee and mid-year transfer. This is huge because UTSA had so few quarterbacks available last season they likely had to modify practice procedures. Henderson will be able to get a jump start on learning the offense and refining his passing mechanics this spring.
Harris is a strong-armed pocket passer that spent his high school career breaking passing records set by some guy named Robert Griffin III. Maybe UTSA fans shouldn't expect Harris to win a Heisman like RG3 did but Harris can be an elite quarterback at the CUSA level if he can match his plus arm with athleticism.
Henderson sways closer to the dual threat form of quarterback. With a long stride and eyes that stay down field, Henderson knows how to make big plays happen. There's still progress to be made in his passing game but if Henderson can't find playing time under center he could certainly move to another skill position.
Running Back: A+
D'Anthony Hopkins - Cuero HS (6'2", 220)
Jess Anders - Aledo HS (5'9", 160, 4.63)
Brett Winnegan - Dawson HS (5'9", 172, 4.49)
Corbin White - Northeast Mississippi CC (5'11", 225, 4.45)
UTSA really, really needed some running backs and boy did they find them. Hopkins is the crown jewel here in my eyes as he provides a level of physicality running the ball that few running backs outside of Alabama and LSU display. Hopkins has had a few P5 schools looking into him and there's talk of some grade issues. If Hopkins lands at UTSA I think it's likely he will play as a true freshman.
Jess Anders is a tough and explosive change-of-pace back that projects to being the type of guy that gets around ten touches per game. He'll fit in nicely to the role Brandon Armstrong carved out in the UTSA offense.
Winnegan's skill set lands in between Hopkins' and Anders' as he has the speed to play on every down but has a thicker, more college-ready frame than Anders. Winnegan had an impressive offer sheet before committing to UTSA and could also be in play to earn snaps as a freshman.
The lone JUCO back at the position, White bounced back from an early season injury in 2014 to earn an offer from the staff. A big, strong ball carrier, White will at worst provide dependable back up carries for the next two years.
Wide Receiver: C+
Peyton Hall - Brandeis HS (6'0", 179, 4.48)
Derrick Dick - A&M Consolidated HS (5'9", 173, 4.5)
Matt Guidry - Clear Springs HS (5'9", 160, 4.63)
Giving the position a C+ here but it could bump up with the late addition of a JUCO wide out. At one point UTSA had a set of wide receivers committed that would make most P5 schools jealous (Quan Shorts, Treveon Hamilton, Damion Ratley) but the Roadrunners are forced to pick up the pieces after a harsh string of decommitments.
Hall is the clear leader here. With a couple of offers from major schools, Hall elected to attend his parents' alma mater after growing up in the neighborhood surrounding campus. Hall has a quick first step and has route-running ability way beyond his years. Hall has an outside chance to break the rotation as a freshmen given the position's massive turnover from last season.
Dick and Guidry are both explosive athletes that are expected to play in the slot in college. Dick put up really gaudy stats in high school and Guidry is probably the fastest guy in the recruiting class. Look for UTSA to target another receiver in this class, preferably one over 6'0" tall.
Tight End: B
Kelvin Williams - Southwest Mississippi CC (6'4", 245, 4.8)
Tight end isn't a major need for this class but UTSA was able to help the roster with the addition of pass-catching JUCO tight end Kelvin Williams. Williams' high light film mostly shows him lined up in the slot, causing mismatches across the field. I see Williams mostly as a safety blanket for the oft-injured David Morgan.
Halen Steward - Menendez HS (FL), (5'10", 249)
While UTSA loves to use a blocking back it's never actually recruited one. Nate Shaw, the Roadrunners' fullback for the past four years, was a walk-on that played offensive guard in high school. Steward actually has experience playing fullback and at a muscular 249 pounds, he already has a perfect build for the role. With a mean streak and an understanding of pad leverage, I think Steward will be UTSA's sole fullback for the next four years and expand the production for the position in UTSA's offense well past the two carries per season Shaw provided.
Offensive Line: B-
Alex Snow - Clear Lake HS (6'3", 280)
Clayton Woods - Highland Park HS (6'3", 274, 5.2)
Shane Block - Yukon HS (OK), (6'5", 275)
Zachary Pare - Georgetown Eastview HS (6'5", 278)
I really like the four prep linemen UTSA landed in this class. In fact, if this is 4/5ths of the starting offensive line in 2019 it will probably be one of the best offensive lines in the conference. Unfortunately UTSA needs immediate help along the offensive line in 2015 and the program has failed to find an impact transfer on the offensive line, a problem that has plagued the offensive line since the program's inception.