Welcome to the new normal in college football recruiting. This morning young men across the nation faxed and emailed in their national letters of intent, binding them to their prospective university of choice. While the majority of signings have already happened today, prospects will be able to sign with schools until December 22nd, and then once again from February 7th until April 1st.
The UTSA Roadrunners did a good job of convincing their commitments to cement their relationship with UTSA as the overwhelming majority of the 2018 recruiting class is now signed and sealed with 19 guys sending their letters in this morning.
It was a very smooth recruiting class for UTSA. The only players to decommit from the class did not pick up any other FBS offers afterwards which suggests they may have been nudged out by UTSA’s staff.
As of now UTSA stands at fourth in C-USA recruiting rankings in an exceptionally strong year for the conference in recruiting. 16 of UTSA’s 19 signees are rated as three-star prospects in the 247 Composite rankings.
While UTSA will still have a few scholarships available to use before this class is wrapped up, let’s take a look at each player that sent in their letter of intent today.
Peter Gray - DE/LB
Tupelo High (MS), 6’3”, 235 lbs.
My personal favorite recruit in this class so far, Gray has all the tools and instincts needed to make things happen at the next level. He has an ideal frame, terrific football instincts, and can play multiple positions. I see him eventually settling in at weak-side defensive end. Gray totaled 12 offers from G5 schools after posting 56 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, and four interceptions this season.
Sheldon “Sticks” Jones - WR
Easton HS (LA), 5’9”, 165 lbs.
One of UTSA’s first commitments in this class, Jones shut down his recruiting early despite his profile rising after dominating the Louisiana seven-on-seven and summer camp circuit in the offseason. “Sticks” is a small guy but I think he could play early in the slot given UTSA’s razor thin depth chart there.
Andrew McGowan - WR
Sinton HS (TX), 6’3”, 195 lbs.
A three-star recruit out of south Texas, McGowan chose the Roadrunners over Army and Texas State. While McGowan is a big body at 6’3”, he also has serious athletic ability. Look no further than his 51.54 second 400 meter time as proof. McGowan plans to enroll early at UTSA in order to join the team for spring practice.
Spencer Burford-Watts - OL
Wagner HS (TX), 6’3”, 290 lbs.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Burford-Watts is the most under-rated recruit in this class. While Burford-Watts picked up Power Five offers from Kansas and Texas Tech, he was never granted a third star by the recruiting services. Burford-Watts is a nasty bully of a blocker and looks pretty ready to step in and play as a freshman.
Kelechi Nwachuku - Safety
McAllen Memorial HS (TX), 5’11”, 190 lbs.
Nwachuku put up some crazy numbers in his senior season, drawing the attention of Army, ULM, and Rice who was rumored to have made a strong push in an attempt to flip Nwachuku last week. He projects as a future starter at free safety for UTSA.
Terrell Haynes - OL/DL
Seguin Arlington (TX), 6’3”, 285 lbs.
A very athletic big man, Haynes will get a shot on both sides of the ball to start his career. I see him ultimately settling in at guard after he packs on some pounds but he could also be a great option as a pass rushing defensive tackle.
Zachary Gilson - DE
Sachse HS (TX), 6’4”, 230 lbs.
Gilson is the type of high-ceiling athlete that defensive line coaches love to take under their wing. While Gilson didn’t light up the stat sheet through his prep career his potential enticed Louisiana Tech and Tulsa to extend an offer alongside UTSA. Gilson could grow into a nice pass rushing threat on the edge if the collegiate weight program treats him right.
Brandon Matterson - DE
Brandeis HS (TX), 6’2”, 300 lbs.
UTSA defensive line coach Bo Davis hand selected Matterson in one of Davis’ first offers to be extended after joining the program. Matterson has a very thick muscular frame that packs on 300 pounds pretty well. If Matterson can maintain the quickness he’s shown in his highlights then he’ll be a good fit as a defensive tackle.
TJ King - DE
Fort Scott CC (KS), 6’3”, 245 lbs.
He’s baaaack! After a one year hiatus (no clue why) King has returned to the UTSA football program. He’s grown to a hefty 245 pounds after spending a year at a community college in Kansas. King’s JUCO film doesn’t show a ton of big plays but he did play good football for UTSA his freshman year.
La’Thaniel Washington - WR
Del Valle HS (TX), 6’1”, 185 lbs.
Another tall receiver, Washington chose UTSA over offers from New Mexico, New Mexico State, and a few FCS schools. Washington was a first team all-district selection at both WR and safety and showcased an ability to go up high and come down with contested catches in his senior film.
Corey Mayfield Jr. - CB
North Forney High (TX), 5’11”, 195 lbs.
The son of former NFL lineman Corey Mayfield, Corey is a fantastic athlete that projects as either a cornerback or safety at the next level. He has a tenacity to deliver hard hits on the sideline and can make plays against the run on defense. Mayfield Jr. was highly recruited, choosing the Roadrunners over Army, Colorado State, Minnesota, New Mexico State, Texas State, and Texas Tech.
Jarrett Preston - LB
Ridge Point HS (TX), 5’11”, 205 lbs.
Preston is a very intriguing prospect. Selected as a first team all-district selection at free safety in high school, Preston will be moving down into the tackle box as a linebacker at UTSA. There’s always going to be concern with linebackers under 6’0” tall being able to get off of blocks but Preston will probably be the fastest linebacker UTSA has ever signed. I like him best as a safety/linebacker hybrid ala Michael Egwuagu.
Lorenzo Dantzler - DE
East Mississippi CC (MS), 6’2”, 245 lbs.
One of the most integral pieces of this class, Dantzler will be expected to step in immediately and fill Marcus Davenport’s role in the UTSA defense. Dantzler will be able to join the team for spring practice which will be a big help. Dantzler left Southern Miss for East Mississippi where he would win a national championship while picking up offers from Colorado, Troy, and FAU while playing at “Last Chance U”.
Tykee Ogle-Kellogg - WR
Alcoa HS (TN), 6’4”, 195 lbs.
Ah, the wildcard in UTSA’s recruiting class. Ogle-Kellogg was awarded Tennessee Class 3A Mr. Football honors after his junior season in which he caught 39 passes for 808 yards and 12 touchdowns. Despite the highly successful junior season, Ogle-Kellogg did not play his senior season after being kicked off the team due to a violation of team rules.
Ogle-Kellogg is expected to enroll early at UTSA. If he’s able to do so and has his act together it seems like a safe bet for him to see some playing time as a true freshman as he was talented enough to pick up 10 Power Five scholarship offers after his junior season. Ogle-Kellogg will be UTSA’s highest rated player to ever suit up per the 247 composite rankings.
Trumane Bell - DE/LB
Lake Highlands HS (TX), 6’1”, 230 lbs.
Dare I say that Trumane Bell is the most explosive defensive player UTSA has signed since Josiah Tauaefa? Bell looks like he was shot out of a cannon on every snap and can sneak through the passing pocket to get to the quarterback with both speed and finesse. It sounds like he’ll start out as a linebacker at UTSA but he could also play with his hand in the ground down the road.
Kevin Nelson - DT
Arlington Heights HS (TX), 6’2”, 285 lbs.
A large and strong defensive tackle, Nelson also had the lateral speed to play defensive end for his high school squad. Another three star talent, Nelson had an impressive offer list of Arizona State, Colorado State, and San Diego State. Nelson has some work to do from a technique standpoint but his potential is enticing.
Jalyn Galmore - OL
Itawamba CC (MS), 6’5”, 290 lbs.
An early-enrollee JUCO transfer, Galmore will have ample opportunity to work his way into the starting offensive line by the time September rolls around. Galmore played at left tackle in JUCO but I like him better as an offensive guard prospect. His film is mostly pass blocking but on the rare chance when he really gets to fire out of his stance you can see him swallow up defensive linemen.
Treyvion Shannon - OL
Gulf Coast CC (MS), 6’5”, 305 lbs.
Galmore’s counterpart is fellow JUCO transfer and early enrollee, Treyvion Shannon. The former Gulf Coast Community College standout will compete at both tackle and guard this spring. I think he’s a little bit more likely to land at offensive tackle than Shannon but given what UTSA is bringing back next year it seems likely both play guard. Shannon can dunk a basketball at 305 pounds which seems to be all you need to know about his athletic ability.
Jordan Weeks - QB
Wimberley HS (TX), 6’3”, 220 lbs.
UTSA had to search far and wide for a good option at quarterback and their patience paid off after Weeks had a monster senior season that’s a little hard to comprehend. Weeks wasn’t on anyone’s radar before the season and was committed to Texas State to play baseball. 4,411 passing yards and 52 passing touchdowns later, Weeks committed to UTSA for football before even visiting campus. Weeks has the strongest arm of any quarterback UTSA has ever signed so it will be interesting to see how his arm talent translates at the next level.
The Roadrunners still have four scholarships available to use through the remaining signing period which ends on the 22nd. After a dead period for the holidays, recruiting will pick back up with a visitation period through January. Be sure to keep an eye on the kids UTSA brings in for visits here as they’ll be the main targets for the last signing period which runs from February 7th to April 1st.
UTSA still needs to fill a few key roster spots. Most pressing, in my opinion, is that of running back. Commitment Alex Jacobs is not anticipated to sign with UTSA so a running back is a clear need here. With local standout Brenden Brady opting out of signing with Rice I would expect UTSA to put a full-court press on securing his signature.
Cornerback and wide receiver could use some transfer help to add experience to the positions. UTSA recently offered a JUCO wide out and I would expect a few more to go out soon. Tight end is also an area of concern. I’ve heard junior tight end Robert Ursua will not be returning next year which would leave UTSA with just true sophomore Chance McLeod and redshirt sophomore Michael Goff as scholarship players at the position next year.
We’ll be sure to keep our ear to the ground for any additional signings. Be sure to check back for updates as they’re available. In the meantime be sure to hop into the comments section and let us know which future Roadrunners you’re most excited about.