When UTSA made the tough decision to part ways Larry Coker they knew they needed to find a coach that could make a serious splash on the recruiting trail. Fast forward 13 months and the UTSA administration has been rewarded for their gamble with one of the top recruiting class in Conference USA. Featuring 14 three-star recruits out of a total of 21 signees, the group is easily the Roadrunners’ best class in program history. The Roadrunners were able to repeatedly sway recruits with Power Five scholarship offers thanks to head coach Frank Wilson and his staff’s ability to nurture meaningful relationships with recruits and their families.
UTSA 2017 Recruiting Class
|Name||Position||Height||Weight||Previous School||247 Composite|
|Name||Position||Height||Weight||Previous School||247 Composite|
|Josh Dunlop*||OT||6'7"||305||Dodge City CC (KS)||⭐⭐|
|Robert Ursua*||TE||6'3"||230||Palomar College (CA)||⭐⭐|
|Samuel Barnes||CB||6'1"||194||George Ranch (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Tay'lor Perry||CB||5'10"||180||Crosby (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Frank Harris||QB||6'1"||182||Clemens (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|B.J. Daniels||RB||6'1"||202||Palm Bay Senior (FL)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Javontavius Mosley||CB||6'1"||170||John Tyler (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Chance McLeod||TE||6'3"||223||Victoria East (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Morris Joseph||DT||6'2"||285||West Orange-Stark (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Tariq Woolen||WR||6'5"||205||Arlington Heights (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Demarco Guidry||ILB||6'1"||210||La Marque (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Vance Vallair||CB||6'1"||170||Beaumont Central (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Dadrian Taylor||WR||6'0"||165||Shiner (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Jaylon Haynes||DT||6'1"||290||Wharton (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Kevin Davis||OG||6'4"||275||Angleton (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Bryce Rivers*||QB||6'3"||202||Stevens (TX)||⭐⭐⭐|
|Dominic Pastucci||OT||6'5"||250||Hendrickson (TX)||⭐⭐|
|Donovan Perkins||LB||6'0"||225||Zachary (LA)||⭐⭐|
|Robert Fuentes||DE||6'4"||198||Southwest (TX)||⭐⭐|
|Keeyon Smart||OT||6'5"||300||Kilgore JC (TX)||⭐⭐|
|Michael Goff||TE||6'3"||230||Johnson (TX)||⭐⭐|
As the first full recruiting class under Wilson’ direction the staff needed to find players that fit their system. It certainly seems that they were overwhelmingly successful in their pursuit as the class is full of physical secondary players with range, huge road-grader offensive linemen, and multi-gap defensive linemen.
UTSA will be immediately bolstered in their 2017 season by a few junior college transfers. The Roadrunners’ most urgent need was along the offensive line where both starters exhausted their eligibility in 2016. Josh Dunlop and Keeyon Smart both have the size to push for a starting spot while bringing towering size to the offensive line. Robert Ursua also seems to be a lock to start at tight end as UTSA will need to replace Trevor Stevens’ blocking ability on the edge.
Most importantly, offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo has found two promising quarterback talents to mold. Both prospects are from San Antonio and both have the potential to add to Scelfo’s lengthy record of success with left-handed signal callers. Frank Harris is an explosive dual-threat quarterback that turned down advances from several Power Five programs to sign with the Roadrunners.
Bryce Rivers wasn’t recruited as highly out of Stevens high school but his arm strength and pocket presence are undeniable. Rivers was able to join the team for the spring semester as an early enrollee while Harris will likely need a redshirt season to fully recuperate from a knee injury that cut his senior season short.
Due to the graduation of UTSA career rushing leader Jarveon WIlliams, UTSA desperately needed a big body running back that could carry a large burden in the Roadrunners’ pro-style offense. While Jalen Rhodes should still be the expected starter in 2017, B.J. Daniels should be ready to contribute immediately behind him as the next running back in line. Daniels has a huge frame at 6’1”, 202 pounds and shows a violent aggression while rushing the football in his film.
Originally recruited as a linebacker, Demarco Guidry will also join Daniels in the backfield at UTSA. Guidry played both ways in high school which is a testament to his athleticism and football IQ. I have a feeling he’ll end up being one of the steals of this class.
The offense will also have a few more weapons to target in the passing game. Wide receiver Tariq Woolen is the headliner here as the 6’5” wideout turned down a late Baylor offer to honor his commitment to UTSA. Tight ends Chance McLeod and Michael Goff will also help the Roadrunners place the finishing touches of Scelfo’s vision for the offense as both ends can block as well as spread the secondary with their size and hands. A high school running back, Dadrian Taylor will be moving to slot receiver but watch out for him to make an impact in the return game early in his career.
Rounding out the offense are high school offensive linemen Dominic Pastucci and Kevin Davis. At 6’5”, Pastucci is the best bet to man the edge at offensive tackle. A decorate power lifter, Pastucci should be able to pack on weight at the college level. Technically sound and agile, I consider him to be the best offensive line prospect UTSA has ever signed.
A late flip from Texas State, Kevin Davis projects as a strong run blocking guard at the next level. He played all over the line in high school and that versatility is a great sign for his ability to contribute when an opportunity is presented.
UTSA’s defensive class is heavy in talent on the defensive line and cornerback positions.
While Morris Joseph played a traditional defensive tackle position in high school I expect him to play a little bit further down the line in college. Joseph played for the best high school defense I’ve ever seen at West Orange-Stark so he carries a pedigree of success with him.
Jaylon Haynes could potentially play at nose tackle or defensive end as his burst off the ball makes him an explosive threat along the line of scrimmage. Haynes blew up on the recruiting scene in the last two weeks of the recruiting cycle, rapidly earning scholarship offers from Baylor, Georgia Tech, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, and TCU per 247 Sports.
The Roadrunners’ last signing on the defensive line is 6’4”, 198 defensive end Robert Fuentes. Rail thin and very technically raw, Fuentes needs a lot work in the weight room to be ready to contribute but he has the athletic potential to become a great pass rusher off the edge.
Loaded is an understatement for UTSA’s cornerback position following today’s signings. Leading the way is 6’1”, 194 pound Samuel Barnes. A physical hitter with 18 scholarship offers from some of the most storied programs in college football, Barnes should be able to carve out a role on the roster quickly. He has the size and physicality to play at any safety position if necessary.
UTSA’s first commit in this class was also one of their best as 5’10” corner Tay’lor Perry shut down his recruitment early despite offers from Colorado, Illinois, and Indiana. Perry is a speed demon with impressive ball skills and like Barnes he could play anywhere in the secondary. Javontavius Mosley was also an early commit for the Roadrunners at cornerback. While he was the lightest recruited out of the bunch, his physicality on the field has made him my favorite cornerback that UTSA signed in 2017.
The fourth cornerback signed in the 2017 class, Vance Vallair could also see playing time at safety in order to get UTSA’s best athletes on the field at the same time. Vallair didn’t have any Power Five offers but his eight G5 offers were enough to make him UTSA’s fourth three-star cornerback in the class.
Rounding things out is UTSA’s lone linebacker in the class. Donovan Perkins played inside linebacker at the high school level but will likely slide to the outside position to play alongside middle linebacker Josiah Tauaefa at UTSA.
Despite holding the top spot in Conference USA recruiting rankings for nearly the entire recruiting cycle, the Roadrunners lost their top bragging rights due to an insane late run on junior college talent by new FAU head coach Lane Kiffin. Regardless of where the Roadrunners lie in the rankings, this class was a huge success for UTSA.
While Frank Wilson has pieced together an incredible recruiting class in his first full year in San Antonio it’s worth repeating that recruiting never sleeps. The program appears to have a few additional scholarships left to utilize in attracting either transfer athletes or late signees that didn’t ink with any program on National Signing Day. Be sure to stay tuned for any future news that may roll down through out the rest of the week and off-season.