Fresh off pulling in Conference USA’s second best recruiting class Frank Wilson and his staff aren’t taking much time to rest on their laurels. We’re just 11 days removed from 2017 National Signing Day and the Roadrunners have already secured four commitments from talented players.
When Wilson was first brought in many fans were concerned that his lack of Texas ties would lead to an inability to secure talent in South Texas. After pulling in some quality local talent in the 2017 class, Wilson is really making his mark as a South Texas rainmaker in this 2018 class. All four of the program’s current commitments reside along or south of Interstate 10. Let’s take a closer look at each commitment in order of their announcement.
The first 2018 prospect to announce his commitment to UTSA, Sheldon Jones is a small but explosive athlete out of Easton High School in New Orleans. Jones plays all over the field but will probably get a first look as a slot receiver or cornerback at UTSA. His speed and escapability makes him a likely candidate to receive early playing time as a return specialist. Jones is currently a three-star composite recruit and has scholarship offers from Memphis and Jackson State.
McGowan also committed to UTSA on February 6th. A 6’3” wide out with great size and physicality, McGowan is a major sleeper out of Sinton High School, a small town near Corpus Christi. McGowan has great leaping ability and should be a great fit for UTSA’s down-field passing game. He’s currently just short of three star composite status but I wouldn’t surprised to see him rise after more schools find his film and offer him a scholarship. McGowan currently has just one other offer from Texas State. Don’t expect it to stay that way for long.
One of UTSA’s first scholarship offers for the 2018 class, Nwachuku rewarded UTSA’s early faith in him by committing at UTSA’s Junior Day event. Nwachuku recently transferred from Hardin-Jefferson High School in Sour Lake, TX to Memorial High in McAllen. While Nwachuku does not currently have any other reported offers, his measurables are promising. Boasting legit 4.4. speed at 6’1”, 185 pounds, Nwachuku is a terrific athlete. He mostly played slotback and running back on offense in his junior season but he also showed great instincts on the defensive side of the ball as an outside linebacker. Given Nwachuku’s combination of speed and size I could see him getting his first collegiate snaps at strong safety in San Antonio. Moving down to the Rio Grande Valley should keep him off big time programs’ radars.
UTSA’s latest commitment is also arguably their best. Burford-Watts is a huge offensive line sleeper in the 2018 class and will likely blow up on the recruiting scene in the ensuing months. At 6’5”, 257 pounds Burford-Watts has a great, lean frame to pack muscle onto once he gets into a college weight program. Burford-Watts has the agile feet to play on the outside but I really like him as an offensive guard where his nasty streak and brawler mentality will have chance to shine in the run game. There aren’t many plays on Burford-Watts’ highlights where his opponent doesn’t end up in the grass. I’ll take the level of aggression any day, in any program.
With the NCAA implementing an early signing period for the first time in this 2018 class early evaluations and commitments have never been more crucial. As UTSA has been able to identify and secure talented players early in the recruiting cycle they run less of a risk of having to compete with Power Five programs on the recruiting trail in December and January. With a class that currently ranks 36th in the nation on Rivals, the Roadrunners are certainly where they want to be as they aim to secure the top recruiting class in Conference USA in 2018.