Photo by Paisano photo staff

Photo by Paisano photo staff

The most difficult part of progress is overcoming preceding failures. As students, there is minimal comfort in our past, present and future. The UTSA football team signifies that notion. 

Throughout the 2018 season it seemed the team was trying to discover its identity, leading to inconsistency, hurting from questionable play-calling and enduring subpar team confidence and embarrassing box scores. 

This season, it’s time to clean out the rubble from last year’s collapse and look at who we have now and what to expect. 

The offensive line, led by preseason all-conference player Joshua Dunlop, will arguably be the best unit our team has ever had. The defensive line group is deep; they can rush the passer and stuff the run as well as any unit in the conference. Expect consistent play from Lorenzo Dantzler, and keep your eyes on Solomon Wise whenever he is on the field. 

This season, head coach Frank Wilson wants a more concentrated rushing attack. The versatile Brenden Brady and bruising B.J. Daniels will get most of the carries this year. Pay close attention to the offensive scheme this season with new offensive coordinator Jeff Kastl.

 Kastl is a former quarterback from the University of Michigan. We hope to see concentrated creativity to get his best skill players a lot of space to make plays, Kirk Johnson Jr., Blaze Moorhead and Sheldon Jones, then take some shots down the field with our big receivers, Tykee Ogle-Kellogg and Tariq Woolen. 

Newly hired wide receivers coach, Tony Ball has coached NFL star A.J. Green along with eventual NFL receivers. Fans can expect that our receivers’ potential will be untapped no longer. On the other side of the ball, a transfer plagued the offseason and the departure of Josiah Tauaefa and C.J. Levine leads to inexperience within the linebacker and secondary group. 

Contrary to last year, defensive coordinator Jason Rollins needs to be patient and conservative with his blitz packages. The roster is filled with guys ready to make an impact on the game and as a result, make a name for themselves. Two of those players will be the freshman duo Sincere McCormick and Rashad Wisdom who played together at Converse Judson High School and now headline an intriguing group of newcomers. 

Preseason all-conference kick return specialist, Brett Winnegan, is one of many players coming off a season missed due to injury. Special teams coordinator Gary Hyman will put the best against the best in practice to get the premiere group on the field come kickoff every Saturday. 

Looking forward to this season, every single aspect needs to improve: the energy, the camaraderie and the overall attitude of the team. The turmoil-infused 2018 football season led to cruel scrutiny directed towards the fourth-year head coach, but he has overachieved every year in recruiting given the subpar amenities, facilities and tradition that the Roadrunners have to offer. Altogether, Wilson and his staff have a nice roster on paper but have sedulous work to do to right the ship. 

College football runs on tradition, and the most successful schools have the strongest traditions. Roadrunner football doesn’t have any culture since the program is less than a decade old. Coach Wilson has to create, not continue, a culture that will consequently lead to a tradition that the ‘Runners’ fans can be proud of. 

Assuming that he is named the starter for game one, one player to help coach Wilson implement that culture is Frank Harris. Harris, the electric gunslinger from Clemens High School here in San Antonio is coming off of injury. Aside from Wilson, the most attention will be focused on Harris up until Aug. 31. The dual-threat quarterback will bring that continual excitement on the offensive side of the ball that fans have been longing for. If Harris can stay healthy, the team’s confidence and the fans’ support will ameliorate. 

We start the 2019 season up against the University of the Incarnate Word. It will be a solid tune-up game preceding a three-game gauntlet against Baylor, Army West Point and the University of North Texas. If the ‘Runners pull off an upset against one or more of the three teams, the ‘Runners will be able to make a case for another bowl game.

 All in all, our football team’s success and failures should not determine our morale and school spirit this semester, and we should appreciate that. No matter how well the team does, go to as many games as you can, and have a good time. 

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