UTSA linebacker Josiah Tauaefa is ready for the new season
SAN ANTONIO – Fall camp has kicked off for UTSA football as the program gets ready for its eight season and third with head coach Frank Wilson. The Roadrunners return 36 letter winners, including 12 starters (four offense/ six defense/two kickers) from last year’s squad that finished with a 6-5 record.
Junior linebacker Josiah Tauaefa, who only played eight games last season due to injuries, is ready to once again lead the second line of defense.
“It is a group of mainly young guys,” Tauaefa said. “Les (Maruo) is the only senior, I am a junior, and a lot of the guys are freshmen or haven’t gotten any snaps at linebacker at the division I level. It is going to be exciting to see the progress come fall camp because that is when it gets down to crunch time. That is when it gets serious about your playing time and whether or not you will see the field. You have to do all the thing necessary to put yourself in the position to see the field.”
Last season UTSA won six games, becoming bowl eligible, but were left out of the postseason. The rejection was a bitter pill after earning the first bowl game invitation in school history in 2016, but Josiah didn’t spend much time thinking about what could have been.
“Not very long, I think it’s something that you take and learn and grow from it, not dwell on it,” Tauaefa said. “I feel like if we would have dwelled on it we wouldn’t have been able to progress to where we are now and where we want to go. We reference back to it and tell the team remember that feeling of not going to a bowl game and sitting at home in December. I feel like that provides some motivation.”
After coming up short on back-to-back bowl games, what did the Roadrunners learn from last season?
“You can’t leave your fate in someone else’s hands,” Tauaefa said. “Our motto has been finish and we didn’t do that in a lot of games. To come out this fall and consistently practice that and make that a habit to finish plays, drives, and games is going to be really important to us.”
Conference USA announced its preseason media football poll and UTSA was picked to finish fifth in the West Division out of seven teams.
“It is what it is,” Tauaefa said. “The year before that we were picked second in the West, it’s just kind of a number. We have goals of our own so whatever somebody predicts us as, it doesn’t phase us. We know what we are capable of and what we are working towards.”
UTSA will start the 2018 season Saturday, September 1 at Arizona State.
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