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Goliad-native Sturm throwing again, competing for roster spot with Commanders

Working with wide receivers, learning new offense

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – It has been a whirlwind year for Goliad-native Dalton Sturm.

This time last year, Sturm had wrapped up an impressive career at UTSA. In 35 games for the Roadrunners, he threw for over 5,700 passing yards and scored a school record 49 touchdowns. Then, in August, Sturm received a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to practice with the Dallas Cowboys at their training camp in Oxnard. Now he's back to work in the San Antonio area, looking for another shot at a professional football career with the newly formed San Antonio Commanders of the Alliance of American Football.

"I'm excited to be back," Sturm said. "I'm excited to be playing ball again here in San Antonio, and it'll be fun to get back to the Alamodome."

Now four days into training camp, Sturm is one of four quarterbacks left on the Commanders' roster. After resting his shoulder during minicamp and undergoing surgery in December, Sturm is finally throwing the football again.

"I feel good," Sturm explained. "It was a little sore. I hadn't thrown in about six weeks, but that's just normal. Coming out now, I'm feeling good and I'm ready to hit the ground running."

"I love Dalton," said head coach Mike Riley. "I think he has a lot of self-confidence and really understands quarterbacking. I've been impressed."

The Commanders practiced with pads for the first time Monday, then spent most of Tuesday's practice running walk-throughs -- a critical time for quarterbacks to build chemistry with their wide receivers. Sturm has inside track, having worked with a trio of receivers on the roster already, but he's constantly learning about, and communicating with, his teammates.

"Just getting our timing down and being able to know what they're thinking," Sturm said. "Knowing when they should break in or when they should sit in the hole, stuff like that. Being able to build that timing is the biggest thing."

Another challenge Sturm faces is adjusting to a different offensive philosophy and game plan, but he's confident his athletic ability will help him adapt.

"It's definitely new to me, definitely a lot of RPO (run-pass-option) stuff," Sturm said. "I was under center a lot in college. But being able to learn from different minds like Coach Matt Troxel and Coach Riley and learning their different styles of offenses has been good."

Time will tell whether Sturm can crack the final roster. The Commanders will finalize their roster on Jan. 31.


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