SAN ANTONIO - University of Texas at San Antonio Football held its annual media day Saturday.
Head coach Frank Wilson, offensive coordinator Al Borges, defensive coordinator Jason Rollins, special teams coordinator Gary Hyman and 15 student athletes were available for interviews.
One of the topics centered around how the team has grown from the end of last season to now, specifically after missing out on a bowl game.
“A focus. A different type of focus. We know what we have to do to not be sitting home in December, so that's been in the back of our minds. Coaches don't talk about, you know, 'Remember when we didn't make a bowl game?' It’s just known around the locker room, and we don’t want to be in the same position we were in last year," said Josiah Tauaefa, junior linebacker. "We always want to do better and put ourselves in the best position and put ourselves in a position to compete for a conference championship.”
“Young guys being able to learn and willing to learn and except knowledge from the older people that have been here for several years, they really listen. Everybody wants to be like one, and we don’t want to be left out of a bowl game," said C.J. Levine, senior safety. “That was a hurting feeling for us. Everybody is working and striving to go to a bowl game and be the conference champs, as well.”
Another hot topic is life after the departure of defensive end Marcus Davenport and quarterback Dalton Strum, two of the Roadrunners top players from last season.
Davenport was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, and Sturm was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent.
“The load is going to have to be dispersed across the board,” Tauaefa said. “We had Marcus last year, which was obviously a huge help coming off the edge, and he was responsible for a lot of our sacks. Without him, the workload gets dispensed among the defensive line, anyone who is blitzing. They got to get home production wise.”
Davenport was known to take over a football game, but can Tauaefa do the same thing?
“Josiah has a gift to take over a season,” said Kevin Strong Jr., senior defensive tackle. “Coming from his freshman year, how he was an All American, so he's got it in him. He’s going to keep working, and I know Josiah will be the guy to pick it up. He's going to do his job.”
As for the starting quarterback to replace Sturm, it's still up in the air.
Sophomore Bryce Rivers from Stevens High School appears to have the advantage, but we won’t know until Wilson announces his choice.
Senior wide receiver Greg Campbell Jr. was asked if it’s difficult or stressful to not know who QB1 will be.
“No, I don’t think it is, just because we practice every day with these guys and we are around them every day," he said. "We know the nature of the business, so we just want the best guy to be the guy for us and for everyone to follow suit.”
With the start of the regular season now three weeks away, UTSA still has time to make a choice, but as he’s done in the past,Wilson may not publicly declare his starter until a couple of days before facing Arizona State in the opener to maintain some type of strategic advantage.
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