InsideRunnerSports.com reporter JJ Perez offers his thoughts on several topics.
JJ’s Journal for 6.2.15
5 Kickoff Times Announced
Conference USA announced on Monday that six of UTSA
’s games in 2015 will be broadcast on National Television. CUSA also released the kickoff times of five of those games: at Arizona 9pm; vs Kansas State 11am; at Oklahoma State 2:30pm; vs Colorado State 6pm; and vs Middle Tennessee 1:30pm. The 11am kickoff for the home-opener stands out as a game with a less than desirable kickoff time, but with that one exception, the schedule seems fair, especially if you consider the “value” of having a game being broadcast nationally. UTSA is still in its infancy. The fact that the 2015 non-conference portion of the schedule is so loaded is a good thing for the program. The fact that all four of those games will be on National TV is even better. You couldn’t ask for more exposure for the program. UTSA will be on National TV vs traditional big-named schools in four consecutive weeks to start the season. That’s a huge different from when UTSA use to play the likes of NW Oklahoma St, Bacone, and A&M Commerce to begin seasons. So while 11am is going to complicate tailgating plans, my advice to fans, embrace the challenge. This is only the “early” tv schedule release, so expect some other kickoff times to be released when Conference USA sets their regional broadcast schedule.
Over the course of the last few weeks, Head Coach Larry Coker visited several cities with the Alumni Association. In those visits, Coker marketed the football program as a whole. During the question and answer part of several of the events, Coker made it a point to emphasize the skillset of in-coming QB transfer Russell Bellomy. In the same discussion, Coker also emphasized the fact that redshirt freshman Blake Bogenschutz had four years of eligibility remaining. Late in the spring, Coach Coker noted that he would he would not be releasing a post-spring depth chart and that he was in no hurry to name a starting QB. In an article with Express News Reporter Jerry Briggs on Monday, Coker re-emphasized that a new depth chart would most likely not becoming. Following spring practices, Coker appeared on TV with the local NBC affiliate where he said: “I think we'll have more than one quarterback.” To be clear, I do not have any specific knowledge of the thinking of the staff in regards to who will be starting QB next season. I had always thought that the job was Bogenschutz’s to loose and that while Bellomy would play some, Bogenschutz would at least see some time to begin the season. Now, based on the comments of Coker toward the end of spring and the recent comments, I feel that Bellomy will be given every opportunity to see early playing in 2015. Only time will tell. Bellomy and Bogenschutz are both on campus now and will work this summer in the strength and conditioning program and participate in 7-on-7 drills. But we may not learn the answer of who is QB1 until fall practices get going in August.
Where are the commits?
This time last year, UTSA held a handful of commits. As of Tuesday, there is not one commit to the 2016 recruiting class. So where are they? The answer, they’re coming. Last cycle, UTSA had to get creative to fill the voids left by the largest graduating class in program history. This cycle, UTSA does not have to be so creative. Simply put, UTSA is slow-playing this 2016 recruiting cycle. We’ve seen a little more than two dozen offers go out. Summer camps begin later this week and go through next week. Camps offer coaches the chance to evaluate prospects in a controlled environment. We may very well see more offers go out and even a commit or two come in the next few weeks.
Triston Wade and Ashaad Mabry
I’ve been trying to keep tabs how things are going for former players Triston Wade and Ashaad Mabry. Both players signed free agent deals with NFL teams following the draft in April. I’ve seen a few photos surface online from each of the players going through OTAs. Wade is up in Seattle with the Seahawks while Mabry is over in New Orleans with the Saints. Based on what I’ve seen, it appears that both players have a legitimate chance at making the roster. Having known both Wade and Mabry for awhile now, it’s hard not to root for them to do well. Both players already have made history by becoming the first Roadrunners to sign with NFL teams. But taking that next step and playing in the NFL is something that everyone associated with UTSA should hold some interest in.
UAB Football is back. Now what?
After immense pressure, UAB announced Monday that they were bringing football back six months after they decided to do away with the program. What a terrible situation for everyone involved, especially the players. Over 50 players transferred out of UAB. Now what? Even if they were allowed to come back, would they want to? There’s no way UAB could field a team in 2015. They missed an entire recruiting class this past recruiting cycle. And while they still could have ties to Conference USA, it’s hard to imagine they could be CUSA ready soon. The soonest they could field a team would be in 2016 but would they Division 1 ready? Like many, I’m glad UAB is getting football back. But what’s left in the wake of all this is a terrible mess that we’ve never seen before.
San Antonio Bids for CFB Playoff Championship
We learned last week that San Antonio has made the cut as one of the handful of cities bidding on the College Football Playoff Championship Game. The years up for bid are 2018, 2019, and 2020. But because San Antonio is hosting the Final Four in 2018, the city is only bidding on 2019 and 2020. Insiders feel like 2019 is the best chance for San Antonio. While San Antonio is a great tourist destination and perfect for large events such as the CFB Playoff Championship Game, one thing that hamstrings the city’s bid is the Alamodome facility. Even with renovations that will be completed before 2018, the facility is not on par to newer stadiums. Don’t get me wrong, the Alamodome is perfect for UTSA Football and hosting other events. But the ‘Dome pales in comparison to the facilities in Detroit, Houston, and Santa Clara. There are a total of nine cities vying for the three games but not all cities are bidding every year. San Antonio is going up against Santa Clara, Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, and New Orleans in 2019. While it may be a long shot, San Antonio holds certain advantages over some of those other cities. It’ll interesting to see how the city fares. The Final Four and The College Football Championship Game in consecutive years would be huge for San Antonio, to say the least.
Closing Thoughts – Summer Time
The dog days of summer are upon us. For fans of College Football and other mainstream sports, there isn’t much out there to sink our teeth into. So what do we do? I for one will try to plan to do more recreational activities. I spent last weekend at the beach. I’ll probably go to the river and/or lake in the coming weekends. There are some other local places I like to venture off to. Recent rains in the area have made things better for area rivers and lakes. I’m hoping to make it to the Frio River and back out to Medina Lake at some point this summer. If you look at the calendar it in terms of football, I’d estimated that we’re probably about 10 weeks away from fall practices beginning. For me, a hardcore sports guy, this is my least favorite time of the year. But if you sprinkle a fishing trip in here, maybe a weekend of swimming/bbq there, it really isn’t that long. We can make it to the fall.
More Talk about JJ’s Journal in the UTSAInsiders Forum