Starter: Blake Bogenschutz, Rs Fr
Backups: Russell Bellomy, Sr Tr; Austin Robinson, So
Reserves: Jaylon Henderson, Fr; Manny Harris, Fr; Dalton Sturm, So
The graduation of three-year starter Eric Soza and the transfer of potential starter Zach Conque left the QB cupboard somewhat bare for UTSA in 2014. And the worst-case scenario came to fruition when all three of three scholarship QBs went down with injury at various points of the season. So UTSA re-loaded at that position adding two freshman, and senior transfer Russell Bellomy from Michigan. Now, as fall camp begins, UTSA is loaded with young and new talent.
Bogenschutz vs BellomyAfter a short courting period after being released from his scholarship, former Michigan QB Russell Bellomy decided to transfer to UTSA. His addition added instant depth to a position filled up young players. But what is addition also did was to create a bonafide position battle between himself and Bogenschutz this fall. During last week’s media day, UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker made the following comments regarding UTSA’s QB situation: “That position has to play well for you. I’m really excited about the quarterback situation we have. It’s going to be competitive. We have some good players there, we think. They’ve got to stay healthy and play well. The thing I like about the quarterback position that we have is that we have some talented guys that can get the balls in the hands of the playmakers.” So let’s compare these two: Blake Bogenschutz
As a true freshman, Bogenschutz saw action early in 2014. At Oklahoma State, the East Texas native started the second half. He kept UTSA in the game while scoring his only touchdown of the season on a QB keeper. It was a coming out part of sorts for the young signal caller who played relatively well in a very tough situation and environment. A few weeks later, Bogenschutz saw some action in relief duty vs New Mexico. In that outing, Bogenschutz went 10 for 16 passing for 169 yards. But he was intercepted once and sacked three times while the offense generally struggled. The next week he made his first career start vs Florida International where he suffered a break to his throwing hand late in the first quarter. Just like thtat, his season was over. In three partial games, we got just a small glimpse of what Bogenschutz was capable of. In the mold of an Eric Soza, Bogenschutz appeared to have a good command of the offense while be able to make reads on the fly to make plays with his feet. All told, Bogenschutz was 22 for 39 passing for 282 yards and 2 interceptions. He rushed 16 times for a net of 16 yards with one touchdown. None of those numbers blow you away. In fact, Offensive Coordinator Kevin Brown wants his QBs to have a completion percentage of 60% or higher. Bogenschutz was under that in 2014. But the potential and poised he displayed under very tough circumstances makes him the perennial starter. Russell Bellomy
The Arlington native becomes UTSA’s only upperclassman signal caller. Last week, Coker had this to say about Bellomy: “I don’t know how good Russell is. I think he’s pretty good. You can’t go out and watch them in the summer. I think our players know, they’ll have an opinion of Russell.” Although Bellomy has spent the summer on campus participating in unofficial workouts, we still no very little about him. In four seasons at Michigan, Bellomy played in just six games. In his career in Ann Arbor, he completed 4 out of 23 passes for 46 yards. He saw the most action of his career (5 games) in his sophomore season (2012). Originally out of Martin High School in Arlington, Bellomy was a three-star prospect who held offers from Boise State, Colorado, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, and Michigan. Said to have a strong arm, Bellomy is a prototypical pro-style QB. Listed on UTSA’s depth chart at 6’3” and 220lbs, Bellomy appears to have all the physical tools one would expect from an athlete who has spent four years in an established Division 1 football strength and conditioning program. How that translates on to the football field is still a mystery. However, in his short time at UTSA so far it is said that Bellomy has a strong arm and has picked up the playbook and offensive scheme very quickly.