UTSA Football Practice Report
Friday, August 12, 2016
TWO-A-DAY: Head Coach Frank Wilson put his team through a true two practice day on Thursday. He said the team responded well. “Yesterday was our first true two-a-day and it was challenging,” Wilson said. “The morning practice was outstanding, the evening practice was okay. It’s a constant work in progress.”
ROADRUNNER DRILL: We got our first glimpse of what is called the Roadrunner drill at the beginning of Friday morning’s practice. A variation of the Bird Cage drill, the Roadrunner drill pits three offensive blockers vs three run-stopping defenders. A quarterback lines up under center, takes the snap, and hands off to a running back while the six players go at it. All the while, the rest of the team is surrounding them. Coach Wilson on the drill: “It continues to build the mantra of our team and that's toughness.”
YOUNG QBS GET PHYSICAL: UTSA’s three young quarterbacks got into the mix on the Roadrunner drill on Friday. Wearing their red “do not tackle” jerseys, Manny Harris, Jaylon Henderson, and Clay Roberts put their hand in the ground and linedup as blockers in the very physical drill. Wilson on his QBs: “We had several of our young quarterbacks who were eager to get after that. So we try to match them in stature against guys who are actually smaller and give them a chance.”
NO LEADER FOR QB, YET: Coach Wilson revealed that returning quarterback Dalton Sturm has been getting a majority of the reps so far in fall camp. But that’s not because he’s the leading candidate for the starting position. Wilson was asked if he thought there was a leader for QB1, he replied: “No, not really right now because just the way practices have been going. Jared is in a very, very intense graduate program. He’s been hit and miss in practice. He’s in an accelerated program in graduate school. It ends today. So we’ll get a better handle on it because of the amount of reps, we need more balance.”
SCRIMMAGE SET FOR SUNDAY: UTSA held a light seven-on-seven scrimmage during practices on Thursday and Friday. Wilson said the coaching staff hasn’t really gauged position battles so far because the team hasn’t been tested yet. The first test, according to Wilson, is on its way: “Their first test will be Sunday. We’ll get a chance to see how they go with live bullets.”
WELCOME JORDAN MOORE: Former LSU track star Jordan Moore participated in practice on Thursday and Friday. Coach Wilson said he is glad to have Moore on the team: “We intend to give him an opportunity at defensive back but certainly not limited to that role.” Coach Wilson then hinted Moore could see time on offense and special teams saying “We’ll maximize his potential” when asked if more would play on offense and kick return.
NO-HUDDLE OFFENSE: Early indications are that UTSA will run a more methodical and deliberate offense. But on Friday, we got our first look at UTSA in a no-huddle/hurry-up situation. Coach Wilson on the no-huddle offense: “We have a lot of work to do. We’re not fast enough. We want faster. But we want to continue. It helps us both offensively and defensively. Several of our opponents run no-huddle so it’s good work for our defense.”
PORTILLO GOES 100%: Place Kicker Daniel Portillo said he had a good day of practice Friday making 100% of his attempts. The Austin-native says success at his position comes down to his mentality: “People often compare it to the mentality of a golfer. You just have to be really good at doing the same thing over and over.” Portillo says he feels his range is right at 50 yards.
AGGRESSIVE SPECIAL TEAMS UNIT: Speaking about the special teams as a whole, Portillo also said he feels like their unit is going to shake things up: “It’s going to be aggressive. As far as field goal goes, there’s not too much aggressiveness there. But all around, everything else is going to be a lot more aggressive.”
WOODS SHOWING VERSATILITY: Offensive lineman Clayton Woods is a versatile player that can play several positions. He played last season as a true freshman. Woods says he’s seeing action all along the line during camp: “I’m playing everywhere. I’ve seen a little bit of every position this fall.”
MORE AGGRESSIVE DEFENSE: This is Safety Chase Dahlquist fourth season as a Roadrunner. The Oklahoma-native says he can see a difference in the defense during this fall camp: “I can tell the difference in practices. We’re more aggressive with our approach to things. It will really help up coming into the season.”
DAHLQUIST WORKING IN NEW POSITION: Dahlquist also says he’s working in a new position. Listed on the depth chart as Ram Strong Safety, Dahlquist says the position is a hybrid of safety positions from years past: “It’s kind of a mixture the position I played my freshman year (2013) along with position I played my sophomore year (2014). We move a lot around the field.”
OTHER ROSTER ADDITIONS: In addition to LSU Graduate Transfer Jordan Moore, there were two other new additions made to the roster on Thursday. WR Rayshun Spearman from Oregon St/Alabama and OL Alec Gonzales from San Antonio East Central High School. Both players are walk-ons.
INJURY REPORT: The following players did not participate in workouts Friday: WR JaBryce Taylor, WR Dannon Cavil, OL Austin Pratt, OL Jevonte Domond, WR Matt Guidy, WR Greg Campbell, and PK Victor Falcon. But Coach Wilson says there are no major injuries: “Knicks, typical camp, bumps and bruises, tweaks, but nothing major. We feel good going into the opener we’ll have our entire team there.”
Short Videos from Practice: