Throughout the course of any given practice, you will see (and hear) UTSA offensive coordinator Frank Scelfo. Typically he’s pacing up and down the backfield monitoring his quarterbacks. With more than 30 years of coaching experience under his belt, Scelfo knows what he wants. And when he doesn’t get it, he lets his players know.
The Louisiana-native has brought his extensive coaching experience to UTSA. He’s also brought what is expected to be a more methodical/pro-style offense with him. Having spent the last three years working in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Scelfo is charged with the duty of turning around UTSA’s offense.
On Monday at UTSA’s Media Day, Scelfo talked for the first time since arriving at UTSA. Here is our question and answer session:
INTERVIEW WITH OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR FRANK SCELFO
How did Frank Wilson get you to come to UTSA?
“You see guys grow in the profession. To be able to watch him grow and what he’s done over the years, I’ve always had great respect for him. We kept in touch with each other. When he called, because my son was a UIW, we knew the San Antonio area. We’ve visited here the last four years: spring breaks, holidays, when I had time off in the summer. So we said hey, you know what, we love San Antonio. It’s an opportunity to take a program that’s never been there and doing something special. Let’s go do it. My son being able to get on as a GA was just a by product.”
What is it about Frank’s personality that draws him to people?
“He’s honest. He’s honest with people. Sometimes you can take it as brutal honesty but it’s honest. I think people today are touchy feely about a lot of stuff. He and I connected because we’re not. That’s not who we are. You ask a question, we’ll give you what we feel like is the answer. Some people can’t handle that. He has a way of doing things and dealing with people. Eighteen, twenty years ago, when he was at O Perry Walker, he took a program that was as bad as could possibly be in the inner city of New Orleans and turned it around. And two years later they’re playing in the Superdome in the state championship. It was remarkable. It was a relationship that he and I fostered. We did football stuff together, some community stuff together, and we became friends. It was a mutual relationship that we had and that’s what brought us together here.”
What was your first memory of Wilson?
“He was an assistant coach at Carter High School and I was at Tulane. He came over and wanted to talk football so we talked ball. You could tell he was into it, you could see his passion. You just knew wherever he was or whoever he touched he was going to be successful. Where is it going to end with him? Who knows. He’s constantly doing things.”
What’s the offense going to look like?
“We’re in the process of evaluating our guys and who we are. Because of that you have to become multiple. We’re doing a lot of things out of a lot of different packages. That will give us the ability, if we lose a guy due to injury or if one guy doesn’t perform quite as well or maybe a guy is having a bad day, to be able to go to something else. We’re not just going to be in one set and do one thing the entire time. We’ll be able to do a lot of different things based on the personnel.”
Are you surprised with the QB talent?
“I don’t know if surprised is a good word. I don’t know. I’m excited about the fact that all of the guys that are there work extremely hard. They picked up the system, they’re working towards it, they’re studying, they’re getting extra film work. They’re doing all of those things. I’m not pleased everyday because they’re not doing what they’re suppose to be doing everyday. But they’re not going to either. Playing quarterback is a process. You don’t come in as a freshman and all of a sudden you’re a great quarterback. It’s just not going to happen. Quarterbacks need to grow and develop and mature. As they grow, develop, and mature, they become better decision makers. They become better technicians. It’s different than other positions, there’s a lot more things going on.”
What’s the quarterback battle looking like?
“Jared’s experience helps him. But Dalton was here in the spring, as was Manny and Jaylon. That whole process might be a wash. I don’t know. We’ll see as the camp goes on and we get closer to that first game and go from there. All of those guys are doing well. Like I said, I’m not happy everyday with all of them, and I tell them. But I know this, as the day goes on they grow, they learn from their mistakes, they move forward. If you get a guy that’s lazy or can’t take coaching, you got issues. These guys aren’t like that.”
How has a Jared Johnson done?
“He’s done a great job. He’s smart. He’s spent a lot of time doing it. In our coaching sessions during the summer, the time we’re allowed to have, he did a great job picking it up.”
How’s the offensive line looking?
“They’ve done a good job. It’s so difficult for an o-line to get together and gel. There’s a lot of moving parts. You create competition in spots by moving guys. Then you also create depth. Our starting center might be our third guard. The third tackle may be the third guard. The backup center might be the third guard. The first guard might have to move into center. All of those things could possibly take place. You try to get some fluidity. I was happy with them yesterday (Monday’s scrimmage), especially the first group. I thought assignment-wise they did a real good job, so there’s progress being made there.”
Is protection going to be better?
“They (the o-line) worked hard. Coach Filo did a great job. They got bigger, stronger, and faster this summer. What he’s done is that he’s put them in a position to say they feel better about themselves. Through scheme, sometimes guys need help. It doesn’t matter what level you’re on. Sometimes the guy on the other side of the ball lines up and he’s really good. And you’ve got to go help him, you just can’t put him on an island. So they’re seeing what we’re done schematically, like chipping them with a tight end or use a back or turn the guard towards them. We’re going to do things to help guys out.
What do you think about your running backs?
“Their work ethic has been outstanding. They’re picking everything up. Jarveon (Williams) is really a complete guy when it comes to running with the football, catching the football, and from a protection standpoint. He and Jalen (Rhodes) have become three-down backs. So it’s not like we have to get a guy in there because they don’t understand protection. That’s not the case. We can leave those guys in there. It’s a 1-1 punch. They’re both probably good enough to start a lot of places and we’re fortunate to have both of them.”
What do you think about playing in the Alamodome?
“We played Oklahoma State when I was at Arizona. (Justin) Blackmon caught a long touchdown pass against us in the Alamo Bowl. It’s a great place, I love the venue. Being in the Superdome for 11 years with Tulane, you can relate to so many of the positives and negatives that you do have. But you look around this thing, how can you not be excited about playing here every week. This is as good as they’ve got in the country. Nobody can walk in and say our stadium is better than yours. We’re in San Antonio. We’ve got a lot of things that are good, really good, to build on. If Coach Wilson would have went to some other places, I don’t know if I would have been so quick to jump in there.”