By JJ Perez
One of the biggest areas of overall improvement last season was the play of UTSA’s offensive line. The unit came together to play very well in 2016. But the graduation of two starters leaves the group lacking depth. A lot of UTSA’s success in 2017 will likely hinge on the play of the o-line.
How does UTSA replace two starting OTs?
Gone are OTs Jevonte Domond and Gabriel Casillas. Both played keyed roles for the Roadrunners last season. So who steps in? All eyes will be on early Juco transfer Josh Dunlop. The sophomore from Dodge City JC is already enrolled in classes and will participate in spring workouts. At 6’7” and 300lbs, he can almost be penciled in as one of the starters. This spring will be very important for his development within the offense. Dunlop is one of four true tackles currently on the roster. But two of those players are freshman with no experience. The only other player with game-experience is Junior Reed Darragh. The Buda-native has played significant snaps for the Roadrunners the last two seasons and as has been solid when he has been called upon. Darragh is a prime candidate for the other starting OT position this spring.
The interior of the offensive line is where the group is strongest headed into the spring. Players like Austin Pratt, Stefan Beard, Juan Perez Isidoro, and Kyle McKinney are proven commodities. Overall, UTSA has six to seven quality offensive linemen with experience currently on the roster. The coaching staff hasn’t been afraid to move players around into different positions. We saw this when OG Kyle McKinney made his first-ever start at center at Texas A&M last season. We’ve also seen Austin Pratt toggle from guard to center. For this group, it’s about getting the best five on the field because the players are versatility enough handle the various duties. The backup positions are where real questions begin. There will likely be several freshmen and/or sophomores listed in the two-deep once spring concludes. There will be some more depth added in the offseason. UTSA signed three other offensive linemen in their recruiting class who will arrive in the summer. Among the trio is Juco OT Keeyon Smart from Kilgore College. Smart figures to be a candidate to crack the two-deep in the fall.
PROJECTED SPRING DEPTH CHART
OT Starters: Reed Darragh, Josh Dunlop
OG Starters: Stefan Beard, Austin Pratt, Kyle McKinney
C Starter: Juan Perez-Isiodoro, Austin Pratt
Backups: Kyle McKinney, David Anzaldua, Josh Otis, Zach Pare, Alex Snow