By JJ Perez
UTSA’s defensive backfield is one of the key areas to watch this spring. In 2016, the unit performed well. But with the departures of Michael Egwugau, Jordan Moore, Chase Dahlquist, and Justin Chavez, all of sudden some there are some depth issues at the positions.
Can the underclassmen step up?
UTSA has a proven commodity in Free Safety Nate Gaines. However, Gaines underwent surgery in the offseason and will not participate in workouts this spring. At Ram Safety, both players from last season’s two-deep depth chart (Moore and Dahlquist) are gone. So too is last year’s starting Lion Safety (Egwuagu). Who will step up and fill these roles?
Safeties is one of the positions of opportunity this spring. A player like CJ Levine, who has shown glimpses of potential, has a chance to earn playing time next fall this spring. The door is open for Carl Austin to see a ton of reps at the Free Safety position. There's also a ton of opportunity for a guy like Andrew Martel. The Richmond-native saw action primarily on special teams last season but he showed that he’s a tough and physical players. Other players to keep a watch on in the defensive backfield are Darryl Godfrey and Brenndan Johnson. Both should see a lot of action this spring.
Lion SS: CJ Levine
Ram SS: ???
Free Safety: Nate Gaines (Injured), Carl Austin III
Other Reserves: Andrew Martel, Brenndan Johnson, Darryl Godfrey, Isaiah Clay, Mitch Vickery, Ronnie Benavidez