JJ Perez, InsideRunnerSports.com

UTSA Football Spring Practice Day 1

News and notes from UTSA Football’s first day of spring practice.

By JJ Perez
For InsideRunnerSports.com

News & Notes from UTSA Football Spring Practice Day 1

Back To Business: Day one of UTSA’s first spring practice had a workman-like feel to it. Head Coach Frank Wilson said he was glad to get back at it: “It was great. Guys were flying around, really competing. The energy and effort was really evident today. I enjoyed day one.”

Rhodes Ready To Go: Starting RB Jalen Rhodes said he could tell the players were excited for the first spring practice. “It was high, everyone was excited and ready to go. We had a really good day. You could just tell that everyone was ready to go.”

No Stalwarts on Day One: Coach Wilson said that he couldn’t identify any day one standouts. But he added that the team looked good overall. “As a team you saw the spirit, you saw the energy, you saw the effort. There’s so much to learn right now as we go through installation. When go team, offense vs defense, that brings out the very best in the guys and they got after it. It’s good to see that. But there were no stalwarts just yet.”

One Speed: Although UTSA practiced in helmets and jerseys Monday, Coach Wilson said the pace of practice was where he wanted it. “We have one speed here, full speed. If you try and gauge it, that’s where you have inconsistency. A day like today, we practice like pros.”

QB Play: We got our first look at the six quarterbacks on UTSA’s roster. During the portion of practice open to media, incumbent Dalton Sturm took all of the #1 reps. He was followed by Manny Harris, Bryce Rivers, Jaylon Henderson, Brandon Garza, and Clay Roberts. Wilson on the QBs: “Steady play. The guys are making strides. I thought all of them competed today and tried to do the things that we asked of them. We had a handful of pass plays, mostly quick game, not many with progression. That will come as the practices and installs happen and hopefully they can continue to develop.”

Depending on Sturm: Senior Dalton Sturm enters this spring as the #1 quarterback. In his first practice of the spring, Sturm looked like he picked up where he left off last fall. Wilson says he’ll be looking for the following from Sturm this spring: “For him to have the ability with his accuracy to be consistent, to put the ball where it needs to be every time it’s snapped and the route is called. To have the discipline to take what the defense gives you and check the ball down and get your running backs involved in the game. Just to be very mature and discipline about his progressions. We like where he is. We’ll think he’ll be able to help our team and continue to develop. We’re pleased with the progress he’s making.”

Local QB Looks the Part: We got our first look at true freshman QB Bryce Rivers. The Stevens alum graduated from high school in December and enrolled at UTSA in January. Wilson on Rivers: “Bryce, just three months ago, was in high school. Here is with us. He’s doing a great job of being the student of the game and understanding the play book. We’ll bring him along slowly as his development happens.”

No QB Available to Media: UTSA’s first practice ran a little longer than expected. As a result, Dalton Sturm, who was originally going to be made available to media, had to race off to class. Sturm should be available to media at the next availability. Neither Manny Harris nor Jaylon Henderson was made available to media following Monday’s practice.

Depth at Safety: Because of injuries and departures, UTSA’s Safety position is one of the places opportunity beckons for some of the younger players on the roster, While Coach Wilson did not rule out the possibility of one of UTSA’s cornerbacks moving to Safety, he did say they’ll be evaluating the positions. “I think we have enough (safeties). They lack the experience you would like but that’s what spring football is for. It will be good for them to get these valuable reps.”

Davenports Adds 25lbs: DE Marcus Davenport was noticeably bigger on day one of spring practice. According to Coach Wilson, Davenport has added 25lbs from this time last year. Wilson credited Strength and Conditioning Coach Ryan Filo with the team’s physical progression: “Coach Filo and his staff has done an outstanding job of getting our guys bigger. We have guys that are as minimal as 5lbs and as maximum of 25lbs in the case of Marcus Davenport and some of the other guys. Then we have guys like David Anzaldua, who have leaned up.”

No Dropped Balls: Early in UTSA’s practice, WR Peyton Hall dropped a pass during drills near the endzone. That caught the attention of Coach Wilson, who let it be known that wasn’t acceptable. Wilson, in to so many words, let Hall know he needed to catch that pass. Wilson on the exchange: “No, no you can’t drop passes. That’s not acceptable. That’s all about the ball.”

Sands on the Mend: RB Coach Everette Sands was seen with a cast on his foot. According to Coach Wilson, Sands suffered an Achilles injury. Sands was using a scooter to move around the practice field.

Practice Schedule: Monday was the practice number one of a scheduled 15. UTSA will practice again on Wednesday. The team will move into shells for their Friday practice. Following that workout, the Roadrunners will pause practices for spring break. UTSA will return back to practice Monday, March 20 and will be in full pads. The next media availability is Friday.



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