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Author: Jared Kalmus – @JaredUTSA
After a delayed start to spring camp, the Roadrunners have finally entered the last week of spring ball before the team dismisses for the summer to focus on off-field development. While it’s been a pretty uneventful spring given the amount of production returning on the roster this season, there are always lessons to be learned from a spring game. Here are the five things I’ll have my eye on this Saturday as I report from the scrimmage.
1. Who is stepping up at linebacker?
Few will deny that linebacker was UTSA’s thinnest position last season. Even the coaches and players admitted as much during a recent media availability session. Jeff Traylor naturally made the position a group of focus in the 2021 recruiting class, and both Noah Mitchell and Caden Holt have drawn positive reviews from their early showings. I’ll keep my eyes honed in on both players to see if they look ready to contribute right away.
2. Is ELM the future?
I’ve heard some pretty positive off-the-record praise for UTSA true freshman quarterback Eddie Lee Marburger as the Edinburg star was able to graduate high school early to participate in spring ball. It sounds like ELM is very talented, though he clearly still has some growing to do to be ready to play at the collegiate level. I’m very anxious to get a look at ELM’s arm strength and command of the offense.
3. How good is a healthy offensive line?
Off the top of my head I think UTSA only had a fully healthy starting five for two or three games last season. When the lineup was Burford-Haynes-Maka-Davis-Hart the front five held up really well. Depth should be better than ever with the super seniors returning but the strength and health of the starting five will determine how far this team can go in the fall. Can they consistently establish rushing lanes and keep Frank Harris upright?
4. Is Peter Gray a fit at tight end?
I’ve long been a big fan of Peter Gray but the undersized defensive end was looking to be the odd man out as UTSA increased their athleticism at the position. Gray played a good bit of tight end in high school and I think he should have a fairly easy transition to tight end at UTSA. I’m hopeful that Gray can give the Roadrunners the big target in the middle of the field that they sorely need to take the next step in the passing game.
5. How are the newcomers looking?
Texas A&M transfer Clifford Chattman comes to UTSA with high expectations so I’m curious to see how he’s fitting in with the defense. Coach Traylor has had extremely high praise for Tulane transfer Brandon Brown, and Kansas State transfer Ronald Triplette will be interesting to watch if he’s healthy enough to play this week. I’ll also have my eye on walk-on wide receiver Kyle Eaves. The all-state stand out from Lake Travis has looked explosive in some videos UTSA posted from camp and he certainly has the credentials to sneak into some playing time at UTSA’s underwhelming slot receiver position.
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