Roadrunners begin pre-season practice

The Roadrunners reported to camp on Friday and had their first practice on Sunday at Farris Stadium in preparation for their inaugural season.

San Antonio Express-News beat writer Dan McCarney brought us in-depth coverage throughout the practice, including the players that seemed to be the starters at the beginning of practice:

DEFENSE

Marlon Smith, E; Dominique Henderson, T; Ferrington Macon, T; William Ritter, E; Steven Kurfehs, LB; Brandon Reeves, LB; Darrien Starling, CB; Crosby Adams, CB; Nic Johnston, S; Mark Waters, S; Shane Jones, S.

OFFENSE

Drew Phillips, LT; Scott Inskeep, LG; Nate Leonard, C; Mike Sanchez, RG; Cody Harris, RT.

Skill positions shuffled around too much to identify a particular group, but Eric Soza (obviously) was at quarterback.

There aren’t any huge surprises in that group, as it seems the staff is currently starting only players who were in camp last year. I haven’t heard much about safety Shane Jones, but he’ll likely be replaced by transfer Lekenwic Haynes by the start of the season.

Transfer Ashaad Mabry is reportedly still being held out of camp until his transfer paperwork clears.

McCarney posted a follow-up entry at the end of practice, which was highlighted by how the coaching staff feels about the transfers and incoming freshmen fighting for starting jobs:

Coker reiterated what offensive coordinator Travis Bush told me a couple of days ago: Without an established lineup, and an entirely new recruiting class to evaluate in the flesh, the new guys will be given every opportunity to win jobs.

When I pressed defensive coordinator Neal Neathery, he said he’s probably got seven guys who are solidly entrenched for starting jobs on his unit. He wouldn’t say who, of course, but if I had to bet a paycheck, I’d go Marlon Smith at end, Dominique Henderson at tackle, Steven Kurfehs at linebacker, Mark Waters and Nic Johnston at safety and Crosby Adams and Darrien Starling at corner. With Kurfehs, Waters and Smith being mortal locks.

It seems like most of all, the players were just excited to be in camp. As Eric Soza said in David Flores’ article for KENS5, “It’s just like a kid going to the candy shop.”

As far as the incoming freshmen go, everyone seems to be most impressed by linebacker Blake Terry, who will be in one of the most intriguing position battles competing with transfers Steven Kurfehs and Brandon Reeves who held down the middle of the field in the Spring Game. Check out Coker Chronicles spotlight on Terry and Reeves.

McCarney’s article for Monday’s Express-News reiterated some of the points from his blog, and gave Blake Terry’s opinion on freshmen fighting for starting jobs:

“These guys haven’t had any competition,” he said. “We’re here to show them their spot is not safe. They better be on watch every day. They think they have their spot (secured), but we know different.”

Wednesday will reportedly be the first day of practice in full pads for UTSA’s inaugural team, after five practices in shirts and shorts. The UTSATailgaters staff reported that there will be an intrasquad scrimmage on August 20 and, in contrast to other reports, some of the practices may be open to the public.

I have some recordings from the local news broadcasts on Sunday night and I’ll be working on getting them all together to put up here, so check back here or on my Twitter later today for the video.

EDIT: Here’s the video:

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Darrell Williams

Darrell started writing about UTSA football before it was even a thing, then he took a few years off, and now he’s back.