Tomorrow, September 3, 2015, we will witness the start of the Bogenschutz era of UTSA football. I have made no secret of my support of Blake Bogenschutz as the new leader for UTSA. I knew almost nothing of him last year until the Oklahoma St game. I was in the stands and watched this inexperienced freshman come into the game and march UTSA down the field for a touchdown. I watched as he stood in the pocket and waited until the last split-second to release the ball. Willing to take the hit. Not afraid or intimidated by the bigger, faster and more athletic OK St defense. Able to make quick decisions and extend plays.
The game itself was over at that point. But the potential that I saw was without question there. The broken wrist was a fluke and ended the year for Blake and for UTSA. Unable to keep the offense on the field the rest of the year was just too much for the defense to handle. And the rest was for the record books.
However, 2015 is a new year. UTSA has younger talent. Faster. Quicker. Stronger. And they also have a few key players that I suspect will become the primary team leaders and ultimate names of UTSA football: Bogenschutz; Cavanaugh; Grubb; Okotcha; Eqwuagu!
I do want to caveat here that there are a number of key players and future stars for UTSA in the two-deep. But for now I am watching these specific five players.
Michael Eqwuagu has speed, intelligence and an ability to read the offensive scheme. I see him as becoming our main leader in the secondary, protecting the deep ball while keeping the unders in control. I will be very surprised if at the end of the year Michael does not have 3 interceptions! Yes, I am saying that now. Three INT’s for the year! Last year teams kept flooding the box and then throwing over the top. This year, I see Michael making them pay each time they try it. Come-on…. I dare you 🙂 Throw over the top.
Bennett Okotcha is just a beast. His closing speed, experience and intelligence for the game will control the edge he is on. The smarter teams will check off of the side that he is set on. For the rest, watch out. Bennett will slide out of site and then jump in when the QB feels comfortable. I will not be surprised to see him get 2 interceptions this year with one returned for a TD. Tackles will be close to a team best as the CUSA teams will continue to pass versus run against the strong UTSA inside.
On the offensive side, for those that are more into the less prestigious aspects of college football, keep an eye on William Cavanaugh. He will probably bounce between right guard and center, but be certain that where ever he lines up, the defenses will try to stunt, counter, split or whatever they can do to avoid him. William is quick, strong in the pass defense and able to handle two defenders if necessary. I will not be surprised to see most of our runs be near to where he lines up. And his ability to move into the center role for our injured Perez buys me some additional comfort should Clayton go down.
Aaron Grubb is one person that I am really looking forward to watching this year. His ability to run solid routes. His great hands and overall speed, I am excited to see the possibilities with him and Blake. I would not be surprised to see Aaron as the top receiver come the end of the year. The downfall with Aaron is that the opponents will be looking out for him. But some of what I saw in the open practice gives me the feeling that Coker may have some rubs in the scheme to free up Grubbs, especially when cutting over the middle.
Finally we have Blake Bogenschutz. Freshman redshirt (I’ve always hated this term. He is a sophomore redshirt.. but I digress). As I stated earlier, I have made no secret of my appreciation and respect for Blake as the starting QB for UTSA. Between his football intelligence, height, quick release and overall talent I think Coker may have found a diamond in the rough. Blake has incredible poise for such a young man. He has jumped on the role as a leader of this team and from some of the interactions I saw at the open practice this month, he has an incredible amount of respect from his teammates. This is exactly what UTSA needs. A true leader. A man that can energize and excite both the player and the fans. Someone to instill confidence and a swagger that UTSA has been missing this past year.
So I have put myself out there on who I see as some of the top players to watch this coming season. I may be right. I may be wrong. But it’s out there for the record. The only question left is what do I think will happen this year: Well for those of you that know me on RowdyTalk, I have put it all out there. But for those that are not on that board, I see a tough start but some surprises. I don’t expect a win at Arizona. Just too tough and we will be ironing out the kinks on a new offense. Kansas State though is another question and I am predicting a win there. Come the end I predict a 7-5 year. Bowl eligible. And we will attend that bowl.
So, all that is left is for the season to start. The tailgating to begin and another year of UTSA football to begin. If you happen to come to a game in San Antonio, look for Linda and I in the RV lot next to Lot B. Look for the Minion and custom UTSA/Texas flag.