The Trajectory Continues: UTSA football signs best recruiting class in team history


Seva Hester

The Roadrunners celebrate by singing the alma mater after a game last season. The ‘Runners have signed their highest-rated recruiting class in school history, which comes at just the right time, with the team’s looming move to the American Athletic Conference.

Luke Lawhorn, Assistant Sports Editor

The immediate success of UTSA’s football program on the field since Jeff Traylor’s hire in Dec. 2019 is no coincidence. His recruiting classes have improved each year and this 2022 class is the highest-rated class UTSA has ever had.

Coming off a Conference USA Championship and back-to-back seasons with bowl game appearances, there seems to be no slowing down Traylor and the rest of the coaching staff’s hunger for improvement. The Roadrunners have gone from lifeless to “the team to beat” in conference play the last couple of seasons, which can be credited to the new mojo Traylor brings to the program. 

“We swung higher than normal,” Traylor said in his Wednesday press conference on National Signing Day, attributing their confidence in recruiting football talent to their on-field success.

With each year of improvement comes more expectations, and with UTSA’s all-time high recruiting numbers, they seem to be taking on the challenge. With 17 three-star players, the ‘Runners rank third overall in C-USA, behind only Marshall and Southern Miss. An average recruiting rating of 0.8436, and retaining key players such as quarterback Frank Harris, offer a promising future for the program with current stability at crucial positions. Coach Traylor also acknowledged that the secondary was in need of the most improvement, which is no secret due to senior Tariq Woolen graduating and hoping to play at the next level.

Clearly, UTSA went hard on the defensive side of the ball. Zahquan Frazier, a safety and the eleventh-rated player in junior college from Coffeyville, Kan., had transferred to UTSA as the highest-rated player the ‘Runners have ever had at a 0.8729. Not far behind at 0.8715 is linebacker Owen Pewee out of Cypress, Texas. These top additions will make an impact on defense, especially to match top offensive competition in the American Athletic Conference which UTSA will soon join. Three impact signees for the Roadrunners are wide receiver Jace Wilson from Denton, offensive lineman Venly Tatafu from Independence, Kan. and Kaleb Brown from Austin.

The job is not done, though. With two players decommitting from UTSA to go to SMU and Washington State, the ‘Runners still have five scholarship spots open to sign players from the transfer portal. Coach Traylor noted that with today’s transfer portal, players will always transfer to find places to play until, ultimately, they graduate. However, Traylor is not open to letting just anyone sign to the team, Coach Traylor admitted that they were turning a lot of people down who were “dying” to come to UTSA, saying that they recruited “up,” implying they are setting their expectations on more talented players to match better competition in future games. With the more selective recruiting process, it is no coincidence that UTSA has jumped in recruiting rankings.

“We’re a lot closer today than we were yesterday,” Coach Traylor said, showing Roadrunner fans that there is more to come, and UTSA is on the right path to repeat as conference champs.