UTSA football players on award watchlists

Luke Lawhorn, Sports Editor

UTSA football is at the back-end of its season and preparing to defend its conference title. Quarterback Frank Harris is the star of the team, already receiving national attention and collecting honorable awards throughout his career. The Roadrunners, however, are not on top of the Conference USA standings without help from other positions. In turn, other players are getting noticed for end-of-season awards.

As mentioned, Frank Harris is at the forefront of the team, already collecting four C-USA Offensive Player of the Week. His most recent came against North Texas, where he had 313 total yards with two touchdowns, including the game-winner. As of Friday morning, Harris is ninth in the FBS for total passing yards, and first in passing in C-USA. Harris was also selected to the Dave O’Brien QB Class of 2022, which is a list of 40 quarterbacks on the watchlist to win the national quarterback award. This is his third consecutive season being chosen for the list. This is Harris’ seventh time receiving the C-USA Player of the Week award and is the sixth time a Roadrunner has earned the honor this season. 

Placekicker Jared Sackett won the other two C-USA Player of the Week awards, this time for special teams. Sackett has made 9 of his 13 field goals this season, along with 34 of 34 for extra points. Sackett was also designated a nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding football player in America. Sackett walked on to the team in 2017 and became the second player from UTSA to become a Freshman All-American. In addition, Sackett was placed on the Lou Groza watch list this season which is the award given to the best placekicker in college football.

Offensive lineman Ahofitu Maka was selected last week as one of 15 finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy. Just the third Roadrunner to become a finalist, the award goes to the player with the on-field performance, success in the classroom and displaying above-and-beyond leadership. Maka was a member of the 2021 C-USA All-Academic Team, received a C-USA Academic Medal in 2019, and was on the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times. Maka has also not allowed a sack or hit on the quarterback in 384-pass blocking attempts. The 15 finalists will fly to Las Vegas on Dec. 6th for the 64th Annual NFF Awards dinner.

UTSA’s three-headed-monster of receivers — Joshua Cephus, Zakhari Franklin and De’Corian Clark — were all added to the Biletnikoff award watch list this season, with Cephus being the most recent addition. Franklin was added to the preseason list, while Clark was added last month, and the trio is in the top six of receiving yards in C-USA. The award is given to the most outstanding quarterback in college football. 

These players have contributed to another record-setting football year at UTSA. For the second season in a row, the Roadrunners find themselves on top of the C-USA standings and will face off against UAB at 2:30 Saturday, Nov. 5.