Jeff Traylor speaks after national signing day

Rylan Renteria, Contributing Writer

Jeff Traylor, head coach of UTSA football, spoke with the media on Wednesday to discuss the results of national signing day and other urgent topics such as returning players, injuries and the current state of the 2023 recruiting class. 

Traylor opened up the press conference by acknowledging the fact that UTSA earned the No. 1 recruiting class of all Group of Five programs in the 2023 recruiting cycle. Traylor went on to emphasize that recruiting is only a small part of team building.

“The development part is what’s most important; it’s what we do with these kids here on out,” Traylor said. “The development of that young man’s mind, soul, spirit, his body … that’s the most important piece.” 

When asked about the state of the roster and how that affects recruiting this late into the process, Traylor says they were able to be more selective and had to turn down a lot of good players that would go on to sign with rivals. With the only signing for UTSA on Wednesday’s signing period being junior college (JUCO) prospect DB Marcellus Wilkerson, Traylor was asked how they find value in the JUCO ranks. He said one of the team’s goals was to create a blended roster, aiming for 50-60% high school players and the rest more experienced players from JUCO or the transfer portal. He mentions that “it’s easier to get into the homes … easier to get phone calls taken” from prospects with UTSA coming off back-to-back C-USA championships. 

After the season concluded, a significant question was the fate of UTSA’s key contributors on offense, such as WR Zakhari Franklin and WR Joshua Cephus. Traylor put any doubt to rest in this statement about the topic, “ … they’re all here and they’re all working out, we’ve lost no one … all three receivers are coming back.” As for the stars coming off an injury, Traylor said, “it would be tough for JT [Clark] to make the opener,” but added that he would not bet against Clark making a faster recovery. As for safety Rashad Wisdom, he said, “I would expect him to be 100% game one.” 

The most secure position on the team as of now is quarterback, with QB Frank Harris returning for his 5th season as a Roadrunner. When asked about the future of the position after Harris departs for the NFL, Traylor showed confidence in backups Eddie Lee Marburger and Colorado transfer Owen Mccown. 

Traylor concluded the press conference by saying the key for UTSA to compete in the AAC is contributions from younger players such as S Zah Frazier and LB Donyai Taylor. UTSA will open the 2023 season in TDECU Stadium, where they’ll look to get revenge against the Houston Cougars.