Marcus Connolly/ The Paisano
Wednesday, Feb. 4, Larry Coker and the UTSA Athletics Department announced that a 37-man recruiting class will be coming to play for UTSA in the 2015-2016 season. This class will change UTSA football as we know it.
Twenty-eight high school seniors, eight junior college transfers and one Football Bowl Subdivision transfer make up the largest class in the history of the football program. Coming on the heels of a season that graduated more than 25 seniors and was below .500, this monumental class came at the perfect time for the program.
“This class overall… you’ll see more size and speed than we’ve had,” said UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker at the press conference to announce the latest recruitment class.
The players in this class make up an average height of 6’2” and an average weight of 223 pounds. Nine of the players received a three star rating from CBS Sports and ESPN and the class was ranked 8th in Conference-USA (C-USA) by CBS Sports.
“We feel like we addressed offense and defense; (we) got some quality in both areas,” said Coker.
With 19 offensive players and 18 defensive players, the 2015 class is very balanced.
UTSA’s number one recruit per ESPN is center Clayton Woods from Dallas, Texas. Woods is ranked number nine in the nation at the center position and is the only player in the entire class to be ranked in the top ten at his position.
“Clayton Woods (is an) offensive center from Highland Park (which is a) great program… Clayton is here with us now and is going to be a terrific prospect,” remarked Coker.
The class boasts players from seven different states including: Texas, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Mississippi and California, with the majority of the recruits hailing from Texas.
“We want to recruit Texas, and we have 27 players from the state of Texas. We’re pleased about that,” Coker explained.
Of the 27 Texas recruits, three are San Antonio natives.
Overall, the biggest strength of this class is the depth. The 37 recruits make up the biggest signing class in the nation and no other team in C-USA has signed more than 27 players.
The striking thing about this class is the emphasis on offensive lineman; in addition to Woods, offensive tackle Shane Block and offensive guard Alex Snow received three star ratings from ESPN. Coker coached teams have historically done well when the offensive line was strong. On Coker’s 2001 championship Miami team, four offensive lineman from the class received All-Conference honors.
Three star recruit Jess Anders will be a welcomed edition to the running back stable which struggled in the 2014-2015 season. Anders is the highest rated recruit in the class that plays a skill position.
UTSA football fans should definitely be excited about this class. With one class, Coker was able to lessen the blow of the exodus of seniors, add size and speed, address holes in the roster while adding depth and, most importantly, brought relevance to a very young program.
I don’t expect this class to produce immediately, however I do expect that this stellar group of freshman will help UTSA to compete for a C-USA title down the line. Offensive line is typically a position that transitions well from one level to the next, so I fully anticipate the stud freshman linemen to make an impact as early as next year. I really like that Coker put an emphasis on recruiting Texas. The NFL census revealed that Texas is third behind California and Florida in terms of NFL player’s birth state, so being able to tap into the wealth of high school talent in Texas will be important to compete with other powerhouse programs in the state.
The first chance to see the class in action will be at the UTSA Football Fiesta Spring Game, April 18 in the Alamodome at 1 p.m.