UTSA Coronavirus Update
The entire sports world has undoubtedly been ravaged by the Coronavirus pandemic. This is not any different for the UTSA Roadrunners football program. The school shut down in mid-March, taking away the ability for any spring camp. However, with the SEC allowing players to voluntarily return to campus on June 8th, it is interesting to see what UTSA has been doing to cope with unprecedented times.
Jeff Traylor has had a very interesting start to his UTSA career. He has been unable to make many meaningful appearances in front of his team. He had just over three months to get to know the team before the pandemic stopped football. However, this does not mean he has not been in contact with current and future players.
Traylor and his staff have been utilizing Zoom in order to contact current players as well as recruits. Traylor stated that he meets virtually with his players almost daily from eight in the morning to one in the afternoon. He then recruits virtually from about one in the afternoon to 10 at night. Traylor was named the Big 12 Recruiter of the year in his time at both Texas and Arkansas. He is completely comfortable recruiting and although he has had to change his approach, he is still succeeding as a recruiter.
Although the SEC has allowed players to return to workouts, other conferences are still anxiously anticipating their own returns. Coach Traylor noted that he believes a return plan will look different in each state. However, because of the popularity of the game in Texas, the return of football might come sooner than others. He also noted that it will be based on the governor, mayor, officials, and school presidents’ feelings toward a safe return. If proper testing can be done and the athletes will be safe than he sees the potential for return. Traylor originally hoped that athletes could do some form of training in the summer. The possibility of this is still up in the air. However, now that Texas is reopening, the potential for the student-athletes to take the field looks more promising.
Frank Harris Status
Frank Harris was has been somewhat of a lost cause for the Roadrunners. After missing his first season with a torn ACL, he would return in his sophomore year. Unfortunately, Harris would only play in four games last season as he would be sidelined for the rest of the year after he separated his non-throwing shoulder. Many Roadrunner fans would soon think of him as an injury liability; however, his pure talent and athletic ability keep him in the running for the quarterback position each year.
This was going to be an important offseason for Harris as he would be rehabbing his shoulder and integrating himself with the team. However, because of the pandemic, the latter became much more difficult. Harris has been utilizing video workouts from strength and conditioning coach Ryan Filo to stay in the best shape possible. It will be important for Harris to get stronger this offseason to prevent future injuries. And with there being no football, this should be Harris’ number one focus.
UTSA in 2020
Harris also noted that the team’s offense this year will be very fast-paced. This different for the team and will be beneficial for an offense that ranked 117th out of 130 in points per game of the division one teams. UTSA struggled to get points on the board all season. However, if what Harris says is true, this fast-paced offense could be just what the Roadrunners need to sneak their way to the top of the Conference USA rankings.
This offseason will consist of lots of at-home workouts. This is concerning because the players will have to hold themselves accountable. However, if each individual does their part, the Roadrunners could come back looking stronger than before.