A closer look at UTSA's quarterback situation
Eric Soza was more than just a quarterback-- he helped lay the foundation for a new program and get the city of San Antonio excited about FBS college football.
Soza is the only quarterback UTSA fans know. He started 32 of UTSA’s first 34 games and posted a 19-13 record. In his final season, the three-year starter guided the Roadrunners to a 7-5 mark in just their third year of existence.
But it’s time to move on.
While Soza will always be remembered as UTSA’s first quarterback, his career has come to a close, and head coach Larry Coker must now find an adequate replacement.
Sophomore Zac Conque transferred to Stephen F. Austin before spring ball began, which means UTSA will have just three scholarship quarterbacks on their roster including two freshmen.
Here is a closer look at the three candidates to replace Soza.
Tucker Carter, Sr. (6-3, 225)
Quick hit: Carter is the veteran of the group and the favorite to win the job. After redshirting as a junior, Carter played in five games last season -- mostly in garbage time-- and completed close to 70 percent of his passes. Carter ran the first team offense in the spring, which likely means he will do the same in fall camp. At this point, it appears it’s Carter’s job to lose. Before arriving at UTSA, Carter was named 2011 SWJCFC Offensive Player of the Year at Trinity Valley CC. Texas high school football fans may remember Carter leading Allen to the 2008 5A Division I state title.
Coker’s Comments: “I’m very impressed. Really, I’m not surprised. He’s thrown the ball really well. He’s worked very hard. The sad thing from my point is we didn’t get him more (experience), not so much late-game experience because we battled every week. We didn’t have a lot of lead way. But he’s a veteran player. He’s played a lot of junior college football, and he’s worked hard. I’m excited to see what he can do.”
Austin Robinson, RS Fr. (6-3, 220)
Quick Hit: Robinson spent his first year on campus sitting and learning. And he’ll be the first one to tell you that he still hasn’t mastered the offense. It would be beneficial for Robinson to have another year to get a grasp of the system while getting playing time at the end of blowout games. But if he does win the starting job, Robinson is a dual-threat signal-caller with plenty of upside. As a senior at Bellaire Episcopal, Robinson passed for 1,487 yards, rushed for 801 yards and scored 21 touchdowns en route to leading the Knights to their firs-ever SPC Big-School title.
Coker’s Comments: “I was really impressed with him. He’s been very involved. He’s worked hard. He’s very smart. Austin's got talent, but he's not a good quarterback yet. Again, he's young and those are things that you'll see him progress, and you'll see him be a good quarterback before it's all over.”
Blake Bogenschutz, Fr. (6-0, 180)
Quick Hit: UTSA probably won’t go with a true freshman unless Bogenschutz completely turns heads during fall camp. Bogenschutz was not an early enrollee, so he missed spring ball, which means he still has long way to go as far as learning the in’s and out’s of the offense. But Bogenschutz definitely has the potential to be ‘the guy’ down the line. Just look at his numbers from his time at Carthage: Bogenschutz passed for 4,003 yards and 57 touchdowns with just four interceptions as he led the Bulldogs to the Class 3A Division I state title.
Coker’s Comments: “He threw 57 touchdown passes last year, and you can't throw 57 touchdowns against air. He's had a tremendous career.”
Prediction: Tucker Carter. Yes, it's the safe pick, but I just don't see either of the freshmen winning the job over Carter.
EJ Holland is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.
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