Safety Rashad Wisdom and running back Sincere McCormick had options while coming out of the class of 2019. Both were all-state performers at nearby Converse Judson with more than 20 combined offers, including many at the Power Five level.
But when it came down to making a decision, the glitz and prestige of well-established programs didn’t make the decision for them. Instead, the pair decided they wanted much more: to build a winner from the ground up in their football-starved community.
“We could have gone anywhere in the world, but we felt like this was a better option for us,” McCormick said. “We can make a name for ourselves.”
Many coaches pitch the opportunity to be foundational members of a football program. Nowhere is that truer than at UTSA, which didn’t start playing football until 2011. But even more than that, the Judson duo wants to tap into a thriving San Antonio football culture that too often gets overshadowed by the state’s other big cities.
“We’re more silent compared to other cities,” Wisdom said. “People look down on us because we’re San Antonio. But when they come to play one of our teams, it’s a different story.”
Wisdom and McCormick aren’t the only UTSA stars playing in their home city. All-conference guard Spencer Burford hails from San Antonio Wagner. The two most likely contenders at quarterback – Frank Harris (Schertz Clemens) and Josh Adkins (Spring Branch Smithson Valley) – are both from the area. Several other young players will soon get their shot.
Their gamble paid off right away. Wisdom earned a starting safety spot and finished fourth on the team with 44 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and an interception. McCormick, not to be outdone, nearly cleared the 1,000-yard mark to earn Conference USA Freshman of the Year honors. Both will be integral parts of the foundation as Jeff Traylor takes over the program.
But more than anything, the Rockets-turned-Roadrunners are making clear to the incoming coaching staff that San Antonio must be top priority.
“It’s a great thing for those guys to be visible like that – we all know that San Antonio is a community that loves to identify with their own,” offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. said. “When you see kids that are local have success here, I think it only casts a broader net of attention that we’re trying to capture here locally. We need more of those guys.”
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