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Author: Jared Kalmus – @JaredUTSA
The Roadrunners have wrapped up another early signing day as Jeff Traylor and co. locked up the services of 15 future Roadrunners. While we wait for a few additional transfers and commitment signatures to trickle in, let’s take a quick look at a few guys that I’m really high on making a big impact in their time at UTSA. We’ll be discussing each signing in detail on the Patreon podcast this week with Matty of TailgateSA and Javi of BirdsUp.com.
Jalen Rainey – Safety – Brandeis High School
Arguably the top high school player in this class, Rainey will likely spend a few years being mentored by Rashad Wisdom before stepping into the starting role at free safety. I expect Rainey to compete for playing time as a true freshman. He has everything you look for at the position. Rainey hits hard, flies downfield quickly, and has great coverage skills. Oh and standing at a legit 6’3″ never hurts.
Ronnie Garza – OT – Edinburg Vela High School
A lot of UTSA fans are going to see a 6’6″ offensive lineman from the RGV and immediately compare him to David Anzaldua, but Garza is many times more athletic than Anzaldua ever was. In fact, I’d go so far to say that Garza is one of the few legit offensive tackles UTSA has ever signed out of high school. Garza has a super quick first step and does a good job of using his hands to seal the edge. He’ll need to work on playing with better leverage at the collegiate level, but I’m really excited by Garza’s potential. He’s a slim 290 and should carry 310 pounds pretty easily as his body matures.
Ron Tatum III – DE – Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
The former Oklahoma Sooner will be a game changer for UTSA at defensive end. With NFL size at 6’5″, 270 pounds, Tatum is strong as a bull and explosive at the point of attack. Has great flexibility at the hip and is always playing with a lower pad level than the offensive lineman blocking him. He does have pass rushing ability but will need to develop pass rush moves other than a bull rush. Will excel in the run game from day one.
Clifford Chattman – DB – Texas A&M
A graduate transfer from Texas A&M, Chattman will likely be a day one starter for UTSA at nickleback/Sam outside linebacker. This is the position that Clarence Hicks and Dadrian Taylor play. Chattman was a starter at A&M as recently as 2019. I did a film break down of his breakout performance against Alabama which I recommend checking out.
Noah Mitchell – LB – Pearl River CC
Mitchell’s film really wowed me. He has great natural speed, but his game speed is what really separates him from the pack and made him a JUCO All-American. If you watch his feet in his film you see that he has very little “wasted” movement. Mitchell makes the correct read quickly, then heads exactly to where the ball is or will be. His film shows him making really impressive plays in all phases — against the run, rushing the passer, and dropping back into coverage. I could see Mitchell starting at middle linebacker next season, with Ligon sliding out to outside linebacker. Even if Mitchell doesn’t start, he provides a massive upgrade to the depth at linebacker.
UTSA’s press release for their signing day class is attached to this post.
Bonus — I recently did a film breakdown of UTSA quarterback signee Eddie Lee Marburger in case you missed that last week.
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