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Author: Jared Kalmus – @JaredUTSA
As I reflect on ten seasons of UTSA football I’ve been thinking about just how instrumental transfers have been in building the Roadrunners’ program. I think UTSA is a bit unique compared to other programs in the sense that many of the most impactful and influential players in program history started their careers elsewhere. Let’s take a look at ten guys who left the greatest legacy at UTSA despite signing a letter of intent with another program coming out of high school. Please note JUCO transfers were not eligible for this list but I’ll probably rank them out in a later post.
10 – Carlos Strickland (Cal/Kansas State)
While Strickland unfortunately chose not to pursue his final year of eligibility at UTSA, he made a major impact in his single season in San Antonio. The Kansas State transfer by way of Cal is easily the most talented pass catcher the Roadrunners have ever had at the tight end position. Strickland caught 28 passes for 386 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2019 and probably would have put up ridiculous numbers in 2020 had he stuck around.
9 – Jevonte Domond (LSU)
After a disappointing career at LSU, Domond followed Frank Wilson to UTSA and showed the nation the talent that made him a high level recruit. Domond anchored the offensive line at left tackle in 2016 and was instrumental in getting the Roadrunners to their first bowl game. Domond is still among the program’s most talented offensive linemen since the program kicked off.
8 – Austin Jupe (Baylor)
The San Antonio native had a slow start to his career as he dealt with injuries following his transfer from Baylor. Once Jupe got his body right he became one of the best cornerbacks the Roadrunners have ever had, a key factor in the 2016 team’s excellent defense. Through the 2016 and 2017 seasons Jupe totaled 51 tackles, 2 INTs, and 10 pass deflections.
7 – Charles Wiley (Ole Miss)
It’s hard to imagine UTSA’s 2020 defense being as successful as they were without the contributions of Charles Wiley. The SEC transfer was an impact player from day one as he brought a pass rushing presence that the defense was missing without him. Wiley recorded 43 tackles, 10 TFL, and 2 sacks as a senior.
6 – Robert Singletary (Baylor)
Still one of the best pass rushers UTSA has ever had, Singletary had two really strong years at UTSA as a defensive end. Singletary’s stats are pretty gaudy — 99 tackles, 13.5 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, 6 pass deflections, and 6 forced fumbles, all over just two seasons.
5 – Josh Stewart (Midwestern St.)
The only Division II transfer to make the list, Josh Stewart provided UTSA fans with many highlights over his at-times dominant career at UTSA. Stewart is also unique on this list as he’s the only former walk-on to rank in the top ten of transfers. While Stewart wasn’t as consistent as some other players on this list, when he was at his best he could take over a game. Stewart caught 75 passes for 1,200 yards and 8 touchdowns through two seasons at UTSA.
4 – Evans Okotcha (Portland State)
After a solid freshman season at Portland State, Okotcha decided to pursue the opportunity to play at the FBS level with Larry Coker. Evans would redshirt over the 2010 practice season before stepping into a co-starting role with David Glasco in 2011. Okotcha was the Roadrunners’ go-to option on short down and distance situations, amassing 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns over his three years at UTSA. Okotcha was a very steady presence in the backfield, as he never averaged less than 4.2 yards per carry in any season.
3 – Bennett Okotcha (Oklahoma)
In August 2012 Bennett Okotcha made the decision to leave Oklahoma to join his brother Evans at UTSA. After sitting out a year due to NCAA policies, Bennett immediately elevated the Roadrunners’ defense as soon as he hit the field in 2013. Okotcha was lightyears ahead of any other cornerbacks on campus, and the one-time Notre Dame commit lived up to his potential by pouring in 99 tackles, 6 INTs, and 30 pass deflections over his three year career at UTSA. Bennett may best be remembered for his game-winning interception against North Texas in 2013.
2 – Ashaad Mabry (Oklahoma State)
The program’s first Power 5 transfer, Ashaad Mabry played a major role in making the promise of UTSA football a reality. UTSA’s potential has always been predicated around the program’s ability to keep San Antonio’s top talent at home. Outside of the troubled running back Chris Johnson, Mabry was the first national-level recruit to don the Orange and Blue. Mabry more than delivered on expectations as he dominated the trenches over four seasons at UTSA. The stout defensive tackle started every game through his career in San Antonio and signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent in 2015. Mabry started a new career as a football coach last year as he now coaches the defensive line for his alma mater MacArthur High.
1 – Eric Soza (Texas State)
10 years later and Eric Soza is still one of the most well-respected athletes to come out of UTSA. Soza started his collegiate career at Texas State, but when the Bobcats decided not to grant him a full scholarship Soza packed his bags and headed up I-35. The story that followed is nothing short of poetic, as Soza put UTSA on the map as the program’s first starting quarterback and took his revenge over the Bobcats in the two programs’ first meeting in 2012.
Patrick Hoog (Oklahoma State)
Clayton Johnson (Oklahoma State)
Jarron Harris (Angelo State)
Erik Brown (Fresno State)
Jordan Moore (LSU)
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