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Author: Jared Kalmus – @JaredUTSA
After a relatively slow start to the 2022 recruiting class, Jeff Traylor is finally picking up steam after all scholarships for the 2021 class have been allocated.
Given the surplus of 2021 “super seniors”, the class of 2022 forecasts to be a small one, perhaps as low as 15 athletes. Despite the small number of scholarships available, Traylor has opted to take two scholarship quarterbacks in this class as he seeks to leave his mark on the position.
Today we’ll be focusing on UTSA’s second quarterback in the class, Austin Bowie standout Diego Tello. Standing at roughly 6’2″, Tello is a natural pocket passer with a quick release and an ability to generate velocity when throwing off balance.
Bowie missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006 due to a 57-56 loss to Austin High which saw Bowie’s defense blow a 21 point fourth quarter lead. A poor shotgun snap gave the ball to the Maroons to complete their miracle come back.
Despite the program-level set back in the Bulldogs’ Covid season, Tello really hit his stride this year as he passed for 2,119 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions through 8 games. Tello was unanimously voted District 26-6A first-team quarterback, though Westlake star quarterback Cade Klubnik was named the district’s offensive MVP.
As Tello has yet to play a full season of varsity ball he’s managed to fly under the radar with FBS offers from just UTSA and Texas State, coincidently the two teams he’s camped with so far this summer. Pardon the pun, but the 2021 season will be extremely telling as to what type of player Tello really is. While he’s been contributing since he stepped in as the starter in his sophomore season due to an injury to the senior starter, Tello has the opportunity to take his game to the next level as a senior.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the more impressive plays on his junior film.
We see Tello’s pocket immediately break down at the edges. Tello wisely steps forward to evade pressure instead of immediately rolling out. A bull rush from the defensive tackle forces Tello to scamper towards the sideline. While his footwork and posture in the pocket isn’t perfect, Tello is able to buy himself and his receiver some time to get open. As Tello rolls to his right he forcefully delivers a 30 yard strike with some real velocity despite not having time to set his feet.
Given the abrupt cut at the end of this clip we can probably assume that this pass fell incomplete but it’s a catchable enough ball. I love this play because it shows just how quick Tello can get a deep ball out of his hands. Watch this loop through a few times and see how little time it takes Tello to wind up and deliver this 40 yard throw after the shoulder fake to the bubble screen (right about one second per my napkin math).
Here’s another clip where Tello flashes his raw arm strength. This one travels 40 yards through the air despite Tello throwing off of his back foot. It’s pretty easy to imagine him spinning it 55+ yards through the air when he’s firmly planted.
I’ll be waiting patiently to see if Tello can take the talent he flashed in his junior film and build on it. Currently I see Tello as a high floor/low ceiling type. While the zips on his mid-range throws won’t wow you, he does have the arm strength to push the ball downfield. We’ll see how he improves going into his senior season, but worst case I think he’ll be a very effective game manager quarterback that will be able to keep the chains moving.
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