Texas-San Antonio’s Top Five Players by Ranking
1. Triston Wade, S, 5-11, 165, Jr., Tyler, Texas — UTSA’s lone first-team All-WAC choice last season, Wade has contributed to a total of 13 turnovers (seven fumbles/six interceptions) in the first 24 games of his career. He tied for the team lead with four interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in his dozen starts a year ago. He has opened the year with a team-leading 15 tackles (10 solos), including eight last Saturday against No. 13 Oklahoma State.
2. Scott Inskeep, LG, 6-4, 300, Jr., McAllen, Texas — He is a preseason All-Conference USA pick and member of the prestigious
Lombardi Award (nation’s top interior lineman) watch list. A second-team All-WAC selection a year ago, Inskeep helped UTSA average 28 points, 449 total yards (146 rush/303 pass) and 26.5 first downs per game this season and he has seven knockdown blocks, including five in last Saturday’s loss to No. 13 Oklahoma State.
3. Eric Soza, QB, 6-0, 205, Jr., Beeville, Texas — Soza does not have much size but he makes up for that with his leadership quality. He has started most of UTSA’s games at quarterback in its three-year history. He is Roadrunners football. He owns a 13-9 record (.591) as the program’s career leading passer (383-for-664/4,778 yards/39 TDs) and rusher by attempts (179 for 722 yards). He had one stretch of 256 consecutive passes without an interception last season.
4. Kam Jones, WR, 5-11, 190, Jr., Edna, Texas — The Roadrunners’ most dynamic athlete, he opened his third season at New Mexico with
a team-high 104 all-purpose yards. The former prep QB led the team with five receptions for 65 yards, including a 35-yarder, and he also rushed four
times for 39 yards (9.8 avg.). He went on to add another 203 all-purpose yards (158 kickoff return/39 receiving/6 rushing) in last Saturday’s game
against No. 13 Oklahoma State. He has played in all of UTSA’s 24 games (18 starts) and is the program’s all-time leading receiver with 71 catches for 1,005 yards (12.4 avg.) and he also has ran for 346 yards on 57 carries (6.1 avg.).
5. Steven Kurfehs, LB, 6-2, 230, Sr., San Antonio — A former safety, Kurfehs picked up second-team All-WAC accolades following a junior season that included him recording 71 tackles (41 solos) and a team-leading 4.5 sacks in 12 starts. He had two games in which he tallied 13 tackles. He returned a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown against San Jose State last year and an interception 45 yards against Bacone College in 2011.
Arizona’s Top Five Players by Ranking
1. Ka’Deem Carey, RB, 5-10, 207, Jr., Tucson — Gaining 100 yards is no longer the standard for Carey. He wants 150 or more. After last week’s seemingly effortless 171 yards rushing on 16 carries against UNLV, anything less than 100 yards rushing will be alarming. Texas-San Antonio coach Larry Coker said this week that he believes Carey will be a top five pick in the first round of the NFL draft.
2. Marquis Flowers, OLB, 6-2, 230, Sr., Phoenix — He continues to bloom — sorry for the pun — as a senior as he positions himself as a middle-round pick in the NFL draft. He has eight tackles – one for loss – and a 36-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown last week.
3. Jake Fischer, 6-0, 221, Sr., Oro Valley, Ariz. — He showed some speed and elusiveness last week with a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown against UNLV. Fischer is a little off his pace of last year when he led the UA with 119 tackles, but that is related to others on the defensive improving around him. He has eight tackles through the UA’s first two games.
4. Tra’Mayne Bondurant, CB, 5-10, 198, Jr., Vallejo, Calif. — He is tied for the FBS lead with three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. He has three interception returns for touchdowns in his Arizona career. Two of the better defensive backs to play for Arizona — Randy Robbins and Antoine Cason — were prolific in returning interceptions for touchdowns. Robbins had four and Cason three.
5. Daniel Jenkins, 5-9, 194, Sr., Moreno Valley, Calif. — He is averaging 7.1 yards per game which makes him and Carey one of the more dynamic backfield combinations in the country. The Wildcats average 351.5 yards on the ground thanks to Jenkins’ efforts. The UA’s record is 274.5 rushing a game in 1954. Led by Art Luppino, the UA gained 2,745 yards on the ground in 10 games that season.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.