SAN ANTONIO —
UTSA head football coach Larry Coker welcomed 69 student-athletes to campus Wednesday for the first day of fall classes. The group includes 24 members of the program’s first-ever signing class, four new signees and 41 walk-ons.
“It’s exciting to have all these guys on campus now,” Coker said. “They’ve been very respectful and done everything we’ve asked them to do since they’ve reported. It’s an impressive group of young men. We’re very anxious to start practice in a couple of weeks and actually put on some pads and play football. That’s what we’ve been waiting to do and it’s almost here.”
Of the 69 players, 66 are from the state of Texas, including 30 from the Greater San Antonio Area.
The four new scholarship players are freshman defensive back Jeremy Hall (Brenham, Texas/Brenham HS), junior defensive back Dominick Maddox (Converse, Texas/Judson HS/Navarro JC), junior offensive lineman Mike Sanchez (Mission, Texas/Sharyland HS/Houston) and redshirt freshman quarterback Eric Soza (Beeville, Texas/Jones HS/Texas State).
Hall (5-11, 195), who originally signed with SMU in February, was a two-time first-team all-state and three-time first-team all-district performer at Brenham High under head coach Glenn West. He helped lead the Cubs to a 13-3 record, a District 18-4A title and to the 2009 Class 4A Division II State Championship Game. He recorded 76 tackles, seven interceptions and four forced fumbles and he picked off passes in the closing minutes of four consecutive playoff games as a senior. A standout athlete, he also was a three-time all-district outfielder in baseball, helping the Cubs win the 2009 Class 4A State Championship, and a two-time all-district guard in basketball.
Maddox (5-10, 205), who originally signed with Stony Brook in February, posted 84 tackles, six pass breakups and one interception in two seasons at Navarro College under head coach Nick Boebeck. As a sophomore in 2009, he helped lead the Bulldogs to an 11-1 record, a Southwest Junior College Football Conference Championship (SWJCFC), a victory in the Heart of Texas Bowl and a No. 3 final ranking in the NJCAA Top 25 Poll. As a freshman in 2008, Maddox helped Navarro post a 10-1 mark, the SWJCFC title and a No. 5 ranking in the final national rankings. A three-year letterwinner at Judson High, he was a third-team all-state selection as a senior after recording 167 tackles and three interceptions. Maddox also earned all-area and all-city selection after helping the Rockets to an appearance in 2007 Class 5A Division I State Championship Game. He also lettered in track & field during his prep career.
Sanchez (6-2, 285), who has played center and guard during his career, transferred from Houston where he helped the Cougars reach the Armed Forces Bowl for two consecutive seasons. He played under his father, Fred, at Sharyland High from 2004-07 and was a two-time second-team all-state center and he also earned all-district, All-Valley, All-Bay Area and All-South Texas honors for the Rattlers. Also a three-time district champion and a state qualifier in the shot put and discus, Sanchez also will compete for the defending Southland Conference Champion Roadrunners track & field team.
Soza (6-1, 195) comes to the Alamo City from Texas State, where he sat out as a redshirt in 2009 but had emerged as the likely starter at quarterback following spring drills. He played for his father, Chris, at Jones High, totaling 8,052 passing yards and 86 touchdown passes to go along with 1,598 rushing yards and 29 TDs. He also racked up 65 tackles and five interceptions to go along with a 37-yard punt average during his four-year career. As a senior in 2008, Soza passed for 2,248 yards and 25 TDs, rushed for 1,001 yards and 15 TDs, registered 28 tackles and two picks and averaged 39 yards per punt. He was named District 30-4A MVP, the All-South Texas Offensive Player of the Year and first-team all-area that season. Soza was tabbed the district‘s Offensive Player of the Year, first-team All-South Texas, all-area co-MVP and honorable mention all-state as a junior in 2007. He was the District Offensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2006 and Newcomer of the Year in 2005. Soza also was a four-time district all-academic selection. A standout prep athlete, he was a starter in basketball and baseball and also lettered in golf and track & field.