Sunday, August 30, 2015

Five UTSA seniors earn football Preseason All-Conference USA laurels

UTSA football players

UTSA football players at the Alamodome
(Photo: Jeff Huehn, UTSA Athletics)

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(July 23, 2014) -- Five UTSA seniors earned Preseason All-Conference USA honors, and UTSA was picked to finish third in the West Division, as the league office announced its annual football coaches teams, awards and predicted order of finish on Wednesday.

Offensive guard Scott Inskeep was the Roadrunners' lone representative on the offense, while free safety Triston Wade was the team's only selection on the other side of the ball. However, UTSA earned three of the five spots on special teams, as place-kicker Sean Ianno, punt returner Kenny Harrison and deep snapper Jesse Medrano all were chosen. The Roadrunners had the second-most all-conference picks, trailing only unanimous preseason favorite Marshall, which had seven.

Inskeep, who was named to the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation's top interior lineman) watch list for the second consecutive year on Monday, was a second-team all-conference choice last fall. The McAllen native recorded 61 knockdown blocks, including a season-best nine at Tulsa (Nov. 9) and again a week later against Tulane, which was good for second on the squad.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pounder also graded out at 82 percent and was a key part of an offensive line that did not commit a holding penalty. His blocking helped the UTSA offense average 25.6 points, 417.8 total yards (175.4 rush/242.4 pass), 21.9 first downs and 32:24 possession time per contest. It was the second straight year that Inskeep earned second-team all-league laurels, as he was an All-Western Athletic Conference choice in 2012.

Meanwhile, Wade also is coming off a junior season that saw him earn second-team All-C-USA accolades. The 2014 Jim Thorpe Award (nation's top defensive back) candidate followed up his 2012 first-team All-WAC campaign with a team-leading 94 tackles and two interceptions to go along with seven pass breakups and two-and-a-half tackles behind the line of scrimmage in 12 starts.

The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Tyler native intercepted both his passes at Tulsa (Nov. 2), one of which he returned 82 yards for a touchdown, and he also broke up a toss in the end zone to go along with four stops in that contest. Wade recorded a career-high 12 stops at Arizona (Sept. 14) and matched that feat two weeks later against Houston (Sept. 28).

Ianno connected on all 38 of his extra-point attempts last season, and he has split the uprights on all 90 PATs during his three-year career. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder will enter the 2014 campaign with the nation's second-longest active extra points streak. The Pflugerville native also drilled 11 field goals a year ago, including a long of 43 yards, in addition to seeing 21 of his 60 kickoffs (35 percent) result in touchbacks.

Harrison averaged 7.3 yards on just seven punt returns a year ago as teams kicked away from him following a sophomore season that saw him finish second nationally with a 17.3 average on 12 runbacks. However, the Lindale native showed his big-return ability in the home opener against No. 13 Oklahoma State with a season-long return of 62 yards.

Medrano helped the Roadrunners connect on all 38 of their extra-point attempts and another 11 field goals in addition to setting up their 39.2 punting average. The local product out of Jay High School also added three special teams tackles. Marshall racked up 91 points in finishing atop the East Division rankings, while North Texas (66) edged Rice (65) and UTSA (62) in the West.

The Roadrunners, 7-5 overall and 6-2 in C-USA play a year ago, will open their 2014 season on Friday, Aug. 29, at Houston. The first-ever game at the brand new TDECU Stadium will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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Did You Know?

UTSA makes the grade with a strong core curriculum

UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.

For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.

Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.

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