What happens when a recruiter proves himself before he even gets a chance to recruit a full class? Is there anything more intriguing than that?
A year ago, UTSA was tasked with replacing the only coach it’d ever had. Larry Coker had taken the program from the conceptual stage to Conference USA. The Roadrunners took the fast lane to FBS, playing one provisional year before jumping all the way in; despite that, FBS life had started with 15-9 in their first two years.
When Coker’s first, giant class of freshmen and transfers left, so did Coker’s energy. He won just seven combined games in 2014-15 and elected to head toward the proverbial golf course. In looking to replace him, UTSA took a big swing.
Biggest strength: The defense, led by end Marcus Davenport and linebackers Josiah Tauaefa and La’Kel Bass, has major havoc potential.
Biggest question mark: The passing game was quite inefficient, and there’s nothing saying it will be any better this year.
Biggest 2017 game: Beat Southern Miss (Oct. 7), and the Roadrunners could be in the C-USA West race all the way to the season-ending trip to Louisiana Tech (Nov. 25).
But if the Browns are offering significantly less than other teams, the right choice for Pryor may not be to stay in Cleveland.
ESPN’s Tony Grossi points out that the Browns were correct about the market value for tackle Mitchell Schwartz last offseason, but when Schwartz tried to come back and accept the Browns’ previous offer, Cleveland said it was no longer on the table. The Browns’ offensive line suffered with Schwartz and center Alex Mack gone. It was short-sighted on Cleveland’s part to not welcome Schwartz back.
The Browns also decided to move on from wide receiver Taylor Gabriel after the preseason. Gabriel was productive in 2014, with 621 receiving yards and a touchdown, but he had a down year in 2015, with just 241 receiving yards. The Falcons signed Gabriel after his release from the Browns, and he was a key component of Atlanta’s top-scoring offense last season.