Picks to Pop: UTSA's B.J. Daniels

Frank Wilson is bringing his SEC experience to bear on CUSA; he's assembling big, explosive athletes all over the field. The Roadrunners defensive line will deploy two-deep of long, physical, control the line of scrimmage, monsters. The Roadrunner receiving corp looks like the front line of a basketball team. And this season UTSA fans get their first real look at B.J. Daniels; a do it all difference maker out of the backfield. 

Photo Credit, Edward A. Orneles, San Antonio Express News

Photo Credit, Edward A. Orneles, San Antonio Express News

Daniels signed on with Wilson's reboot out of Melbourne, Florida in 2017. Syracuse, Maryland, USF, and even Fighting Kiffin's tried to lure him to their respective campuses, but Wilson won out. As a true freshman in a crowded backfield, Daniels carried just thirteen times for 55 yards. In 2018, he's bulked up ready to take a more significant role in UTSA's new look offense. 

Al Borges loves a good running back. More ideally he'd like two good running backs. He's found at least that at UTSA with Daniels and  Jalen Rhodes. At Auburn he used Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown, pairing with quarterback Jason Williams to form a clock eating, brutal offensive unit that helped Auburn run the table. 

Rhodes moved from a secondary role in 2016 to the primary rusher in 2017 but as the season wore on, nagging injuries limited his production, and UTSA's rushing attack fell off as well. Through eight games UTSA average 5.3 yards a carry and won five of seven games. In their final four games, UTSA's yards per carry fell to 3.1, and the Roadrunners lost three of their last four. 

Daniels should help UTSA avoid another lull, and more, he might be the most talented back ever to set foot on campus. His combination of size, speed, and brutality, is unique. Roadrunner defenders discovered quickly this spring that hitting the truck head-on was a fool's errand, so they opted to tackle him low. 

10 Take Aways From UTSA's Spring Game from Underdog Dynasty

Say what you will about spring games, they do give you an indication of who coaches want to see on the field. After 78 yards on thirteen carries, it's clear that UTSA's offensive coaches are comfortable with Daniels. UTSA's defensive coaches? They'd probably rather not see a back like Daniels again. He's a thumper between the tackles who can run away from people in the open field. 

He can also hurdle defenders every now and again, as he did on his touchdown run Saturday. That should give future defenders pause. It's not something you'd like to go to very often but the fact that athlete of his size, he looks thicker than his listed 205 pounds, can spring like deer over a barbed wire fence is impressive.   

Frank Wilson continues to put bring in more freakish athletes, including Daniels. We expect to see big things from the young running back. 

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Posted on April 18, 2018 and filed under Southwest Round-Up, UTSA.