D.J. Gillins Transfers to UTSA

The Roadrunners picked up some quarterback depth with the announcement that SMU's D.J. Gillins is transferring into the program. 

Gillins was a four-star recruit by ESPN.com, Rivals and 247 Sports. He was ranked as No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247 Sports, No. 9 by Rivals and No. 17 by ESPN.com. He signed with Wisconsin and moved to receiver shortly after his arrival in Madison. 
He left Wisconsin after two seasons and went to Pearl River to play quarterback, which he did for one game before a knee injury cut short his Junior College career. 

After a year at Pearl River, he moved onto SMU. 

Here's the good news Roadrunner fans, Gillins is adept at running the zone read. Chad Morris put together goal line packages Gillins which relied on the threat of the pass but really used him more like Oklahoma's Blake "Belldozer" Bell. Gillins suffered a toe injury in fall camp and in his most extensive action, against UConn, he still seemed bothered by the toe. 

Morris and SMU tried to work Gillins into the system, basically splitting series against UConn, but the offense gelled with Ben Hicks at quarterback. Gillins has very good size and looks all of 6-3 and more than his listed 206 pounds. 

Now the bad news. 

Gillin left SMU as the third-string quarterback, perhaps fourth, beaten out by Hicks, an early enrollee freshman, William Brown, and maybe another transfer Rafe Peavy. Gillins threw four passes last year and completed one. He's a thrower, not a passer, meaning his throwing isn't yet refined to make different throws at different velocities or arm angles. He's got some Uncle Rico in him, and he tries to throw the ball over that mountain. 

Here's his one completion, he made it count. 

Despite that, we really don't know his ability as a passer because he's never really done it at the college level. The jury's out on his athleticism as well as he was hobbled last season with the toe injury, but he wasn't explosive with the ball in his hands. 

Either way, Gillins gives UTSA another option at quarterback and at best perhaps a starter. At worse he's a player who can excel in specific packages, i.e., short yardage and goal line. 

Posted on April 26, 2018 and filed under SMU, Southwest Round-Up, UTSA.