UTSA Roadrunners Top 10 Returning Players in 2023 Include Frank Harris, Trey Moore

Frank Harris leads the UTSA Roadrunners once again in 2023, this time with just as talented a cast as any he's had in San Antonio.

Jeff Traylor and the defending Conference USA champion UTSA Roadrunners take on a new challenge in the AAC. It’s a tougher road to a championship in their new conference, but they bring back a good core of returning players that will make a push.

UTSA Roadrunners Top 10 Returners in 2023

Analyzing the returning players at every school is a difficult task in the transfer portal area. As such, we’ve included transfer-portal athletes that were included on each team’s roster page to open fall camp in addition to the rostered players from last year

1) Frank Harris, QB

If you don’t know the name Frank Harris by now, you better learn quick. He’s been tearing up Conference USA for the past couple of years, and he’s on a mission to do the same in the AAC. The UTSA Roadrunners’ offense goes where he takes them, and the peak is a title. Stopping this offense remains a challenge, and Harris is the leader that makes this group go.

The southpaw put up career numbers in 2022 with 4,063 yards and 32 touchdowns passing. Harris also added a career-high in rushing yards (602) and rushing touchdowns (9). If he repeats the improvement, this will be one of the best stories to follow in college football this year.

MORE: All-AAC Team and Individual Preseason Honors

2) Trey Moore, EDGE

While the offense garners most of the attention, Trey Moore is out here ruining game plans singlehandedly. He led the UTSA Roadrunners in both tackles for loss (18.0) and sacks (8.0) last year. Getting to the quarterback remains an area for improvement, so someone else will need to step up to help Moore.

We know the offense will score, but the question remains how well the defense can slow down the opposition. Moore plays a different role for the Roadrunners’ defense this year, but it’s not a bad thing. He’s still the dominant force that can wreak havoc, but he’ll also attract extra blockers to open things up for his teammates.

3) Joshua Cephus, WR

UTSA’s passing attack remains one of the most potent even without Zakhari Franklin, and that’s thanks to guys like Joshua Cephus. Someone needs to take the role as Frank Harris’ go-to receiver, and Cephus gives him a potential option.

It’s been a fun ride for the Roadrunners in Conference USA, but now they must find a way to take their game to a new level. With Cephus back, the passing attack should be just fine, but there could be bumps along the way. That’s where his size comes into play, and hopefully, it allows this offense to get out of some jams throughout the year.

4) Rashad Wisdom, S

Now that he’s back to 100%, Rashad Wisdom is ready to remind everyone why the NFL is in his future. The senior put up monster numbers in 2020 and followed it up with a solid season in 2021, but injuries limited his effectiveness in 2022.

The secondary will be the most tested group on this team. SMU, Memphis, Tulane, and many others in the AAC boast talented pass catchers, so Wisdom and this secondary must be on their game. If the front seven does their part, Wisdom and company won’t have to cover for long, but they’ll still face plenty of pressure to perform at a high level.

5) De’Corian Clark, WR

Many UTSA Roadrunners fans have said De’Corian Clark was on pace to be the best receiver for this offense even when Franklin was still on the roster. An injury cut his season short, and now fans are hoping he’s back to 100%.

Another solid-sized receiver, Clark is hoping to not only become the top receiver on his team but also find a way to elevate his draft stock. If Meep Meep Nation wants to drop the anvil on the Wile E Coyote that is the AAC, the passing attack must be electric. With guys like Clark back, they’re in business.

6) Kevorian Barnes, RB

When the 2022 season started, not many expected Kevorian Barnes to be the bell cow for this team. UTSA found themselves in need of an efficient runner, and Barnes gave the Roadrunners that to the tune of 6.3 yards per carry.

Running the ball might be more challenging this year, but Barnes gives the AAC a new challenge to address. With his efficiency, teams might need to allocate more resources to the trenches. However, they must be wary of doing too much because Harris and the passing attack are just as lethal.

7) Brandon Brown, NG

If you’re looking at box scores, Brandon Brown won’t produce the numbers that some of his teammates will yield. However, he’s just as vital a piece as any of them. Brown plays a selfless position, one that rarely gets discussed. Yes, his ability to command extra attention helps this defense tremendously.

We mentioned Trey Moore before, and for a good reason. Moore’s a disruptive player who should see more chips and double teams this year, but that opens the field up for Brandon Brown to face one-on-one matchups. With his power and strength, I expect him to win more of those matchups than he loses, which creates havoc on opposing offenses.

8) Jamal Ligon, LB

UTSA’s leading tackler returns, and the Roadrunners need Jamal Ligon to play an even bigger role in 2023. A number of talented tacklers depart, putting pressure on Ligon to elevate his game.

If the defensive line can take a step forward (and they should), the linebacker will find life extremely easy when it comes to making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

9) Oscar Cardenas, TE

Don’t sleep on Oscar Cardenas. While everyone talks about the wide receivers, UTSA’s offense is looking for a third option in the passing attack. After last year, Cardenas is primed to take that role.

At 6’4″ and 275 pounds, Cardenas brings great size to the tight end position. He might not be a burner, but you’re not going to win a physical battle with him. His strength at the catch point comes from his ability to keep guys off his frame, and that provides Harris a big and reliable target if he ever gets in a pinch.

MORE: AAC WR Rankings

10) Nick Booker-Brown, EDGE

Someone benefits from Moore’s presence, and Nick Booker-Brown could be that guy. If you’re looking for a breakout player defensively, Booker-Brown should be on that list.

With teams worried about Moore, Booker-Brown gets to show off his skillset even more. We saw it last year, but 2023 could provide his best season yet.