Cardinal football inks depth, talent to roster

By Marc Trevino


National Signing Day on Feb. 2 left the University of the Incarnate Word football team

with 29 newly recruited high school seniors from near and far – including Australia.

Signing day is the first official day where players can sign their letters-of-intent with their respective universities. With the addition of these scholarship players now signed, Head Coach Mike Santiago said he anticipates some non-scholarship walk-ons.

At a news conference in Gayle and Tom Benson Fieldhouse marking the signing of the scholarship players, Santiago said one of his main goals this year was to add some depth to its roster as well as size. Native Australian Rory Drew, a 6-foot-8, 315-pound offensive lineman with a background in rugby, is among the signees.

“We’ve talked about going internationally,” Santiago said. “Those are guys that no one else is going after.”

In terms of physical size, the Cardinals are beefing up in all positions as 10 of their 29 recruits are 250 pounds or above.

“You can’t coach 6-8,” Santiago said. “You have to recruit it.”

San Antonio local high schools were also very well showcased, as eight signees for the Cardinals are from the Alamo City area.

UIW also added speed and talent with the signing of Gabriel Taylor, a 6-foot-6, 190-pound receiver out of Brackenridge High School. Taylor brings the possibility of an over-the-top passing game that was absent from the Cardinals offense last season, Santiago said.

“Gabe was our No. 1 guy on the board,” Santiago said. “He can push the top, and that’s what we need.”

The quarterback position is also getting some much-needed depth with signees Jordan Scelfo, a 5-foot-10, 190-pounder from Tucson, Ariz., and Kyle Fishbeck, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Portland, Texas.

Both quarterbacks will be given a chance to compete for some playing time, Santiago said, “but still may not be given immediate playing time. They both have good arms and are ready to play.”

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