2023 NFL Draft: 15 players to watch during the Houston vs. UTSA matchup

·5 min read

The 2022-23 college football season is upon, and with the NFL season a little under a week away, the intertwining of draft talk and prospect watching will now commence.

Philadelphia has a ton of NFL draft assets for 2023 and 2024.

With Howie Roseman looking to inject even more youth into a talented roster, this college football season will provide the best overall group of talent to enter the league in years.

There are plenty of opening weekend matchups to watch, and one intriguing showcase will pit the Houston Cougars against the UTSA Roadrunners at the Alamodome.

Houston is looking towards a potential berth in the College Football Playoffs, and they’ll look to avoid a potential stumbling block in this road date against the reigning Conference USA champion Roadrunners.

Head coach Jeff Traylor has a winning formula with UTSA, and the contest could be a shootout, with two talented quarterbacks under center for both teams.

The Cougars went 12-2 last year and are ranked inside the Top 25 to open the season for the first time since 2016.

UTSA is also coming off a successful season, going undefeated in its first 11 games and finishing with a 12-2 overall record.

With the kickoff scheduled for Saturday afternoon, here are 15 prospects to watch on both teams.

UTSA -- QB Frank Harris

Dec 3, 2021; San Antonio, TX, USA; UTSA Roadrunners quarterback Frank Harris (0) celebrates a touchdown run during the first half of the 2021 Conference USA Championship Game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Harris returns after rewriting UTSA’s record book last year, setting new marks for passing yards (3,177), passing touchdowns (27, against just six interceptions), completion percentage (66.1 percent), and total offense (3,743 yards).

A dynamic rushing threat, Harris channeled his inner Jalen Hurts, rushing for 566 yards and six touchdowns on the ground.

Houston Cougars -- QB Clayton Tune


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Tune passed for 3,546 yards and 30 touchdowns last season and is on pace to join Case Keenum (19,217) and Kevin Kolb (12,964) as the only 10,000-yard passers in program history.

Houston Cougars -- Nathaniel Dell

Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Dell accounted for 1,329 of Tune’s 3,546 passing yards last season with the Cougars.

Dell logged 1,329 yards and 12 touchdowns on 90 receptions.

Houston Cougars -- RB Ta'Zhawn Henry

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Henry returns to Houston after rushing for 513 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021.

UTSA -- S Rashad Wisdom

(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Wisdom was an All-Conference USA first-team selection for the second straight season, led the Roadrunners with 88 tackles, and ranked second on the team with six passes defended in 2021.

Wisdom led the team in tackles the last two seasons and was named the preseason defensive player of the year in the conference.

UTSA WR Zakhari Franklin

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

The star of UTSA’s trio, Franklin, is coming off a dominant junior season in which he played in 13 games and hauled in 80 catches for 1022 yards for an average of 12.8 yards per catch, with 12 TDs, and a QB rating when targeted of 121.5.

UTSA --WR Joshua Cephus

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cephus had 71 catches for 819 yards and six touchdowns and is a part of an explosive UTSA trio of receivers.

UTSA -- WR De’Corian Clark

(Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

Clark is a member of the UTSA trio named the ‘Bomb Squad,’ and the versatile pass-catcher is coming off a season in which he logged 52-catches for 755 yards and seven touchdowns.

UTSA -- TE Oscar Cardenas

Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Cardenas appeared in all 14 games with four starts last season.

A physical run blocker, Cardenas logged 16 catches for 233 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner against UAB.

Houston Cougars -- S Gervarrius Owens


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Owens plays a vital role in the Cougars’ secondary. Last season, he logged the fifth most tackles on the team with 52 while also registering 33 solo takedowns, four tackles for loss, five passes broken ups and two interceptions.

Houston Cougars -- DT Chidozie Nwankwo

Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Standing 5’11” and 293 pounds, Nwankwo lacks some height but flashes some dominant potential and could use this matchup as a springboard.

Houston Cougars -- DE Derek Parish

Mandatory Credit: Jim Owens-USA TODAY Sports

Parish started all 14 games last season, logging the fourth most tackles on the team at 56 with 26 solo tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and the third most sacks with 5.5.

Standing 6’2″ and 245 pounds, Parish is an explosive athlete with the motor to match.

Houston Cougars -- DE D’Anthony Jones

(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

Jones matched Hall for sacks last season despite playing fewer snaps.

Standing 6’2″, 280-pounds, Jones is explosive and should rise up draft boards with an uptick in snaps.

Houston Cougars -- WR KeSean Carter

Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Carter returns to the Cougars after recording 26 receptions for a career-high 331 receiving yards and one touchdown in nine games last season.

After missing the last five games of the 2021 season, Carter returns as a fifth-year player and the most experienced pass-catching option behind Dell.

Houston Cougars -- LB Donavan Mutin

(Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Mutin is a force for the Cougars after leading the team in total tackles with 77 and finishing second on the team with three forced fumbles while also posting 46 solo tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and one fumble recovery.

One of the focal points of last season’s defense, Mutin returns to the program as a veteran and one of The American’s top linebackers.

Story originally appeared on Eagles Wire