Texas State football appears to be starting the season anew and has signed 18 recruits alongside newly hired offensive coaches Brian Hamilton and offensive coordinator Jacob Peeler by the time National Signing Day rolled around on Wednesday.
After losing 22 seniors from the 2019 season, including all-time leading tackler Bryan London II, Head Football Coach Jake Spavital and Peeler have hit the recruiting trail during the offseason on the hunt for offensive linemen, a new defense and weapons for the offense.
The majority of the search happened at Texas’s own junior colleges as Spavital looks for players who are ready to join the starting roster off the bat. Spavital said that Texas players are usually the priority in his searches.
“There’s a lot to pick from in this state,” Spavital said. “So that was still important. We had do go and clip some guys from different states, but a lot of these kids are coming back to playing in their home state.”
OFFENSIVE LINE CHANGES
One of the main focuses on the recruiting trail was building up the offensive line. Russell Baker, Alex Costilla, and Silas Robinson all transferred from their respective colleges while Austin Markiewicz and Trenton Scott were recruited from high school.
With an average weight of 290 pounds, the newly recruited offensive linemen will add some much-needed beef to a Texas State offensive line that struggled with being underweight.
Spavital said that the team focused on changing the body type of the team to be larger and more athletic than before.
“What we wanted to do is we wanted to change the profile of our team,” Spavital said. “We thought as a staff that we wanted our players to be bigger, longer and more athletic… we’ve always been been a big believer, and I’ve learned this for a long time, that big people beat out little people… so we tried to get the biggest body types you possibly could and I think we’ve done a great job at that.”
After losing the majority of the defense to graduation, Spavital recruited hard, especially in the junior college ranks, to fill some major holes.
Maureese Wren from Tyler Junior College and Isaiah Karriem from Mississippi Delta Community College will fill in at depleted linebacker position along with Issiah Nixon and twins John and Josh Emmanuel.
Derrick Ray from Trinity Valley Community College comes in at defensive end while Grid Isidore from Tyler Junior College and Tory Spears from Iowa State will help in the secondary.
ADJUSTMENTS ON OFFENSE
While the Texas State quarterback room was full, the Bobcats needed to fill in some offensive weapons left bare by the graduation of wide receiver Hutch White, who lead the team in receiving yards last season.
Drue Jackson from TJC and Jaycob Horn, son of former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn, came in to fill in the hole. Brock Sturges and Jahmyl Jeter add to the running back depth chart that struggled to run the ball during the 2019 season.
Spavital emphasized that no quarterbacks were to be added this signing season and said that transfer quarterback Brady McBride will take the offensive reins after spending the 2019 season ineligible.
The team’s offense will be headlined by Peeler, one of three coaches coming from the University of California, Berkeley, Spavital’s coaching home back in 2016.
“It’s kind of funny these three guys… were with me at the University of California, so it’s kind of like we’re bringing the band back together in a way,” Spavital said.
Recruits and team veterans will play alongside each other as the Bobcat’s strengths will be put to the test for the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 11.