By Reily Chestnut
Assistant Sports Director & Attention Seeker
Bobcat Athletics gets a bad rep from most of the student “fans” at Texas State University. In my time here at KTSW 89.9 I’ve just about heard every excuse for why a student doesn’t go to the games. Summing up all the responses equals the common phrase “We don’t win.” It’s really insulting to call this student body “loyal fans” simply due to the fact that most of them can’t tell me how most of the teams are doing. Now listen, I know not every student that goes here fits this description and does go to games… but when we have record attendance every year and less than half of Bobcat Stadium is filled out on Saturdays while instagram showcases the hashtag #TailgatingSZN instead of #EatEmUpCats I’m a little miffed.
Now my coworkers and I here at KTSW Sports have been preaching this for awhile about Bobcat football, but the future looks brighter than the past couple years. If you had to pick the defining moments for Head Coach Everett Withers after two years in charge of this program then a game isn’t where you should be focusing. Instead, you can find those moments in February on National Signing Day. This year proved no different for the Bobcat coaching staff as they pulled in 23 players.
“We’re excited where we [are] head[ing],” said Withers.
They should be in all honesty. Now did they pull in the top conference recruiting class like last year? No, they pulled in the fifth best in the Sun Belt. But before you compare these two recruiting classes and say that Texas State didn’t get as great of a return as last year… stop and think about this. Last year the team had needs in far more impactful areas like the two pillars of an offense: quarterback and running back where they got five signees. This year they got one to sign on: three-star pro-style quarter back Tyler Vitt. But what a find for the Bobcats. Vitt comes highly regarded as possibly the steal of the class after putting up over 3,500 yards of total offense his senior year at MacArthur High School.
In total, Vitt was one of eight three-star players in the 2018 recruiting class, bringing the number of three-star recruits these last two years for Withers and his coaching staff to 18. Overall, Texas State got a ton of playmakers at the skill positions and made sure to increase their depth on both the offensive and the defensive line while increasing the quality of the team. So if I were to give a grade for this recruiting class I’d say it earned a solid B+.
“But Reily how will this translate to them performing on the field?” To tell you the truth, it might not mean a huge difference at first. First off, Texas State will still need to fill 11 more roster spots with scholarship players after this season. That might not seem like too big of a deal but in the most general of statements football is an injury prone sport and the very best teams have the most bodies to throw around. This team probably still won’t go bowling next year, but I can expect them to build off of their young, more experienced roster by continuing to plug up the holes that exposed them too often last season. Those two holes are mainly their defensive secondary and the most low key but vital part of all great football teams: special team units.
However, the biggest overhaul for the Bobcats moving forward won’t be focused on stats. It’ll be leadership for a squad that graduated three of last year’s team captains LB Gabe Loyd, TE Gabe Schrade and LB Easy Anyama. How the team handles that moving forward will truly be the determining factor in whether Texas State football starts to earn respect and not just from other schools, but the students in San Marcos themselves.
Featured photo by Madison Tyson.