By Kory Guidry
To round out their 2020 recruiting class, Texas State head football coach Jake Spavital and his staff have brought in five new players since the early signing period to complete their 20-man recruiting class.
Spavital emphasized to the media that they were looking to change the profile of their team by increasing their size and athleticism across the board, and they look to have done just that.
They were able to bring in two wide receiver transfers in Marcell Barbee and Kevin Howard, along with Jaycob Horn from Tupelo High School in Mississippi. Coach Spavital is known for being fond of big receivers, and he and his staff followed the theme of adding size to the team with these three wide outs all being over 6-foot-1-inch tall. The hiring of Jacob Peeler as offensive coordinator was instrumental in adding some depth to the 2020 receiver class, which previously consisted of Tyler Junior College transfer Drue Jackson.
Marcell Barbee is a 6-foot-2-inch receiver and transfer from Iowa Western Community College who had over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior college career. Barbee played mostly inside receiver in junior college, but Spavital plans on starting him out on the outside where he can use his athleticism.
A late get for the Bobcats was receiver Jaycob Horn, who is the son of former New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn. Coach Peeler had a big role in the signing of Horn to Texas State. Horn was originally committed to Peeler, who was the wide receiver coach at Ole Miss, but he ended up following him to Texas State. Spavital describes him as a big slot, but he will be able to play all sorts of positions across the board.
Transfer from Fort Scott Community College Kevin Howard has decided to walk on. He is a very big and talented kid at 6-foot-3-inches. Peeler played an instrumental role in the recruitment of Howard, who was initially committed to Arkansas State early on, but he had a relationship with Peeler from his time at Ole Miss.
“We were looking for walk on bodies and it just kind of helped with our numbers,” Spavital said. “Peeler got him here, and this kid is impressive so far that he has been here. I’m really fired up for that kid.”
The Bobcats were able to add some defensive line depth as well with the addition of Derrick Ray Jr., who transferred from Trinity Valley Community College. Ray has the athleticism to play defensive end or kick inside to the three technique and be a disrupter there.
“We need a guy to replace Ish Davis, he is going to compete for that spot,” Spavital said.
Another signee that they plan on using in the defensive backfield is high school quarterback Zion Childress from New Chaney High School. Childress has played several different positions on the field, but he mostly played as New Chaney’s quarterback. Childress is capable of doing anything for them, but they plan to start him off at defensive back.
“Coach Dewhurst does a really good job of identifying quarterbacks and moving them to DBs,” Spavital said. “The kid can do it all.”
Overall the coaching staff did a very good job in adding some key pieces to complete the 2020 recruiting class. This class will be tasked in trying to replace the 22 seniors that were lost to graduation. The addition of the three receivers that will join the already-signed Drue Jackson projects to be a big help in replacing the production that was lost with the departure of Hutch White and Mason Hayes, as well as Derrick Ray Jr., the only defensive lineman in the class, to help replace the production of Ishmael Davis.
On April 11 at Jim Wacker Field, the fans will get a chance to see the team’s new additions in action during the annual spring game. Follow @KTSWSports on Twitter for more updates.
Featured Image by Garrett Martin