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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Bobcats lock up impressive class on National Signing Day

New+Texas+State+football+head+coach+G.J.+Kinne+gets+introduced+at+a+Texas+State+mens+basketball+game%2C+Saturday%2C+Dec.+4%2C+2022.

New Texas State football head coach G.J. Kinne gets introduced at a Texas State men’s basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2022.

Head coach G.J. Kinne officially announced the 2023 Texas State recruiting class on Feb. 1 on National Signing Day, officially commencing his and his coaching staff’s goal to “Take Back Texas.”
Since being named head coach, Kinne and the coaching staff he assembled went right to work, spending the past two months out on the recruiting trail. It appears their collective hard work has paid off as Texas State managed to sign a promising 33-man recruiting class.
“I’m really excited about the guys we added,” Kinne said. “We wanted to add length, wanted to add speed. We had to get some impact guys, guys that could come in and play right away. We felt like we did that to go along with our current roster.” 
The slogan #TakeBackTexas trended on Twitter among Bobcat fans after Kinne’s hiring, symbolizing the start of his goal of recruiting players from Texas, whether it be in the high school ranks or convincing Texas players who committed to out-of-state programs to return to the Lone Star State to finish off their collegiate careers.
“We signed 30 Texas high school kids and former high school kids, so I feel we did a really good job as far as that goes,” Kinne said. “This class will be the foundation of what we want to build. Very proud of this class and proud of our coaching staff for what they were able to do in Texas and the relationships they were able to build so fast.”
The biggest name in the class is dual-threat quarterback Malik Hornsby. The former Arkansas Razorback was a consensus four-star recruit who was getting a lot of attention from Power 5 programs in the portal, most notably Nebraska. Kinne said that Hornsby’s athletic profile fits Texas State’s offense.
“As soon as we identified him [Hornsby] as someone we’d like to go after, we pursued him hard,” Kinne said. “He’s got the arm talent, he’s a dynamic runner, you see the film at Arkansas, the talent is there and we sold him on the development piece. The opportunity to come back to Texas and be the guy was a huge pitch.” 
The biggest surprise came Wednesday morning when Justin DeLeon, a three-star offensive lineman out of H.M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas, gave his pledge to Texas State while holding offers from Baylor and TCU. 
Recruiting services were predicting DeLeon to become a Bear, but in an unexpected turn of events he decided to become a Bobcat instead. 
“Just getting him on campus,” Kinne said. “[Jordan Shoemaker] did a really good job of identifying him and building that relationship. We still got some work to do as far as getting him here, but he’s a really good player.” 
While DeLeon’s commitment came as a surprise, what did not surprise many were a handful of Incarnate Word players choosing to follow Kinne to San Marcos. A total of eight commits in Texas State’s 33-man 2023 class played for Kinne at Incarnate Word last season. 
“Some of those UIW guys are some of the best guys we signed,” Kinne said. “We know those guys; we know what we’re getting very high-character guys. We signed Kaleb Culp, a safety, an all-conference guy. Kole Wilson, a freshman All-American receiver [is] another guy we expect to come in and contribute. Getting those guys was huge.” 
Kinne used his Incarnate Word pipeline to restock the Texas State offensive line, an area that was in need of improvement heading into the late recruiting period after losing multiple players to the transfer portal. 
Nash Jones, Caleb Johnson, Dorion Strawn and brothers Jimeto and Emeka Obigbo were the offensive lineman who transferred to Texas State from Incarnate Word.
“We got a couple of plug-in play guys coming in,” Kinne said. “Three of them had Power 5 offers that we were fighting off to get them here. They wanted to come play for us. They wanted to come play at Texas State. That offensive line piece getting those guys allows me to sleep well at night because they’re a huge part of what we’re going to be about moving forward.” 
Texas State only had one player who didn’t sign his letter of intent Wednesday. South Oak Cliff defensive back Taylor Starling ended up having a last-minute change of heart and committed to North Texas. 
The 2023 recruiting class could be the first step in the process of making Texas State President Kelly Damphousse’s goals for the program a reality. 
“The expectation is that we would be competing for Sun Belt Conference championships on a regular basis just like our other sports,” Damphousse said. “With the changing playoff that we would put ourselves in a position to qualify for the college football championship when it expands to 12 teams.”

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