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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 football gears up for fall camp

Texas+State+senior+running+back+Robert+Brown+Jr.+%2823%29+jumps+over+obstacles+while+he+carries+a+football+during+spring+practice%2C+Tuesday%2C+March+30%2C+2021%2C+at+Bobcat+Stadium.

Texas State senior running back Robert Brown Jr. (23) jumps over obstacles while he carries a football during spring practice, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at Bobcat Stadium.

With the 2021 college football season just around the bend, the Texas State Bobcats will start their fall camp on Aug. 6 in preparation for their 2021 season opener against the Baylor Bears on Sep. 4.
This season, Texas State will look to improve on its 2020 campaign full of losses, where the team went 2-10 overall and 2-6 in the Sun Belt. Head Coach Jake Spavital expressed his optimism for the upcoming season at the Sun Belt Football Media Day on July 22, but he also warned of the team’s need to reduce its often self-inflicted wounds.
“I’m a big believer that there are three to five plays in every game that really dictate the outcome,” Spavital says. “We can’t beat ourselves. A lot of the losses that incurred for us last year were self-inflicted to a lot of extents, and they see that. Our team sees that… We’ve got to play cleaner football, we’ve got to not beat ourselves and do the little things right. When you take a lot of pride and the attention to detail, the ball will eventually start bouncing your way.”
Sophomore running back Brock Sturges believes the offense improved throughout the season as sophomore quarterback Brady McBride took consistent snaps as the starter.
“I definitely think that game by game we definitely improved,” Sturges says. “I think that’s because of playing with each other, getting comfortable with each other. Brady getting under center and getting his first year under his belt and becoming more comfortable as the season went on; that was a big part of it, and then just continue to trust each other.”
Last season, Texas State’s bread and butter was its rushing attack, gaining 1927 yards with 15 touchdowns. Spearheading the running effort was the trio of Sturges (562 YDs, 5 TDs), freshman running back Calvin Hill (552 YDs, 5 TDs) and sophomore running back Jahmyl Jeter (339 YDs, 3 TDs).
To improve their efforts on the ground and increase pass protection, Bobcats are placing particular focus on their offensive line. New Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner has taken the reins after a two-year stint in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. According to Spavital, Turner has already made his mark on the team.
“He’s considered one of the better O-line coaches and recruiters in college football,” Spavital says. “I think he’s already had a tremendous impact in recruiting upfront, but also from a schematic and just a scheme advantage for us. He’s seen everything, he’s blocked everything and he’s helping us out a lot.”
The Bobcats have added 19 signees, 17 of whom are transfers. Although it was not the team’s initial plan, Spavital says signing that many transfers has balanced the program’s experience level versus simply recruiting incoming freshmen.
“We probably put out just as many scholarship offers in the state of Texas than any other team in the state of Texas; that’s just how the dominoes fell,” Spavital says. “I do think that in today’s time with the transfer portal and, with us, it was the eligibility freeze, it would be very difficult for us to bring in 25 freshmen because our roster would have been well over 90 percent freshmen and sophomores. We ended up balancing our classes out. We were going to have four seniors this year, we ended up with the transfer portal kind of balancing that out to around nine or 10 guys right now.”
In the Sun Belt Preseason Poll, two Bobcats, junior wide receiver Marcell Barbee and junior defensive lineman Nico Ezidore were named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team. Sturges has also received some award attention being named to the 2021 Doak Walker Award Watchlist.
Despite the individual player recognition, Texas State was ranked fourth in the poll of the five teams in the conference’s West Division. Sophomore safety DeJordan Mask does not want to pay attention to ranking, saying the team is just looking to take the field.
“[Ranking is] an uncontrollable, so we’re going to control what we can control and come out and compete and focus on what’s ahead,” Mask says.
The Bobcats will start fall camp on Aug. 6 at Bobcat Stadium.

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