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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

New tailored roster unveiled as spring practice begins

Kobe Arriaga
Texas State head football coach G.J. Kinne speaks during a press conference, Monday, Dec. 4, 2023, at Bobcat Stadium.

The Texas State football team had its first spring practice on Wednesday, March 21. This marks the start of spring training, which will consist of fourteen practices and lead up to a spring game that will take place at 11 a.m. on April 13 at Bobcat Stadium.

After a historic season that ended in Texas State’s first-ever bowl victory, starting quarterback T.J. Finley transferred in wake of replacements being added to the team. The Bobcats now have plenty of fresh faces for this spring from players to coaches, adding eighteen new transfers this offseason and two early enrollees from the high school ranks.

Head Football Coach G.J. Kinne said the team had a good day at practice and he has a good feeling about the team as it stands.

“I thought we worked well, for the most part, together,” Kinne said. “Especially the offensive and defensive line. There is a lot of stuff that we’ve got to continue to get better at because we do have so many new faces, but I thought it was good. I think we have a chance to be a really good team.”

Leading the pack of transfers is senior quarterback Jordan McCloud, who transferred from James Madison University this offseason. McCloud won Sun Belt Player of the Year in 2023, leading the Dukes to an 11-1 record while throwing for 3,657 passing yards and 35 touchdowns.

Kinne said what he saw from the signal caller in his first practice as a Bobcat was a calm, veteran quarterback.

“He is just a veteran guy. He’s very calm back there. He throws the ball on time and with great anticipation,” Kinne said. “He’s very smart and processes very well. He has only been here for a little bit of time and went out there and was money. You can just tell he has played in a lot of big-time games.”

Other new players include junior linebacker Max Harris who transferred from Louisiana-Monroe, redshirt junior tight end Blake Smith, an Oklahoma transfer, senior wide receiver Jaden Williams, a transfer from Boston College among others.

While every season brings in new elements to the team, Kinne said he recognizes the Bobcats’ on-field successes from last season, and simply hopes to build on aspects like consistency.

“Be more consistent. Something we have harped on is making the easy plays easy, making the routine plays routine and ball security,” Kinne said. “There is no excuse for the way we turned the ball over last year. You are not going to win a championship like that.”

While Texas State has plenty of newcomers, they also have a lot of returning offensive production that contributed to having the number one total offense in the Sun Belt Conference.

Junior running back Ismail Mhadi, the nation-wide leader for all-purpose yards, will return alongside senior wide receiver Joey Hobert who made a name for himself at the dawn of least season, showing out against Baylor.

Despite the preseason success, Kinne said there is still improvement that must be made in order to take the next step.

“We did some really good things,” Kinne said. “Our numbers were awesome and we set records and all that, but I think every week me and Coach Leftwich would sit there on Sunday and be a little frustrated [at] certain games just because we turned the ball over too many times or there were things out there that we have to get better at.”

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