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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

Spears reflects on injury, final season as a Bobcat

Sarah Manning
Texas State redshirt senior safety Tory Spears (12) tackles a Jackson State player, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2024, at Bobcat Stadium.

As the 2024-25 football season approaches for Texas State, old and new faces prepare to take the field, including senior safety Tory Spears. During the 2023 football season, Spears played only three games before suffering a season-ending knee injury during practice.

He accumulated 19 solo tackles and one interception in those three games.

In the previous 2022 season, Spears was accoladed as an All-Sun Belt Honorable Mention and a Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week. However, regardless of attention, the unforgiving nature of high-level sports got the best of his body.

“I blew my whole knee out,” Spears said. “I tore my ACL [and] MCL and fractured my tibia.”

Since the injury took palce, Spears has worked on and off the field to insure the wellbeing of his body–– a lesson his injuries taught him.

Spears anticipated having a big year in the 2023 season and the team significantly felt the impact of his absence. He was fortunate to be granted a medical redshirt to play in the 2024 season by the NCAA.

While leg injuries for Division One athletes are often detrimental to their careers, Spears remains confident in light of the upcoming season. Texas State Head Coach G.J. Kinne said Spears’ return will be significant on and off the field.

“I’m really looking forward to getting [Spears] back,” Kinne said. “He’s a tremendous player but I think his presence and leadership [are] what’s important to us.”

Although players stepped up to fill his role, the defense was not the same without Spears on the field. The next-man-up mentality can’t always fill gaps left by starters, according to former Texas State linebacker Brian Holloway.

“It’s a game of injuries,” Holloway said. “He was a huge asset for us and you never know when the next guy is going have to step up.”

Just days after Spears got injured, he was blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Tommi Spears, on September 24, 2023. According to Spears, she was his motivation to get healthy and have no fear of playing again.

“I’m going until the wheels fall off,” Spears said. “[But I’m] not going to rush anything knowing that it’s my last year for sure.”

Spears said if he were to suffer another injury, he’d have the mentality to overcome it, though he prays for good health and hopes to avoid another injury.

“It’s just physical pain, mentally I was always fine,” Spears said. “It is what is. I’ve torn both of my ligaments in my shoulder before, so getting hurt isn’t anything new.”

Spears attained his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice following the 2023 season after attending Texas State and Iowa State.

While he has the qualifications to land himself a professional gig, Spears thinks his experience on the field could benefit him along with other players in the years to come.

According to Spears, coaching is a sensible option career-wise and a role he can see himself filling.

“I’d [like to] go to law school to be a defensive attorney,” Spears said. “But I definitely want to do the football route as long as possible. I never had a legit job before, so this is all I know.”

Spears is set to return and start as the strong safety for the upcoming 2024 season in his final year of collegiate eligibility.

To follow along with more roster updates and information on Texas State football and other sports, visit txst.com.

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