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The University Star




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The University Star

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Bobcat football fills roster gaps for 2024-25 season

Senior+linebacker+Brian+Holloway+celebrates+with+the+turnover+chain+after+a+pick-six+in+his+final+game+versus+Rice+during+the+SERVPRO+First+Responder+Bowl+game%2C+Tuesday%2C+dec.+26%2C+2023%2C+in+Gerald+J.+Ford+Stadium+in+Dallas.+
Kobe Arriaga
Senior linebacker Brian Holloway celebrates with the turnover chain after a pick-six in his final game versus Rice during the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl game, Tuesday, dec. 26, 2023, in Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas.

After completing an 8-5 record (4-4 Sun Belt Conference) and its first bowl game win, the Texas State football team is set on improving its newfound success.

This offseason saw many Bobcats leave for different schools. Here are their replacements, starting with offense.

Quarterback Losses: Both the starting quarterback T.J. Finley and backup quarterback Malik Hornsby transferred, leaving the quarterback room without someone who’d tasted starting reps.

Finley started throughout the season and finished with 67.4% completion, 3,439 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He transferred to Western Kentucky in the offseason.

Hornsby acted as the backup quarterback for the 2023 season and transferred to Arkansas State. He finished the season with 53.3% completion, 83 passing yards and one interception with 229 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns.

Quarterback Additions: The losses of Finley and Hornsby may not sting for long due to the acquisition of former James Madison quarterback Jordan McCloud.

After putting up 3,657 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions while rushing for 276 yards and eight touchdowns, McCloud earned the 2023 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award and was named a part of the 2023 first-team All-Sun Belt team.

Running Back Losses: Donerio Davenport played a big part in the running back room in the 2023 season, adding power in tandem with starting running back Ismail Mahdi’s speed-styled rushing attack. After rushing for 458 yards on 90 carries and 102 receiving yards on 11 receptions, Davenport transferred to Louisiana Tech.

Running Back Additions: Torrance Burgess Jr. and Deion Hankins are both transferring from the University of Texas at El Paso. Burgess Jr. rushed for 620 yards on 120 carries and 227 receiving yards on 17 receptions. Hankins rushed for 812 yards on 157 carries and 71 receiving yards on seven receptions. Both will look to fill the void left by Davenport as the RB2.

Junior Jaylen Jenkins transferred from Washington State where he played in 12 games and made one start as a freshman in 2022 but only saw action in six games last season. Jenkins had 66 rushing yards on 20 carries and six receptions for 61 yards as a sophomore.

Wide Receiver Additions: Beau Sparks spent his freshman year at Utah Tech. Sparks had 661 yards in 73 receptions while hauling in seven touchdowns during the 2023 season.

Jaden Williams transferred to Texas State from Boston College where he played in 28 games over three seasons as an outside receiver. In those games Williams hauled in 42 receptions for 570 yards and six touchdown passes.

Defensive Line Losses: Myron Warren didn’t play impactfully in the 2023 season with only nine tackles— three solo and six assists. Warren entered the transfer portal during this offseason. Bryce Cage played the same with only six tackles— three solo and three assists. Cage transferred to Utah State over the offseason.

Defensive Line Additions: Tunmise Adeleye transferred after his sophomore year at Michigan State where he made nine tackles with four solo and five assists, including one sack for the season. Following his arrest in February, Adeleye’s playing status still pends updates from Texas State.

Steven Parker is another junior transferring in from Head Coach G.J. Kinne’s old school, Incarnate Word. Parker racked up 34 tackles— 17 solo and 17 assists. He also laid down six sacks as well as a forced fumble.

Brice Bass started in 26 games over the last two seasons at Gardner-Webb accumulating 76 tackles, 7.0 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, six quarterback hurries and one forced fumble.

Linebacker Losses: Brian Holloway left a void in the linebacker core after committing to the NFL Draft. The loss of Dan Foster didn’t help the Bobcats’ problem either. Foster made 52 total tackles in the 2023-24 season but transferred to the Louisville in the offseason.

Linebacker Additions: Mannie Nunnery spent his sophomore year at Florida, getting 28 total tackles for the Gators. Treylin Payne spent his sophomore season at Houston making 27 tackles with 13 solo and 14 assists including one sack. Though Payne’s season was average, he could turn into a young starter for the Bobcats.

Max Harris also played for Kinne at Incarnate Word during the 2022 season and registered 79 tackles as a sophomore last season at Louisiana-Monroe.

James Neal is the third UTEP transfer to join Texas State. In three seasons with the Miners Neal appeared in 28 games racking up 97 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one interception and one forced fumble.

Secondary Additions: Justin Harris spent his junior season at Cincinnati obtaining 31 total tackles with six passes defended and an interception for the Bearcats.

The fourth and final UTEP transfer, Trez Moore, played in four games for the Miners last season before taking a redshirt. In those four games he had six tackles, one interception and one pass breakup.

 

Additional Transfers:

 

Offense:

R.J. Martinez also entered the quarterback room this offseason after an early May transfer from Baylor. Last season, he completed 12 of 24 passes for 110 yards and zero touchdowns.

Blake Smith joined the tight end room following a transfer from Oklahoma. In each of his first two seasons, he completed two receptions.

Inside offensive lineman Tellek Lockette transferred from the University of Louisiana at Monroe this offseason after missing play for the entire 2023 season as a Warhawk.

Offensive tackles Sully Burns and David Conner transferred to Texas State on the same day. Burns joined from Tulane and Conner said goodbye to Coach Prime as he left the Colorado Buffaloes.

Defense:

For defense, other transfers included redshirt senior Alex Merritt, a defensive lineman out of Eastern Michigan, and Preston Harris, a second-year linebacker out of the Incarnate Word. Each of them totaled over 20 tackles in their previous seasons.

Special Teams:

Daniel Meunier came from the South Carolina and entered as the only long snapper in the transfer class.

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