Bobcats hold heads high amid pre-season projections at media day

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Bobcats hold heads high amid pre-season projections at media day

Senior linebacker Bryan London III addresses media members at the Sun Belt Conference media day press conference July 22. Photo credit: Andrew Zimmel

Senior linebacker Bryan London III addresses media members at the Sun Belt Conference media day press conference July 22. Photo credit: Andrew Zimmel

Senior linebacker Bryan London III addresses media members at the Sun Belt Conference media day press conference July 22. Photo credit: Andrew Zimmel

Senior linebacker Bryan London III addresses media members at the Sun Belt Conference media day press conference July 22. Photo credit: Andrew Zimmel

Andrew Zimmel, Sports Reporter

Picked to finish last or near it in every single pre-season poll, the first time in Head Coach Jake Spavital’s career that he is on a team that is not expected to win, the Bobcats headed into the Sun Belt Conference’s media day with the same players the team took last season.

Both senior center Aaron Brewer and senior linebacker Bryan London III, both of which said they have pro-aspirations and larger-than-life goals of turning a losing ship.

“It’s not really proving anyone wrong, but more about proving ourselves right,” London said. “We know what we’ve been working for and what we’re capable of. The only thing next to do is to do it.”

While some would put it on the locker room bulletin board for motivation, Spatial said the team is taking it all in stride.

“I’ve always got something up my sleeve, but you can’t give away all your secrets,” Spavital said. “You hear a lot of ‘coach speak’ terms talking about ‘the process’ and ‘worry one day at a time’ and there is so much truth in that. There (are) low expectations about our team from the outside, but we have high expectations of ourselves. And we’re trying to develop a winning culture at Texas State.”

However, Spavital did not give answers to the developing storylines within the coming season, be it the future of the team or the quarterback room, and how rosters were rounded out after the spring practices and game.

“It is wide open, nobody is going to come to (media day) and declare their starting quarterback,” Spavital said. “We have a lot of moving parts in that room. There’s something I take a lot of pride in the quarterback position.”

Coach Spavital did say, however, that there is a lack of separation between returning starter, sophomore Tyler Vitt, and incoming grade transfer Gresch Jensen when it came to the starting role. With Jensen and Offensive Coordinator Bob Stitt having a history going back to their time together at Montana versus Vitt’s leadership in the locker room.

“We’ve got to make sure that we put them in situations throughout fall that are kind of high-intensity, high-stress where they’ve got to think and see who the guys that are just going to move the ball, do smart things, be efficient, get the ball in the end zone, don’t take unnecessary plays and turnover,” Spavital said. “And we’re not ready to declare that yet until we get them into higher-stress situations.”

Last season, the Bobcat offense was statically the worst in the conference. Texas State ranked 10th in scoring offense, total offense, rushing offense, pass efficiency and third-down conversions.

But, the first-year head coach was also very quick to remind fans and media members alike that this wasn’t his first rodeo and that he had seen plenty of success when it came to both college and getting his quarterbacks to the next level.

“I’ve got seven active NFL quarterbacks right now and I don’t think there’s anybody in the country that has that many guys,” Spavital said. “And what we’ve done with those quarterbacks is played to their strengths. We want the next guy to come in to be their own man and understand that we’re going to work with them and we’re going to put them in positions that they are good at.”

The Bobcats have a lot of important games listed on their schedule, the first one being against Texas A&M University on August 29th. After being the basement dweller of the conference for the past five seasons, this year could shape up to the be revenge tour that many of the upperclassmen of the team feel they deserve.

“Any time you get to play on prime-time TV when the lights are the brightest that excites me,” London said. “August 29th has been circled on my calendar. At first (the game) was the 30th so if you look at my calendar there are two red circles” London said laughing.

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