Hoping to add speed and bulk to his Texas State football team, head coach Brad Wright announced Wednesday the signings of 19 high school recruits and three college transfers.
Among the signees is Beeville quarterback Eric Soza, who passed for more than 8,000 yards in his four-year varsity career. With Bradley George set to enter his senior year, the Bobcats appear set for quarterback well into the future between Soza and Tim Hawkins, the redshirt freshman from Corpus Christi Carroll who earned Wright’s praise last year for his work on the scout team.
“They’ll have a seamless transition between Bradley Goerge and the new kid who played four straight years for a great 4A program,” said lonestargridiron.com recruiting analyst Eric Wiede. “Soza is a real active quarterback, a good runner. If (Hawkins) is a pocket passer, Soza will be the complement.”
The Bobcats coaching staff went into the recruiting season hoping for more power in the offensive lines and more speed across the defense.
“We feel like we were able to sign a great class of linemen with 13 of the 19 high school players being linemen-type players,” Wright said. “They are long, lean athletic body types who can add some size in the future.
“We also signed some good players at the skill positions,” Wright continued. “They include the top two running backs we had graded on our board, and they committed early. We added a good fullback and we feel fortunate because there aren’t a lot of fullbacks in the high school ranks with everyone going to the spread offenses.”
The most local Texas State recruit is Lehman lineman Roger Martinez, a unanimous first team offensive lineman in District 17-4A and a second team pick on the defensive line.
The high school players include two players from Smithson Valley (tight end Devin Baker and wide receiver Cody Matthews), fullback Josh Wray of Samuel Champion High in Boerne, running backs Dexter Imade of Rowlett and Frank Reddic of Kilgore, and offensive linemen Derrick Clark of Deer Park, Lee Conoly of Lubbock’s Frenship High School, and Chase Howland of Plano East High School, along with Pflugerville kicker Justin Garelick.
The list also includes defensive linemen Martinez, Prestin Brown of Grand Prairie High School, Jeff Clermond of DeSoto High School, Jordan Norfleet of Houston’s Clear Brook High School, defensive end Jamie Clavell-Head of Bishop Manogue High School in Reno, Nev., and defensive backs Phillip Benning of The Colony High School, Xavier Daniels from Giddings High School and Shalamar Traylor of Denison High School.
The Bobcats also signed two players who excelled on both sides of the football during their career. Blake McColloch was a defensive lineman and tight end from Midland Greenwood High School and Eric Soza was a quarterback and defensive back at Beeville High School.
In addition, Texas State has added junior college transfers two-time All-American tight end Woody McClendon of Kilgore College and offensive lineman Michael Chambers of Merced College. Ron Jackson is a defensive end, who has transferred to Texas State from the University of Arizona.
2009 Texas State Football Signee Capsules
Devin Baker, TE, 6-5, 230, Canyon Lake, Texas (Smithson Valley HS)
Starting tight end at Smithson Valley High School, which finished 2008 season with a 13-2 record before falling in the State semifinal game against Katy…played for coach Larry Hill…great blocker for one of state’s most prolific rushing offenses…also caught 12 passes for 161 yards…earned Academic All-State and Second-Team All-District 26-5A honors in 2008…was a two-time Academic All-State selection…plans to major in economics at Texas State…son of Frank and Angela Baker.
Phillip Benning, CB/KR, 6-0, 170, The Colony, Texas (The Colony HS)
First-Team All-District 5-4A selection as a defensive back for coach Rudy Rangel…named the District Special Teams MVP in 2008 after helping lead The Colony to a 7-3 record…member of the schools track team…competes in the 100 meters, 4×100 and 4×200-meter relays…named Academic All-District selection…listed on the school’s A-B Honor Roll and on the President’s List…son of Kenneth and Rene Benning.
Prestin Brown, DL, 6-3, 236, Chishcogo, Minn. (Grand Prairie (Texas) HS)
Three-time All-District 7-5A selection for head coach Gary Bartel…named First-Team All-District selection in 2008 and First-Team Academic All-District selection in 2008…named Second-Team All-District defensive end in 2006 and 2007…also lettered three years in wrestling and track…played baseball in 2007…member of the National Honor Society and served on the student council…son of Lisa Woodard.
Michael Chambers, OL, 6-3, 280, Merced, Calif. (Merced HS/Merced JC)
Enrolled at Texas State for the spring semester…two-time All-Conference performer for coach Tony Lewis at Merced College…also earned All-Conference honors for coach Rob Schiecht at Merced High School…earned All-Section honors as a senior…three-time conference champion in wrestling…finished fifth in freestyle wrestling at the state tournament…son of Beatrice McCutchen.
Derrick Clark, OL, 6-3, 275, Deer Park, Texas (Deer Park HS)
First-Team All-District selection for coach Chris Massey…paved the way for Deer Park to finish 2008 with an 8-2 record…earned Honorable Mention All-District honors as a junior…son of Sherrie Clark.
Jamie Clavell-Head, LB, 6-2, 220, Reno, Nev. (Bishop Manogue)
Two-Time All-Sierra Conference selection for coach Paul Mills…helped Miners finish with an 11-2 record in 2008…finished his senior season with 86 tackles…best game came against Damonte when he had three sacks…performed 100 hours of community service helping the poor, sick, handicapped and kids…son of former Texas State All-American Tommy Head and Holly Clavell-Head.
Jeff Clermond, DL, 6-2, 286, DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto HS)
Honorable-Mention All-State selection after earning First-Team All-District 11-5A honors…played for coaches Claude Mathis and Mark Brady…helped lead DeSoto to a district championship and the second round of the playoffs…three-year letterman in football and track…earned player of the week honors in 2008…was a four-time Regional champion in the shot put and discus…member of the National Honor Society…named to school’s honor roll…son of Germite Cerine and Marcel Jacques.
Lee Conoly, OL, 6-3, 255, Lubbock, Texas (Frenship High School)
Unanimous First-Team All-District 4-4A selection after helping to lead Frenship to a 13-1 record…also named to the All-City First-Team Offensive Lineman and All-South Plains 5A-4A First Team…three-year letterman and two-year starter who led Frenship to a combined 23-4 record…member of the Future Farmers of America…son of Tim and Dawn Conoly.
Xavier Daniels, DB, 6-0, 165, Giddings, Texas (Giddings)
Named Class 3A State Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-State for coach Derek Fitzhenry…earned All-District 25-3A honors…member of the track team and scored the most points at the District 25-3A championships…earned the Earl Hill Award…named the MVP for both the football and basketball teams…son of Elvera Davis…his cousin Brodney Pool plays for the Cleveland Browns.
Justin Garelick, PK, 5-11, 150, Pflugerville, Texas (Pflugerville)
First-Team All-District 25-5A kicker and Third-Team All-Centex selection after connecting on 9 of his 12 field goal attempts and kicking 36 of his 37 extra-point attempts…kicked a season-long 47-yard field goal twice, once against Round Rock and another against Conolly…missed only two field goal attempts inside the 40-yard line…also earned First-Team All-Pflugerville and was an Honorable Mention Academic All-State selection…also played scocer at Pflugerville and earned Second-Team All-District and Academic All-District honors…also was a Second-Team All-District choice during his career…was a member of the National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes…son of Jeff and Connie Garelick.
Chase Howland, OL, 6-3, 296, Plano, Texas (Plano East)
Second-Team All-District 8-5A selections for coach Johnny Ringo…played primarily as a right offensive tackle…coached by former San Francisco 49ers player Ed Johnson, III…helped lead Plano East to a 6-4 record in 2007…served as a mentor for Murphy fourth-grade reading class…grandson of James and Janette Hervey.
Dexter Imade, RB, 5-11, 190, Rowlett, Texas (Rowlett)
Two-time All-District 10-5A selection for head coach Kiff Hardin…gained 1,515 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on 241 carries…best game came against Rockwall when he gained 227 yards and scored two TD’s against Rockwall…rushed for 223 yards and a season-best four touchdowns on 29 carries against Garland…also ran for 204 yards and two TDs on 32 yards against Naaman Forrest…caught six passes for 78 yards…gained 1,293 yards and 10 touchdowns on 197 carries as a junior…also caught 13 passes for 127 yards as a junior…member of Rowlett’s track and field team that won Class 5A state championships in 2008 and advanced to the regionals in 4×100-meter relay in 2006…named a Texas Scholar…son of David and Felicia Imade.
Ron Jackson, DL, 6-3, 245, Carrollton, Texas (Creekview HS/Arizona)
Already enrolled at Texas State…transfer from Arizona…member of Wildcats’ team that finished 8-5 in 2008…sat out the 2007 season as redshirt…earned First-Team All-District 6-5A honors for coach Gary Childress at Creekview High School in Carrolton, Texas…named among the Top 100 players in Texas by The Dallas Morning News…ranked among the Top 20 defensive linemen by Texas Football.com…earned Honorable Mention All-District honors as a junior…earned Second-Team All-District honors as a post for the Mustang basketball team.
Rodrigo Martinez, DE, 6-4, 254, Kyle, Texas (Lehman HS)
Unanimous first-team All-District 17-4A offensive lineman, second-team All-District 17-4A defensive lineman, academic All-District 17-4A…three-year starter who served as team captain as a senior…while at Lehman H.S…three-year letterman in track…holds school record in the shot put and discus…three-year starter for Lehman’s basketball team…member of the school’s power-lifting team…plans to major in computer science at Texas State…son of Warren and Maria Martinez Erwin.
Cody Matthews, WR, 6-4, 180, San Antonio, Texas (Smithson Valley HS)
Standout wide receiver for Coach Larry Hill at Smithson Valley, which advanced to the Class 5A state semi-final game against Katy…finished his senior season with 60 receptions for 1,101 yards and 11 touchdowns…also rushed for another 336 yards and 6 TDs…was a unanimous First-Team All-District 26-5A selection…unanimous First- Team All-Area choice in San Antonio and named an Honorable Mention All-State performer….named Academic All-District choice…chosen CYO/Spurs Foundation Athlete of the Year in 2007…ranks in the Top 10 school leaders for career receptions, career total yards receiving, and season scoring…ranks among Smithson Valley’s Top Five single season leaders in receptions, total yards receiving and average yards per catch…son of Matt and Lana Matthews.
Woody McClendon, TE, 6-3, 250, Texarkana, Texas (Pleasant Grove HS/Kilgore College)
Enrolled at Texas State for spring semester…Two-Time Second-Team All-American and All-Conference First Team selection for coach J.J. Eckert at Kilgore College…played in the 2007 Heart of Texas Bowl vs. Mississippi Gulf Coast All-Star game…was selected after his sophomore season to play in first ever Triumphant Sports’ Junior College All American game…lettered in three sports at Pleasant Grove HS in Texarkana…three-year football letterman as a quarterback for coach Rick Barker…two-time First-Team All-District 14-3A performer…also was a two-year letterman in basketball, earning First-Team All-District recognition as a junior and senior season…three-year letterman in baseball…member of the Student Council and Spanish Club…son of Mike and Cindy McClendon…chose Texas State over Central Arkansas.
Blake McColloch, DL/TE, 6-5, 240, Midland, Texas (Midland Greenwood HS)
Participated on the 2008 bi-District Champion team…District 3-3A MVP…named to the All-Permian Basin Team and a Second-Team All-State selection as a punter…chosen Second-Team Academic All-State …had 114 carries for 651 yards and six touchdowns as a senior…best performance rushing for 136 yards on 22 carries in 2008…was a First-Team All-District 3-3A pitcher for Greenwood as a junior… named the District 3-3A MVP as a junior in basketball…member of Honor Society and Second-Team Academic All-State while at Midland Greenwood…member of FCA…son of David and Terri McColloch.
Jordan Northfleet, DE, 6-2, 205, Houston, Texas (Clear Brook HS)
Named First-Team All-District 24-5A selection…named defensive MVP and Defensive Lineman of the Year for coach Paul Lanier…helped lead Clear Brook to District 24-5A championship…named a finalist for player of the year by the Houston Touchdown Club…helped Clear Brook to basketball playoffs..named Student of the Month.
Frank Reddic, TB, 5-11, 195, Kilgore, Texas (Kilgore HS)
Second-Team All-State selection…two-time First-Team All-District 14-4A…named Kilgore News Herald Player-of-the-Year..chosen First-Team All-East Texas tailback…was District MVP after leading the Bulldogs to a district championship…finished the season with 2,013 yards on 334 carries and 22 TD’s…rushed for more than 300 yards twice as a senior, including in a bi-district playoff game when he registered 53 carries for 347 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Marshall…the 53 carries & 347 yards set school records…named to the Texas High School Coaches Association and State Farm Insurance Academic All-State Football Team for 2008-09…played for coach Mike Vallery…son of Jerry and Brenda Reddic…chose Texas State over Sam Houston State, Northwestern State, Air Force, & Navy.
Eric Soza, QB/DB, 6-1, 185, Beeville, Texas (Beeville HS)
Four-year starter at quarterback for his father and coach Chris Soza…passed for 2,248 yards and 25 TDs, rushed for 1,001 yards and 15 TDs, averaged 39 yards per punt, and registered 28 tackles and 2 INTs on Defense as a senior…also had 3 kickoffs with 1 touchback, and dropkicked 2 extra points…ended his career with 8,052 yards passing with 46 TDs, 1,598 yards rushing with 29 TDs, a 37 yard average per punt, with 65 tackles and five interceptions…was the 30-4A MVP…named All South Texas Offensive Player of the Year, and an All Area First-Team QB in 2008…was the District Offensive Player of the Year, and an All-South Texas First Team QB, All Area Co-Offensive MVP, and HM All State QB as a junior…named the District Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 and Newcomer of the Year in 2005…is a four-time District All-Academic selection…is the starting point guard on Beeville’s basketball team, a pitcher on the school’s baseball team, a regional qualifier in track and field, a member of the golf team, and ranked Number Two in his senior class…is the son of Chris and Colleen Soza.
Shalamar Traylor, S, 6-4, 181, Denison, Texas (Denison HS)
Named All-District 9-4A…named All-State honorable mention…played for coach Cody White…helped lead Dennison to a 12-1 record, including a 7-0 district mark…ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns, one was 83 yards and the other was 92 yards…earned Second-Team All-District honors as a junior…son of Melissa Traylor
Josh Wray, FB, 6-0, 218, Boerne, Texas (Samuel V. Champion HS)
Three-year starter at Samuel V. Champion High School…played both offense and defense, serving as a tailback and a linebacker…finished the 2008 season with 1,563 yards rushing and 15 TDs…had 272 yards receiving with two TDs…finished his career at Champion rushing for 2,640 yards and 26 TDs, 391 yards receiving and five TD receptions…also had 130 total tackles, 14 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries during his career…named First-Team All-District RB in 2007 and 2008…selected as a First-Team All-District DE in 2006 and 2007…also chosen Academic All-State First-Team in 2008, and Academic All-District in 2007…is the son of Derek and Kimberley Wray.