By Wednesday’s national signing day for college football recruits, Texas State had only 12 scholarships to offer. So, the Bobcats signed a small class Wednesday, but head coach Brad Wright hopes the group will fill in gaps here and there.
“We feel like we did good job in signing some players who have good character and can make us more athletic as a team,” Wright said. “When you have 25 scholarships, you can miss on one or two guys. But when you are offering only 12, you better get it right. I think our coaches did a good job in getting the right guys.”
Two of the new Bobcats are college transfers. Jarrad Stewart, formerly a safety at Pearland High School, transferred to Texas State from Utah during the semester break. The Stewart transfer left Texas State with 12 remaining scholarships.
“We talked to a lot of people who told us that he went to class and worked hard,” Wright said. “He just needed to be closer to his family. He is enrolled here and leading us through drills now.”
Wednesday, the Bobcats signed a junior college transfer, offensive tackle Thaddeus Watkins from Diablo Valley College in California. Watkins goes 6-feet-4 and 260 pounds.
“He looks like he weighs 180,” Wright said. “He is going to fill out to 285-290 easily. He has quick feet and he’s athletic. That is the type of player who you want to play at the tackle position.”
Of the 11 high school players on the list, the biggest name belongs to Cuero High School quarterback Tyler Arndt, who ESPN listed as one of the top 32 quarterbacks nationally. Arndt passed for 75 touchdowns and more than 7,100 yards in his high school career, during which he led Cuero to a 36-5 record. Cuero finished 13-1 in 2009. Arndt goes 6-feet-4 and 205 pounds.
“We really feel he can come in here and be a difference maker right away if he can handle the mental part of it,” Wright said. “He has all of the physical tools to be great quarterback. He is as big of a recruit that we have had around here. He has the complete package … He took his team to the state semifinals three years in a roll. Then you look at him reading a zone and pulling the ball down and out-running folks. He can do it all.”
The Bobcats did most of their shopping at wide receiver, bringing in Michael Gilmore of La Marque, Deche Milburn of Clear Springs and Marquis Walker of Austin Lanier. Wright said Milburn is a bigger and stronger version of Cameron Luke, who left Texas State in 2008 as the school’s all-time leading receiver. Gilmore was named District 24-4A special teams MVP as a punt and kickoff returner.
Texas State signed two running backs — Terrence Franks of Angleton and Craig Mager of Luling. Franks, who has run the 100 meters in 10.39 seconds in AAU track competition, gained 688 rushing yards during his senior year in high school.
“We actually had Angleton’s highlights for the season and he was back-up to a player who signed with Missouri,” Wright said. “When we were watching the highlight tape, all of a sudden, we asked ‘who was that’ when he was making a run into the line, jumped out to the left, and ended up running down the sideline for a touchdown. He might be a diamond in the rough for this class.”
Texas State also signed tight ends Trent Guiberteau of Katy Taylor and David Lewis from Kingsville King.
The only defensive lineman in the class is DeShun Williams, an all-state performer who helped Carthage to two Texas state high school championships. The two linebackers in the class are Drew Hamilton from Hickory Creek and Byron Hudson from DeSoto. Mager, listed as a running back, also can play cornerback.
The Bobcats finished the 2009 season 7-4 overall.