San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 16th, 2010
Bobcats working on answers at quarterback, nose tackle


Da’Marcus Griggs makes a catch last season against Sam Houston State. Texas State sports information photo.


Completing its first week of practice, the Texas State football team knocked out a 115-play scrimmage Saturday at Bobcat Stadium before a group of season ticket holders and other interested observers.

At the end of it, Texas State head coach Brad Wright gave the team good marks for energy and quickly pointed out that the team needs to develop consistent performance from beginning to end.

“The good news is that there were a lot of plays and a lot of good things happening on both sides of the ball,” Wright said. “There are some areas we need to get better, and we will. We have to be more consistent throughout the entire day … The defense dominated the early part of the scrimmage, but the offense came back after a slow start and moved the ball. I told them afterwards that the one thing we have to do is become more consistent. The defense has to play well throughout and the offense can’t get off to a slow start.”

The scrimmage was played in front of several hundred people who came to the End Zone Complex as part of the “Bobcat Blowout,” where season ticket holders picked up their tickets and witnessed an early preview of the 2010 Bobcat team.

Sophomore quarterback Tim Hawkins, announced as the replacement for Bradley George, threw touchdown passes to wide receivers Da’Marcus Griggs and Daren Dillard. Wright said Hawkins could sharpen up his decision making as he shapes into a full-time starter. Wright added that freshman quarterback Tyler Arndt from Cuero is starting to grasp the offense.

“Tim look good in spots, but he has to be consistent,” Wright said of Hawkins. “We can’t put up balls that shouldn’t be put up. He just has to eliminate the mistakes like we have talked about before. Once he eliminates the young mistakes, he will be a good quarterback.

Defensively, the Bobcats are interested in filling an open position at nose tackle. Whoever that is, he will have experience around him. All-Southland Conference selection Adley Eshraghipour returns at tackle as a two-year starter. Ron Jackson also started last season at defensive end, and Sam Pier played a lot as a reserve end the last two years.

The two top candidates are redshirt freshman Preston Brown and true freshman Deshun Williams. Brown is the longer of the two, 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds. Brown is a counseling major from Grand Prairie who served on his high school student council and was named to the National Honor Society. Williams might have been the best player on a Carthage team that won two straight Class 3A state high school titles. At 5-11 and 280 pounds, he was named the most valuable player in District 18-3A last year as a lineman. He threw the shot and discus and participated in power lifting in high school.

“Preston Brown has an unbelievable motor,” Wright said. “If he makes a mistake, he probably will make up for it with his effort. Deshun Williams also has come in as a true freshman and done a good job. It just a matter of those young guys getting some reps.”

To go with depth and experience at linebacker and in the defensive backfield, Wright indicated that he saw fresh talent emerging in the secondary mentioning redshirt freshmen Phillip Benning and Xavier Daniels. Benning, a cornerback, was an honor roll student at The Colony, where he was named to the All-District 5-4A first team and all-academic team. Daniels, a safety, received one designation as the Class 3A State Defensive Player of the Year during his senior season at Giddings.

The Bobcats are back on the practice field Monday as they prepare for their season opener on Sept. 4 at Houston.

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