After putting on a defensive show during the season opener against Houston Baptist, Easy Anyama, junior line-backer, plans to make a major comeback in his final season as a team-captain.
Anyama and the Bobcats began their season with a 20-11 win at Bobcat Stadium against the Huskies on Sept. 2. This was Anyama’s return to the field after suffering a ruptured achilles tendon injury three games in during last season.
“It felt really good to be out there,” Anyama said. “I’m honestly glad to be back on the field. A lot of people kept reminding me that I was back.”
Anyama recorded five tackles and his first two quarterback sacks in his football career. The Stafford native also forced a fumble and added a blocked extra point attempt to his stats.
His hard work on the field earned him the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week title for week one.
“I didn’t try to do anything outside of what I was given by the coach to do,” Anyama said. “It just felt good to be on the field again.”
Anyama began his Texas State football career in 2015 after transferring from the University of Texas at Austin. There, Anyama competed for the Longhorn’s track and field team before deciding to transfer down I-35.
The linebacker started off as a safety for the Bobcats and started in five of the seven games he played. Anyama started the first three games in the 2016 season before he was injured.
Coming off a season-ending injury is no easy task, and Anyama has shown that hard work pays off. His tenacity to get back on the field was rewarded when the junior was voted team-captain by his teammates and coaches.
As the team-captain, Anyama is counting on his leadership to help move the team in the opposite direction of last season. The Bobcats finished in last place in the Sun Belt Conference with a season record of 2-10 and zero wins against conference foes.
The Bobcats have a relatively young team this season after recruiting over 30 freshmen. The defensive side of the ball is where most of the freshmen are, so Anyama took the time to try to get them to relax on game day.
“When they came in for game day, I told them that it was okay to be nervous,” Anyama said. “After a while the game slows down, take your time and just breathe. It’s just football. We have been doing this our whole lives.”
Along with a change in the size of the defense, Anyama credits the players’ accountability for their success on the field. When everyone is doing the job given by the coaches, the defense works.
“I think that it has to do with more people being accountable for their job,” Anyama said. “I don’t know if a lot of people know that in order to get sacks, the defense has to be on the same page. When everyone does their job, things happen.”
The Bobcats have six sacks on the season with two credited to Anyama. That is three away from the 2016 season total of nine.
“We came in relaxed,” Anyama said. “We were just doing what we practiced.”
After Houston Baptist’s first touchdown in the first quarter, the Bobcats were down 6-0. Anyama blocked the extra point on special teams to hold the score.
“Our coaches put a huge emphasis on special teams,” Anyama said. “We practice how we are supposed to play.
Anyama and the Bobcat defense has showed a major improvement since last season, but Anyama knows there is room for more.
“As far as defense goes, we just have to communicate better,” Anyama said. “If we all do our jobs, we will succeed.”