The departure of Texas State’s all-time leading passer Bradley George adds an interesting sub-plot to what is already one of the most anticipated periods of time in Bobcat football history.
The new Bobcat signal caller, whether it’s sophomore Tim Hawkins, freshman Tyler Arndt or incoming transfer Andy McCloud, will inherit a team in the middle of the “Drive to the FBS,” which happens to be taking place at the same time as major FBS conference realignment.
The opportunity will be present for the Bobcats to get their feet in the door, but Texas State’s performance — particularly in football — during the next couple of years will be crucial in determining its fate.
The Bobcats must continue to be one of — if not the best — team in the Southland Conference. Rebuilding in the post-George era is not an option. The new quarterback’s ability to avoid rookie mistakes and allow teammates to carry him through the learning curve while still winning ballgames will go a long way in solidifying the Bobcats’ conference title aspirations.
The Bobcats need someone to take the reins as the face of the team. Having someone with the ability to be the team’s centerpiece would do wonders to sustain the push the athletic program has made in recent years. What better place to have that person be than under center?
From a cynical view, there is much pressure on the new guy to keep the program moving forward. In the eyes of an optimist, there is a great opportunity for someone to come in and make a name for himself. A guy who is able to shine and become a star may be looked back on as one of the key players who lifted Texas State to the 1-A status it coveted so dearly.
Trying to replace the best quarterback in the Southland Conference with one who has not started a collegiate game will be the biggest question mark for Texas State. The quicker the Bobcats can find someone to hold down the position, the better off they will be. Having a stable plan at the quarterback position will help the team build chemistry and the players figure out individual roles.
The new guy will begin his career in the shadow of Bradley George, which is no easy feat. George finished his career at Texas State as the school’s all-time leading passer in terms of yardage, touchdowns, completions and efficiency. George not only stood out statistically, but brought a veteran presence to the huddle, having played five years in professional baseball before beginning his run at Texas State. The Bobcats will hand the offense over from a 27-year-old veteran to a kid who has yet to see his 21st birthday.
Football may not be a one-man game, but the results the Bobcats get from George’s replacement will be a key factor in their short-term, and potentially long-term, future.