The quarterback battle on the Texas State football team has taken on a different look in the past few weeks.
Eric Soza, freshman quarterback, decided to pursue his opportunities elsewhere and transfer from Texas State while Andy McCloud committed to transfer to the Bobcats from Texas-El Paso.
Coach Brad Wright said he believes position on the depth chart after spring practice was the key factor in Soza’s decision.
“Eric is an outstanding young man,” Wright said. “He felt after finishing spring practice slightly behind Tim Hawkins and having Tyler Arndt coming in this fall. He wouldn’t get a shot at being our quarterback. We are disappointed that he decided not to stay and compete for the starting job, but wish him the best.”
Soza could not be reached for comment.
Soza finished spring practice second on the depth chart despite a strong showing at the spring game where he completed nine of 14 passes for 85 yards and four
Soza had a list of successes from high school, including district MVP and All-South Texas offensive player of the year. Soza was a prominent member of his high school baseball, basketball, track and golf teams, in addition to finishing as salutatorian of his class.
The departure of Soza may open the door for others to see playing time at quarterback. Tyler Arndt, freshman quarterback, may benefit most from the depth chart shakeup. Wright said Arndt will have more of an opportunity to earn the starting job than he did before Soza left.
“Our plans for Tyler will depend on how quickly he learns the offense and how he adjusts to the speed of the college game,” Wright said. “Tyler will get more reps and will progress faster because of it.”
McCloud began talking to his coaches at UTEP during March to arrange for a possible transfer, citing a desire to play elsewhere. The Miner coaching staff allowed McCloud to be released from his scholarship obligations, giving him the chance to essentially go through the college application process again. McCloud said Texas State had been a desired destination all along.
“I wasn’t happy with my situation,” McCloud said. “I didn’t like El Paso. I wanted to go to Texas State after high school, but I had a scholarship to a bigger school.”
McCloud made a name for himself during his senior season at the Woodlands High School, leading the Highlanders to a 9-2 record while bringing home district offensive MVP honors. McCloud was redshirted in his first and only season at UTEP.
The addition of McCloud gives the Bobcats a competitor for the quarterback job to replace Soza. McCloud said Wright will give him the opportunity to win the starting position.
“Coach Wright told me they have Tim Hawkins and a freshman coming in this fall,” McCloud said. “He said it’s pretty much an open competition, and whichever one of the three of us earns it will be the starter.”