Amid excitement surrounding the finalization of the Texas State football rosters, fans should be optimistic and gearing up to support the Bobcats this upcoming season.
News broke Jan. 27 from the Rivals-affiliated BobcatReport Twitter account that former Notre Dame and Arkansas pledge Jamel James, cousin to NBA star LeBron James, committed to Texas State during a scheduled visit. He will be teamed up with a few other big names on the current list of dedicated recruits, including running back C.J. Best. Best is cousin to NFL running back Jahvid Best, adding another bit of prestige to the commit list. James and Best, along with their other fellow commits, could make a huge impact on the field for the upcoming football season.
These additions to the team are extremely important and could help set the Bobcats on the right track in their opening season in the Sun Belt Conference. In its first Football Bowl Subdivision season, the football program ended its presence in the Western Athletic Conference on a 2-4 conference record. In addition, Texas State scored big non-conference wins against the University of Houston and Stephen F. Austin. The team also had stellar performances from senior quarterback Shaun Rutherford and senior running back Marcus Curry. Other notable players include junior quarterback Tyler Arndt and redshirt freshman running back Tim Gay.
Texas State football will truly be put to the test next fall when the team begins its experience in the Sun Belt Conference. Franchione’s players will face a number of opponents, including 2012’s top Sun Belt teams Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee State. All three held the Sun Belt’s top places in the conference’s final football statistics for the 2012 season.
According to statistics on recruiting lists from Yahoo’s Rivals website, Arkansas State may be the only threat to the success of Bobcat football. Out of its list of commits for the 2013 season, the Red Wolves have a total of 17 three-star rated players. Compare this to Texas State’s eight three-star rated players. Middle Tennessee State had a total of six high-rated players on its list of football commits. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Rivals page reports 20 commits for the 2013 season.
Bobcat football fans should be eager to head to Jim Wacker Field for the upcoming season. A new conference means new possibilities, and a fresh start could be what Texas State’s football program needs to become a true powerhouse. The gridiron action will be hotter than ever with an equal matchup between Texas State and Arkansas State along with solid game play from the rest of the 2013 Sun Belt lineup. This will be one football season nobody will want to miss.
-Alex Pernice is a mass communication sophomore.