Football

Welcome to the Mager zone: Alum looking to find NFL niche

Craig Mager joined the Texas State football program in 2010. Those were different times.

Texas State was not a FBS team at the time. The Bobcats had not been bowl eligible and had not appeared on national television.

Texas State was the new kid on the block, attempting to make a mark in college football. 

Five years later, Mager and the football program are drawing interest from the National Football League.

Twenty-four NFL scouts representing 23 teams visited Texas State’s 2015 pro day, up from one in 2011.

“I’ve seen this university grow to what it is right now,” Mager said. “I’ve had some opportunity to help that growth. It’s just amazing to see what a little bit of a culture change and a new coach can do to a university.”

Craig Mager invited to 2015 NFL Combine

Craig Mager, senior cornerback, received an invite to the 2015 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he will be pitted against other defensive backs in the hope of, eventually, securing a position in the NFL.

The NFL combine, spanning six days in length, consists of measurements, exams, interviews, meetings, psychological testing, bench press, 10, 20 and 40-yard interval runs, along with stations and skill drills. Chicago will host the 2015 NFL Draft, which begins April 30 and concludes May 2 with the sixth and seventh rounds.

Texas State announces 2016 non-conference schedule

The Texas State football team announced its 2016 non-conference schedule, with matchups scheduled against Arkansas, Houston, Ohio and Incarnate Word.

Texas State begins the 2015 season with a road game against Florida State, who were defeated 59-20 by No. 2 ranked Oregon in the semifinals of the College Football Playoff. Houston, Southern Mississippi and Prairie View A&M round out the rest of the 2015 non-conference schedule.

In two seasons, Texas State will compete against members of the American Conference, Mid-American Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the latter two comprising the "power five" conferences. 

Jason Washington to join Houston coaching staff

Texas State secondary coach Jason Washington is expected to join the Houston coaching staff according to Sports Illustrated. Washington will join a staff headed by Tom Herman.

Washington, a former defensive back for Texas State, spent seven years with the Bobcats coaching staff in two different stints. 

Under Washington, the Bobcats finished with 13 interceptions last year, the 34th-highest mark in Division I and the second-highest in the Sun Belt conference. 

Texas State is slated to play Houston Sept. 26 in its fourth game of the 2015 season.

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

Orakpo declares for 2015 NFL Draft

After being unable to secure a medical redshirt from the NCAA for his sixth year of eligibility, Mike Orakpo, senior linebacker, declared for the 2015 NFL Draft according to Joe Vozelli of the San Marcos Daily Record. 

Orakpo, named to the Sun Belt Conference first team defensive team in the preseason, missed 10 games this year, after tearing his ACL and MCL in the second quarter in Texas State's 35-21 loss to the Navy Midshipmen.

Orakpo tallied 76 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 14 career games for the Bobcats. 

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

Mayo earns Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year

David Mayo, senior linebacker, was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year award, becoming the first Texas State football player to earn a Sun Belt Conference individual award.

Mayo tied the conference record with 154 tackles this season, exceeding the 20 tackle threshold twice this season. Mayo's 22 tackles in the 22-18 win over Louisiana-Monroe were the third most in an individual game in conference history.

Bradley Miller, senior tight end, Michael Odiari, senior defensive end, and Craig Mims, junior cornerback, were named to the first-team offensive and defensive teams, respectively. 

Follow Quixem Ramirez on Twitter @quixem.

Mayo named to 2015 NFLPA All-Senior team

David Mayo, senior linebacker, has been selected as an inside linebacker on the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl All-Senior Team.

Mayo leads the Sun Belt Conference and he tied a Sun Belt single-season record with 154 tackles, putting him third in school history for most tackles in a single season.

Mayo was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week twice this season and ranks second among NCAA leaders with an average of 12.8 tackles per game. The senior linebacker became the first FBS player this season and the first Sun Belt Conference player in history to record 20 or more tackles in two games.

Mayo ranks 17th nationally with six solo tackles per game and he was second among Sun Belt leaders with three forced fumbles.

Texas State misses out on bowl game for second consecutive year

For the second consecutive year, the Texas State football team did not receive an invitation to a bowl game despite being bowl eligible. 

Football year in review: Bowl game imminent for program in second year of Division I eligibility

The Texas State football team toed the line between disaster and success this year.

The end result, a 7-5 record and a potential bowl game invitation, is a step in the right direction for a program in the infancy of its transition to the Division I level.

But the season could have taken a different turn. Coach Dennis Franchione said the team could be 9-3 or 3-9 at this point, a massive difference befitting a team that takes volatility to a new level. Case in point—seven games were decided by eight points or fewer.

For the most part, the Bobcats thrived with their backs against the wall. There were dents in the armor, but that comes with any program building its football foundation from the ground up.

Bobcats finish season with win against Georgia State

There was less than a minute left in the game when Georgia State junior quarterback Tyler Arbuckle led the final shot at closing the gap, which was as high as 30 points in the third quarter.

Georgia State tacked on 21 points in the fourth quarter, trimming the deficit to 16 points. 

Through the array of allies and opponents, Arbuckle found sophomore wide receiver Robert Davis. Before the ball could settle in to his outstretched hands, David Mims, junior cornerback, came from Davis’ left side to intercept the pass and return it for a 60-yard touchdown.

In less than 20 seconds, the Texas State football team secured its seventh win of the season.

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