Texas State head coach Everett Withers finds himself in a place that Bobcat fans are not necessarily accustomed to seeing this time of year; a top ranked recruiting class. The Bobcats currently bolster the number one ranked recruiting class in the Sun Belt for 2017, with 18 commitments per Rivals and Signing Day just two weeks away. After a disappointing 2-10 maiden voyage for Withers in 2016, he’s trying to build some optimism about the football program moving forward.
Coach Withers was left to take over for Dennis Franchione, who left the program in 2015. Franchione ran the show from 2011-2015, eventually resigning after guiding the Bobcats to a sub-mediocre start in Division I football, which included the inaugural 2012 season. Some success was found in 2013 and 2014, when the Bobcats were bowl eligible at 6-6 and then 7-5 but ultimately wasn’t able to find the same success.
With Withers, the Bobcats now have a fresh face, a recently renovated stadium, and one of the biggest schools in Texas that has a river flowing through it. The question that he hopes to answer if he is able to reel in the talent required to compete for conference championships and bowl appearances.
Texas State has begun answering that question with it’s 2017 class, which ranks 85th nationally and 1st in the Sun Belt. Two 3-star athletes WR Quan Hampton (Texas High) and QB Jaylen Gipson (Mexia) highlight the class of 18 players. Both Texas natives have decided to stay in state and come to San Marcos in hopes to build a new foundation for Bobcat football. Withers was also able to find some beef for his offensive and defensive line, adding seven solid names to the depth chart for the big ugly’s. There will be more signees come February; only time will tell who else Withers can snag before pen meets paper.
This is just a small step, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. In order for Withers and the Bobcats to improve, they must first establish a solid recruiting foundation. Withers has already shown his blueprint for grabbing Texas guys, which is not a bad strategy considering his school is in one of the biggest hot beds in the country for high school football.
The Bobcats should be able make a habit of finishing towards the top of the Sun Belt recruitment rankings if Withers can get a solid 2017 season under his belt. The facilities, fan base and resources are all there, just not W’s on the record column. If he can stay on the trail for those two and three star guys who were passed over but can still play, Withers should be able to form a team that can compete with anyone in the conference.
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