Examining the first FBS classes for Texas State and UTSA.
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For Texas State and UTSA, 2012 was a monumental year. The Bobcats and Roadrunners made the leap to the FBS level, and came away with mixed results. Texas State began the year with a stunning upset of Houston before eventually settling for a 4-8 record, while UTSA soared to an 8-4 mark (including a win over Texas State).
But in general, we believe that football season doesn’t really end until National Signing Day, when the program signs the recruits it’s been working on swaying to come to their school all season. So, in a sense, the inaugural FBS season for Texas State and UTSA is just about to come to a close.
And much like their on-the-field action, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about the Bobcats and Roadrunners’ recruiting haul in their inaugural FBS season.
Both teams are poised to make a big splash in recruiting, with plenty of players that should contribute for years to come. And with Signing Day just days away, here are the players that UTSA and Texas State fans should be most excited about.
Katy Cinco Ranch RB Jamel James
Looking for a class headliner? Look no further than James. The speedy Cinco Ranch running back was getting interest from all over – including places like USC, Florida State, Notre Dame and Ole Miss – before verbally committing to Texas State this weekend. James is a former Arkansas commit (he decommitted after Bobby Petrino’s firing) and you can see why everyone’s after him: in limited action due to injury, he ran for 588 yards and nine touchdowns for the Cougars. He’s a huge get for the Bobcats, as long as he gets healthy from a knee injury.
Stephenville QB Tyler Jones and WR Brice Gunter
It’s hard not to package these two together, since they made each other look so good. Tyler Jones is a phenomenal athlete at quarterback, throwing for over 4,000 yards and running for another 1,000 in leading Stephenville to another state title this season. Of course, it helps to have receivers like Gunter to make you look good, as the dominating Gunter hauled in 88 catches for 1,369 yards and 18 touchdowns in a terrific senior season. Now, they’re heading together to San Marcos, with the hopes of continuing their one-two success.
Cy Springs ATH Dila Rosemond
Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of Rosemond; with Cy Springs struggling to a 1-9 mark this year, it’s understandable that he flew under your radar. But Rosemond is a dynamic athlete despite underwhelming size – he’s just 5-10 and about 180 pounds – because he has exceptional quickness and football IQ. He played defensive back and a little bit of wide receiver for the Panthers, but I expect him to stick at safety in San Marcos. If he can fill out his frame, the Bobcats have an exciting prospect on their hands.
South Grand Prairie LB Ken O’Neal
SGP is known for putting out talented players, but something has always interested me about Ken O’Neal. It’s not that he’s particularly big – just 6-2 and 200 pounds, a good but not great size – but instead, when you watch his film, O’Neal just always seems to get to the right place. His great speed helps him get sideline to sideline, making him a candidate for outside linebacker for the Roadrunners. The speed at the college level is greater than that at the high school level, but O’Neal seems like the kind of stalwart in the linebacker corps that the Roadrunners need.
Blinn J.C. DB Tevin Broussard
Remember him? Broussard was a star cornerback for Beaumont Central back in 2009, and had interest from all over, including teams like SMU and Tulsa. But grades tripped him up, and Broussard has spent the past two years at Blinn Junior College, where he’s earned back-to-back SWJCFC All-Conference honors at safety. Expect him to start immediately in the secondary, as he’s got outstanding speed for the safety spot.
San Antonio Warren WR Aron Taylor
How excited was Aron Taylor to be a Roadrunner? He was UTSA’s very first 2013 commit, way back in July. And, well, the Roadrunners are getting a good one. He’s a big target on the outside at 6-2, making him a matchup problem for pretty much any cornerback, and he used it during a spectacular senior year, leading the Warriors with 55 catches for 837 yards and nine touchdowns. Roadrunners fans are hoping that once Taylor finally gets on campus – it must seem like ages for him since he committed –he’ll continue to have that kind of success.
Greg Tepper is the associate editor of Dave Campbell's Texas Football and TexasFootball.com.