Texas State quarterback Willie Jones will transfer to Kilgore College, according to a report from the Statesman’s Keff Ciardello.
Jones was the primary starting quarterback to open the 2018 season, but struggled with injuries throughout the year. He completed 56.5 percent of his passes for 984 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions as a sophomore. Jones added 402 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
The Silsbee product threw more than 10 pass attempts in five games a season ago. In those games, he averaged 191 passing yards per game and 7.8 yards per pass attempt. Jones’ best performance came against Georgia State, when he threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns, and added another 62 yards and a score on the ground.
However, Texas State hired West Virginia offensive coordinator Jake Spavital as its new head coach earlier in the offseason. Jones isn’t an ideal fit in Spavital’s air raid system, which doesn’t often utilize dual-threat quarterbacks.
With Jones’ departure, Texas State has four scholarship quarterbacks heading into the 2019 season. Sophomore Tyler Vitt and redshirt sophomore Jaylen Gipson are the only two returners. Spavital also added former Montana standout Gresch Jensen from the JUCO ranks and true freshman Cedric Case from Lincoln High School in Nebraska.
Vitt completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 1,159 yards, seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a true freshman in 2018. Gipson has six career pass attempts to his name.
Jensen threw for 2,531 yards, 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in a standout freshman season at Montana. The Auburn, Wash., product finished third in voting for the STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award, given to the national freshman of the year. He was originally recruited by former Montana coach Bob Stitt, who is now the offensive coordinator at Texas State.