The Blitz: Will SFA become a system school, fall camp updates, good news for UMHB and HSU

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The long wait is over, and the 2022 season begins for Texas small colleges Thursday night when Trinity Valley visits Snow College. With the season beginning, here is the coverage you can expect on the 35 sub-FBS programs in Texas this season.

The Blitz will remain throughout the season and will appear on Monday. The Blitz will continue to bring news while highlighting outstanding performances and plays from the weekend.

The Texas 47 debuted this week and will continue each Tuesday of the season. The Texas 47 is the brainchild of DCTF college insider Mike Craven and myself. Teams will be divided into six tiers, from national contenders to the basement.

A preview of the Small College Game of the Week will be released on Thursday during the season. The GOTW preview will provide broadcast information and information about the matchup. New this year is the X-Factors, which replaces the “players to watch” from last year and will feature a player to watch from each team.

Following the Game of the Week, I will post three talking points from the contest with analysis.

Something else new this year is a small college podcast with Craven and myself. The podcast will be the place to find all information for the sub-FBS schools in Texas and will debut next week.

With the release of the 2022 Preseason Texas All-Small College Team last week, this week’s Blitz has news from the past two weeks.

Western Athletic Conference

  • Stephen F. Austin Interim President Steve Westbrook told KLTV that regents would begin considering affiliation. SFA is one of the few remaining unaffiliated state universities in Texas, and “more active” talks have been with Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, and Texas Tech. This is just heating up, so stay tuned.

  • Tarleton has raised over seven figures of NIL money through the FCS collective Bleed Purple, according to Sam Herder of HEROSports. Look for more FCS schools to join the FCS collective in the coming months.

  • Texans coach Todd Whitten gave his thoughts on the QB battle and his team overall. Run game coordinator Scott Carey discussed the offensive line being one of the main strengths this year.

  • Bruce Feldman of The Athletic wrote about the biggest “Freaks” in college football. No. 36 on his list is SFA DE BJ Thompson. Feldman notes that Thompson has a broad jump of 11-3 on record, a 4.56 40-yard dash, a 10-yard split of 1.63, and a 40-inch vertical.

  • Sam Houston is posting position previews of the Bearkats on its Twitter account and website. The series began with the quarterbacks, followed by tight ends, wide receivers, running backs, and offensive line previews.

  • Abilene Christian released a preview of the Wildcats' safeties with quotes from defensive coordinator Skyler Cassity, while defensive backs coach Julian Wilson discussed the cornerbacks.

  • Sam Herder of HEROSports penned a full preview of SFA. Included is Herder’s season outlook for the Lumberjacks with a predicted record of 10-1 or 9-2 and a playoff berth.

  • Sam Houston added to an impressive list of future non-conference foes, having scheduled a home-and-home series with Colorado State for the 2027 and 2028 seasons.

  • Former Tarleton DB Devin Hafford has re-signed with the New England Patriots. Hafford was initially signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent but was released a week later before playing for the Pittsburgh Maulers of the USFL.

  • The Texans Twitter account posted photos of the north end zone expansion at Memorial Stadium. The addition will increase capacity to nearly 24,000 with the field suites moving to the south end zone.

Southland Conference

Southwestern Athletic Conference

Lone Star Conference

  • The Midwestern State offense looked good during the Mustangs’ first intra-squad scrimmage of fall camp. The quarterback battle between Dillon Sterling-Cole and Neiko Hollins has not been decided yet, with both players leading the offense to scores during the scrimmage.

  • West Texas A&M coach Hunter Hughes discussed his team following the second week of fall camp. Hughes mentioned Mesquite freshman DB Quinton Evans, Middle Tennessee State WR Tyler Sweet, and Decatur OL Morgan Picha as standouts in camp.

American Southwest Conference

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • NJCAA and ESPN reached a deal to broadcast 13 NJCAA football games, 25 men’s and women’s basketball games, and 20 baseball and softball games beginning in the 2022-2023 season. The multi-year agreement will air games on the ESPN linear network and ESPN+.

  • Trinity Valley’s game at Snow College on Thursday will be broadcast on ESPN+ as the NJCAA Game of the Week.

  • Blinn and Tyler have two players named to the JCGridiron.com Preseason First-Team All-American squad. Former Auburn and Middle Tennessee State WR Ja’Shawn Sheffield and former Texas A&M CB Erick Young represent the Buccaneers, while Tyler is represented by TE Tyler Olsen and OL Markendrick Beall.

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