Year two of the Everett Withers rebuild has reached a critical period as he attempts to turn over the Bobcats roster and remake his squad into a winner. This weekend is huge for that movement as 19 recruits visit San Marvelous, 15 of whom are already committed.
The Bobcats are currently ranked first in Sun Belt recruiting according to 24/7's composite recruiting rankings and 83rd overall. Among those committed players in attendance this week are dual threat quarterbacks Jaylen Gipson out of Mexia who holds a couple Power 5 offers as well as a number of G5s and Kishawn Kelly from Corsicana who also holds an SMU offer. Duncanville's Jaylin Nelson is a lightening quick athlete who played quarterback for the Panthers. He holds a Tech offer.
It's clear Withers is recruiting talent over position as five of his current 24 commitments were quarterbacks at the prep level, but most will probably move to a different position once on campus. Gary Patterson has made a living finding athletes and molding them into dominant players at new positions. While stacked with athletes, this class is also top to bottom the biggest in terms of frames, i.e. height and weight, that Texas State has ever recruited. Even the wideouts are big.
The most important visitors and the area of most need for the Cats are the offensive linemen. Currently committed Caleb Carlile, Brian Parrish and Nic Foster will be on campus this weekend. They all have nice frames to add bulk and fill out. They'll be joined by Pearl River JC's Willie Terrell who's still shopping around. Withers continues to try and jump start his line development via the JC route, with six offers in to Junior College linemen in the last two weeks.
All the rankings and stars are great and all but the key is talent identification and development. We know that Withers can identify talent, his former team James Madison won the FCS title with players recruited by in large by Withers and his staff. You don't coach with Urban Meyer, Mack Brown and Butch Davis without understanding how to find talent. What's impressive about the Bobcat class is not only their size but also that they come from some of the best programs in the state. Cedar Hill, Aledo, Judson, Manvel, and Lukin are all among the who's who at producing prep talent and making deep playoff runs in the state. When you make inroads into those schools you're doing something right.
If Withers and crew can maintain their momentum the 2017 class will mark the first time in Texas State's five year Sun Belt run that the Cats finish higher than 3rd in the leagues composite recruiting rankings. If Withers can develop that talent the wins will come.