Photo by Gerald Castillo

College Football: Texas State concludes fall camp

ISHMAEL JOHNSON
Sports Editor

Fall camp is over.

Things are slowly coming into focus as the Bobcats turn attention toward their northern mascot counterparts. Senior quarterback was officially named Everett Withers’ starting quarterback following the team’s final scrimmage of fall Wednesday morning.

But again, was that ever really in doubt? Sure, junior Eddie Printz took some snaps with the starting offense over the course of camp, but he was still working with less than a summer’s worth of prep in learning the offense against a three-year starter. Withers did commend Printz on challenging Jones and hopes Texas State has a “1 and 1A” option at quarterback this season.

Team captains were also selected and the leading vote-getters are probably surprising.

Jones and senior tackle Ryan Melton were selected as two of the four captains, but they didn’t lead the vote count. Junior college transfer linebacker Gabe Loyd and junior tight end Gabe Schrade both received the most and second-most votes from their teammates respectively.

In less than eight months, Loyd has already endeared himself in the eyes of his teammates.

“(Loyd) got here in January,” Withers said. “That guy got here the same time I got here. He got hired when I got hired and he’s a captain already. He’s been an unbelievable young man and he got the most votes out of all the guys on our football team.

“It’s because of his work ethic, how he takes every day when he comes out here, how he takes the classroom. “He’s a guy from a junior college and he’s got nearly a 4.0 GPA. He’s an unbelievable young man and a pleasure to talk to.”

When it came to the scrimmage, there was certainly a lot more “juice” this time around compared to the previous exhibition.

Senior safety Javante O’Roy had the standout plays nabbing an interception off of Printz and then delivering a big blow to receiver Mason Hayes to jar the ball loose for an incompletion. O’Roy’s efforts were just a sliver of the plays that won the defense the day and forced the offensive players and staff to do post-practice bear crawls.

“Nobody wants to do (bear crawls),” Withers said. “I know the offensive coaches don’t want to do that, the managers or the interns. They’re out there trying to win and I think the energy the last two or three days have been pretty good.”

Another standout on defense was freshman safety Gavin Graham who played outside linebacker with the starting defense in place of Frankie Griffin (concussion).

“Gavin Graham’s doing awfully good,” Withers said. “(Frankie Griffin is) going to have a real battle on his hands to even try to see the field when he gets back because Kumonde Hines, a true freshman, is doing well at the backup spot.”

Hines was a former James Madison commit who flipped to Texas State shortly after Withers accepted the job.

Special teams wise Lumi Kaba, as expected, was named the team’s punter and kickoff specialist. Both junior corner Brandon McDowell and junior receiver Tyler Watts were named as returners while redshirt freshman Marcus Ripley was named the starting place-kicker over James Sherman and Brett Kocian.

After a good showing during the second scrimmage, Jericho Worrell continued to see time with the starting offense along with Stedman Mayberry. After being buried on the depth chart in 2015, Mayberry has established himself as Withers’ go-to back heading into week one.

“What (Stedman has) done is worked his tail off from day one out here in January crawling at five in the morning when we didn’t know who he was,” Withers said. “Through the off-season program form us challenging him to gain weight and keep his weight every day. Through spring practice saying if he didn’t get big enough or run tough enough that he wasn’t going to play. He’s done a great job of holding on and having great ball security. He’s our most explosive back right now. We’re going to need more than one.”

Withers also named Worrell and freshman Tyler Tutt as names he expects to make an impact at Ohio.

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