Howdy folks. After my long-ish hiatus** where the biggest news surrounding the program were some annoyed former players upset about the SID not publicizing Texas State's Pro Day, a Spring Game that left folks not much the wiser about how the 2016 edition of Texas State Bobcats football will look, the Sun Belt (and possibly conference rep Larry Teis?) curiously voting against satellite camps, the Austin Bowl being permanently nixed by the NCAA, and a slightly unseemly dust-up with a former Hays high school QB commit and his head coach, here's a slight morsel of new information for us 'Cats fans to chew on.
Lo and behold, the first commitment for the 2017 recruiting class.
#PartyInTheEndzone pic.twitter.com/IxmxJTfDNv— #PartyInTheEndZone (@TXSTATEFOOTBALL) April 13, 2016
@everett_withers @CoachStretch @CoachJohnWiley @ParkerFleming_ @simplyCoachO @BrentThibodeaux @TXST_HIGHLIGHTS pic.twitter.com/Cb2L8YERDf— John Brannon #44 (@JohnBrannon2017) April 13, 2016
Brannon, an inside linebacker hailing from the north Dallas suburb of Prosper, is listed as a 3-star player on scout, a 2-star player on 247sports, and is thus far unrated by Rivals. He reportedly holds offers from Colorado State, New Mexico, and Stephen F. Austin.
Here's his Hudl, because why not it's April and seriously is that hockey on my television oh wait hey go Stars they're good this year OH MY GOD WHERE IS MY FOOTBALL ARRRRRRGG *chews couch pillow into shreds.*
Brannon's highlights show that he can hit holes running downhill with solid speed as well as shed blocks despite not having a head of steam. He also shows a knack for stripping the ball and attempting to cause turnovers, and his lateral pursuit is also notable. However, he does tend to hit his opponent a bit high at times and will need work on wrapping up his man at the next level.
Prosper HS finished 6-4 in the 2015 regular season in Dallas's tough District 10-5A division and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
As of now, here is what the linebacker situation will look like in 2017, barring any transfers or defections: Stephen Smith (Sr.), Easy Anyama (Sr.), Gabe Loyd (Sr.), Louis Rubin (Sr., converted RB), Ishmael Davis (Jr.), Kerry Walker Jr. (So.), Jordan Mittie (So.), Bryan London (So.), Hal Vinson (RS-Fr. or So.), Kumonde Hines (RS-Fr. or So.), and Nikolas Daniels (RS-Fr. or So.). Only Smith and Davis received any playing time at the position in 2015, and Anyama is switching over from safety. Senior Teron Fitzgerald, a likely starter in 2016, will have graduated.
After Everett Withers finished the 2016 recruiting class by shoring up most of the bigger names that had previously decommitted from the program after Dennis Franchione's retirement, the commitment of a 3/2 star linebacker with offers from two Mountain West programs is a good start to what will be the new staff's first full recruiting class. It'll be interesting to see if Withers and company can keep the momentum going.
For now, we'll just have to chew on every tiny morsel of information that comes our way during an incredibly long offseason.
**Seriously, apologies for the lack of coverage, folks. Obligations both professional and personal have had to take precedence. I'll try and do better.