NOTE: The tone of this article is based on the assumption the class will stay as is.
Just one month into his new tenure as head coach of the Texas State Bobcats, Everett Withers and his staff has salvaged a decent recruiting class out of what could've been a very bad situation. Despite Dennis Franchione waiting until right after the JUCO signing period in December to retire, Withers was able to lure back most of Texas State's important decommits (Devin Williams, Tyler Tutt) and add players of his own from both within Texas and across the country.
A Sun Belt class that sits right around the 100 mark (good for 4th in the conference as of February 2) is a respectable one given the circumstances. Texas State also beat the schools they should beat in head-to-head recruiting battles (ULM, UNT, Rice, UTEP, UNM, Nevada) and even prevented Big Ten poachers Iowa and Indiana from snagging a few Texas players.
Future recruiting classes will hopefully be on the right side of the Top 100 benchmark and will have Texas State competing with the likes of Arkansas State and Georgia Southern for the top recruiting classes in the Sun Belt every season. But for now, this 2016 class will add talent and depth to build a foundation from.
Coach Fran was known for bringing in plenty of decently rated recruits (especially if you went by Rivals' very forgiving rating system), yet player development under his staff was notoriously uneven. If Withers and company can get players like Devin Williams, Hal Vinson, Jordan Eastling, and Tyler Tutt to fully reach their potential, Texas State could finally take that next step into competing for the bowl bids and conference titles that the hungry Bobcat fanbase have been expecting.
Jordan Eastling, CB, Decatur, GA (Southwest DeKalb HS)
As was evident by last season disastrous collapse in the secondary, Texas State needs plenty of additional depth at defensive back, especially with CB David Mims II, DB Aaron Shaw and safeties Damani Alexcee and Demetrius Woodard graduating. Eastling, who the Bobcats plucked out of the Peach State despite offers from Georgia Southern and, strangely enough, Rose Bowl participant Iowa.
Eastling likely won't see a ton of time at RB despite his highlight reel, but he is a physical player as evidenced by him trucking opposing linebackers, and he has the ups and coverage instincts to make big pass breakups. He also has some pretty solid hands for a DB. He's got an excellent cut, and could potentially return punts for the Bobcats. He tends to tackle a bit high, however, and probably will need work to be considered reliable in run support.
Ramon Readus, DT, McKinney, TX (Boyd HS)
Readus stuck with Texas State despite a late offer from Indiana, and he could immediately make an impact on what was an already suspect defensive line. He shows a solid swim move as well as the ability to plug holes and disrupt runs at the line. He's got the frame and athleticism to make a difference, but he might need to put on a few more pounds before becoming the interior monster Texas State will need him to be.
Tyler Tutt, RB, Keller, TX
Tutt had plenty of interest from rival suitors at the get go, with Iowa, UTSA (reportedly), Boise State, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, Nevada, Army, and Air Force all wanting his services. That Withers was able to get Tutt to re-commit is a testament to the job his staff has done, because the 5'10" 205 lb. running back could be the get for Texas State's 2016 class.
Although he might not have the 4.3 40 speed of former Bobcat RB Terrence Franks, Tutt's burst of speed through the middle of opposing defenses is eerily reminiscent of the former player's ability to turn on the jets and turn opposing defenses into ashes. However, his vision might be even better than Franks's was, and he also has the ability to get yards after initial contact.
It's rare to see a true freshman challenge for the starting spot at running back, but the departures of Robert Lowe and Chris Nutall mean that Tutt could see the field early on in San Marcos.
Hal Vinson, OLB, Dallas, TX (South Oak Cliff HS)
No use sugarcoating it--playing time at every defensive position is up for grabs at this point, and linebacker is no exception. Vinson was a late commit out of Dallas that Withers was able to lock down despite overtures from Colorado State and Louisville, and he'll add speed and relentless pursuit to a position that's been lacking both as of late.
He also has the ability to line up and provide pass rush as a LB/DE hybrid if Texas State needs it.
Devin Williams, ATH/Dual Threat QB, Mansfield, TX (Timberview HS)
Williams has a great initial burst of speed and the elusiveness to make the poor kid holding the camera fall out of his chair. The main question is, will Texas State groom him behind Tyler Jones at quarterback or try and get him on the field in any way possible by having him switch positions?