By Alannah Morales
Yesterday morning, Texas State head coach Everett Withers excitingly announced the 2016 signing class for the Bobcats. In a press conference on National Signing Day, he answered questions over what certain positions he is keeping an eye out to fill, how he and the coaching staff are going about evaluations and where he primarily prefers to recruit from.
After announcing 23 new recruits that will be playing for Texas State this upcoming 2016 season, Withers shared that the new offensive and defensive coaching staffs are continuing to keep a look out for certain positions that still need to be filled and worked on.
Withers stated in his presser that, “This class is still fluid. We’ll still be working to add to this class in the next three, four weeks, in a lot of different areas. I call it roster manipulating. We’ll continue to manipulate this roster and hopefully improve it; make it better.”
Withers elaborated on what spots in particular he and the coaching staff were focusing on.
“Well, we like to always sign lineman. We’ll always start there. We’ll probably look at a defensive lineman and maybe even an offensive lineman and then we’re going to take the best available, what we call ‘big skill player’.”
Pertaining to the amount of safety’s as well as the amount of cornerbacks Texas State signed yesterday, he was questioned whether that was an area he felt needed to be concentrated on. Withers revealed his and the coaching staff’s thoughts on that area when answering, “We need to upgrade the position. Like I said, we’ll continue to look at guys that are out there. We’ll try to continue to upgrade that position. We feel like that’s an area we need to continue to work, to get better.”
With the transition from Harrisonburg, Virginia to San Marcos, Texas being in such a short amount of time, many of the fans are questioning what he already plans on utilizing that’s already within the team or if he has an idea of how well our players will perform this season.
“One of the big things we’re trying to do right now is figure out whether our team understands how hard they need to work to be champions,” said Withers.“Try to build a championship culture; how to do things right. Those are basic everyday things.”
Considering Withers has only been in San Marcos for just under a month, it is nearly impossible for this new coaching staff to view every player’s full ability without seeing them compete on the field. Withers and his coaching staff are starting from the beginning with this team with an aim to condition them in a style of their own.
They’re starting from the basics, just as if the players were once again in, “elementary school phases”. Withers is focused on the “foundation of where you got to start.” One area he mentioned in particular was the offensive line and how he feels their performance will be. “I think we have some talented kids athletically in the offensive line and I feel like we got some talented kids in the secondary,” he said. “But again, who knows what this class is going to be like until they get on the field.”
Signing football players straight from high school is the route many see Withers and his staff picking and choosing from since 19 of his 23 players were from high school and the remaining four joining from a junior college. He was questioned if this preference was intentional.
“I think our philosophy as a staff is (that) you go JUCO, in our minds, when there’s a specific need in an area. We want to try as much as possible to stay away from signing the five, six, seven classes of JUCO kids, because a lot of time those kids already have something engraved in their muscle memory that’s going to be hard to break in two, three years. We want to be able to take kids and develop them and we feel like taking them from the high school ranks and developing them best suit our staff.”
Withers commended the signees for staying committed to Texas State University as well as the coaches and parents who supported them and encouraged them to stay committed. As the season gets closer, we now have an idea of what areas will be focused on, how Withers and the new staff are planning to establish a foundation that applies the basics of everyday things such as being on time, being held accountable, as well as being successful, not only on the field, but off the field.
Withers himself will discover what this team has to give as he continues to coach and work with them. Withers understands that a relationship with the signees is crucial and he is “excited about this signing class,” and how he will further enhance their futures. Ultimately, Withers looks forward to the day of watching his players switch their tassels to the other side of their caps and succeeding in all areas of life.
The time in which he makes this impact starts now, creating the foundation of the emerging Texas State Bobcats football team, and leading them in the right direction.