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Bobcats begin work on 'new identity' at spring camp

Texas State Football
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Texas State began its spring training Tuesday morning at Bobcat Stadium, implementing new changes, working to incorporate the team’s newcomers and searching for new leadership.

“Feels good to be back out there. It's been a while since last time we were on that field. So, new team, new identity,” head coach Jake Spavital said. “It's been fun going through this offseason conditioning of about six weeks and kind of figuring out what the new guys look like, who our leaders are going to be. You know, so I think it's been a bit of a pretty good ride right there for six weeks, figuring this out and kind of changing the culture and the identity and getting these new kids to be bought into what we're trying to accomplish.”

The change in identity Spavital wants to see is in the way the team attacks — especially on offense. He noted that last season’s defense was good, but was rarely able to get off the field. This year, he’s hoping to change that.

“It's more about the ability to attack and dictate the pace of play. And kind of that edge and that confidence that we need to play with on the offensive side,” Spavital said. “You know, defense has been the same. That's kind of where I'm saying the change to the identity is, that we gotta change who we are on offense for us to change the identity of this team right now.”

Eleven of Texas State’s 2020 recruiting class is taking part in the spring workouts. Spavital the amount of size they add to the team has been a bit eye-popping.

“I think they've all kind of stood out,” Spavital said. “I think the DBs are pretty long right now with the Tory Spears and Grid Isadore. Like, those kids add a lot of length to what we're trying to do. You know, offensively, we've got Marcel Barbee and Drue Jackson out there at the receiver positions. Russell Baker and Silas Robinson are bringing depth to the O-line. Just really pleased, kind of, where we've kind of filled the voids. I've been a part of teams where you lose 22 seniors and you can't be able to put together a two-deep depth chart at the beginning of spring football. And I think as a staff, we identified it and got these new guys in.”

Spavital said he expects there to be numerous position battles across the board. He told his offensive players they each had a clean slate and that no starting spots had been earned yet.

He’s hoping it brings out more competitiveness in practice.

“And a lot of them ran with it,” Spavital said. “You know, I think (sophomore tight end) Blake Aragon's got new life right now. I think he's running around out there, he looks good. Same thing with (freshman tight end) Micah (Hilts). I think we have some unique body types on offense in terms of these long, receiving tight ends to these blocking tight ends. We moved Dotson Schaefer over from defensive line to that tight end/fullback role. And then we've added on, obviously, the length on the perimeter so we can get in and out of 10 personnel and 11 and 11-speed personnel, where you get these bigger tight end bodies. So I think it's gonna be pretty fun once we get out there and put the ball down and start scrimmaging amd figure who our guys are gonna be.”

Spavital liked what he saw on day one of spring camp. But his challenge to the team is to keep it up in the team’s remaining 14 practices.

"I thought they ran around pretty good today. They're always going to do that on day one. Lots of energy, lots of excitement, new things,” Spavital said. “Still, you know, if you look at it from a team perspective, I thought we've increased in length and I think we've got a lot more athleticism out there right now compared to where we were at last year. But, it's still a work in progress and I think we'll have more of these questions answered as we go through these next 14 practices.”

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