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Texas State players meet on the sidelines during Spring Practice. The Bobcats are improving on both sides of the ball in preparation for the 2024 season.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

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Texas State looks to capitalize on a historic 2023 season.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

Both offense and defense continue to grow in Year 2

Friday, March 29, 2024

Texas State finished up their first week of spring practice as the Bobcats prepare for the 2024 season.

Head Coach G.J. Kinne has started to see the Bobcats grow into the playbook particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

“You can tell it’s year two in a lot of areas, especially on offense,” Kinne said. “Even though we have new quarterbacks, we haven’t missed a beat. All three of those quarterbacks are really good. We got some receivers making plays down the field which has been a point of emphasis. We are protecting the ball and running the ball well.”

The defensive side of the ball has also seen growth under new defensive coordinator Dexter McCoil.

“On defense we are flying around,” Kinne said. “We have a lot of athleticism and length. We are also doing some good things on defense. It is hard right now, because you are not tackling. So you never know exactly if it’s a sack or not. But we are seeing really good things.”

An area of improvement both Kinne and McCoil have harped for the Bobcat defense has been understanding the play calls.

“That has been a point of emphasis on defense similar to how it is on offense,” Kinne said. “These are going to be our calls that we are going to be really good at and continue to get better at. We are going to know [them] like the back of our hand. I’ve thought we have done a good job of that.”

Focusing on the quarterback room, James Madison transfer and reigning Sun Belt Player of the Year Jordan Mc-Cloud continues to turn heads at spring practice.

“The thing that stands out to me the most is his touch,” Kinne said. “He is like a point guard. He gets the ball out on time, and [knows] where to go with the ball. He has already made some wild throws in the short amount of time he has been here.”

Another impressive feat McCloud has shown is the ability to hit targets while said targets are moving at full speed.

“The receivers don’t break stride [which creates] a lot of run and catch opportunities,” Kinne said. “That has really stood out to me. Because he throws such a catchable ball, and he is accurate, there is a lot of ability to catch and run and the receivers are [not catching the ball away from their bodies]. He is able to hit them in stride.”

Also looking to make an impact on the quarterback position is red-shirt freshman P.J. Hatter.

After being used sparsely during the season, Hatter has already taken several steps forward in his progression in his second year.

“He’s been here the longest out of the three,” Kinne said. “P.J. is obviously super talented, and you saw that in high school. He is a dynamic runner. On the scout team, he really opened some eyes and [showed] what he is capable of. He has a strong arm and can make the 'wow' plays. He can do everything we need him to do and go out there to win ball games. I’ve been pleased with him where he is at.”

Another quarterback looking to make an impact is freshman Brad Jackson who enrolled early from San Antonio Reagan High School.

“For a guy that should be in pre-algebra and getting ready for the prom in a couple of weeks, he has been unbelievable,” Kinne said. “He operates like a senior. He has a big arm, and he can run.”

In a world where quarterbacks are seemingly entering the transfer portal left and right, having two Texas high school players in the room has been critical for Kinne.

“Both of those guys are really talented,” Kinne said. “That is why you have to recruit Texas High School quarterbacks, develop them and get them here. When you get guys like Brad and P.J., it’s a game changer. They are just our guys, and they have only been at Texas State. They haven’t been to this school or that school. You can see the development every day, and they are continuing to get better. Both of those guys are big-time players.”

Texas State spring practice will conclude Saturday April 13 with the Maroon and Gold Spring Game.

cmcwilliams Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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