Photo by Gerald Castillo
Rattlers to Bobcats: Webb’s first year at TXST
When Kannon Webb committed to play football at Texas State on Feb. 10, 2021, it was a dream come true for the 18-year-old high school senior and San Marcos native.
Turn the page to a year and a half later and Webb played out a season, offseason and spring practice living that dream. He’s earned No. 27 on the maroon and gold’s roster. He’s frequently highlighted on Texas State Football’s social media accounts. He’s been learning from one of the Bobcats’ deepest and most talented position groups and now he’s headed into his second fall camp.
“It’s been a blessing. I always came to watch the Bobcats growing up, (and now) I live with Layne Hatcher and Lincoln Pare. I remember watching them (play Texas State) when I was in the stands as a senior and now I live with them,” Webb said. “So it’s just kind of like a dream come true growing up (rooting) for the Bobcats, especially being from San Marcos, Mom working on campus and growing up 15 minutes away from campus. It’s a dream come true, and I’m finally feeling like I’m working in. It’s a little more comfortable now in year two.
“Now last year as a freshman, I was like running around, didn’t really know where to go, didn’t know how stuff worked. So year two has been a little bit smoother going through the summer and these first few days of fall camp. So I enjoy it.”
While Webb was recruited to play receiver at Texas State, it’s a position he’s only been playing full-time since his commitment. Webb was the anchor of the San Marcos defense on the backend playing safety during the majority of his time as a Rattler.
But when John Walsh was hired in the spring of 2020 and got a look at the roster, he wanted to feature Webb more on offense.
Webb played a good bit of wildcat quarterback — he’d often joke about having the best passer rating in San Marcos history from his four completions throughout the 2020 season — but also had a fair jump in reps at wideout. Walsh, one of the more innovative minds in Texas high school football, created multiple sets tailored to Webb whether he was under center or lined up on the hash marks, all while Webb continued to play safety and serve as the team’s main return specialist.
It didn’t take long for Webb to flourish at receiver. In the second game of the 2020 season, then-sophomore quarterback Isaiah DeLeon and Webb put together the drive to seal Walsh’s first win in San Marcos on a Hail Mary against Lockhart. The two connected on a crucial 15-yard out route to set up an electric 40-plus yard touchdown pass as time expired to win 26-25.
While Webb did have a fast start playing the position, the key to his first year with the Bobcats was development.
“I feel like my route running has improved a lot,” Webb said. “You know, coming in from being a safety all four years of high school to coming in (and playing receiver), I remember watching some clips from last year’s summer and last year’s fall camp and I was like ‘wow, that’s atrocious.’ So I feel like my route running’s came a long way, and that’s a big thanks to the older guys who helped me. Like Drue Jackson, he helped me with that a lot.”
Jackson’s not the only receiver that’s helped Webb in his transition to NCAA Division I FBS football. In fact, the entirety of the inside receivers group and their culture of accountability is something Webb can attribute his development to.
“We got a bunch of old heads in the inside receiver room like Chandler (Speights) and Toe (Groves),” Webb said. “They’re both 24 (or) about to turn 24. Julian (Ortega-Jones’) been playing for a while, Drue’s been in college football five or six years. So we got an experienced group, and they’ve always got some details to give out or some advice to give out not just to me but to all the guys in the slots.
“You know, Julian, me and him got here at the same time. So me and him became pretty tight, (we) run routes in the afternoon together. So he’ll call me out on lots of stuff, you know if I’m slacking on a route or slacking on turning my hands over just being lazy with something he’ll call me out on it, which I appreciate because that’s what you need in college football to keep that edge.”
Heading into this season, Webb’s focused on cleaning up the little things and getting as crisp as possible.
“I’m just trying to fix like the minor details now,” Webb said. “I understand like, ‘OK, what route do I run?’ But now I’m trying to work on like, ‘OK, well I can run it this way (or) this way.’ You know, change the top of the route, change the stem, change the angle of the route. So now I’m just trying to like hone in on the details of it all.”
The San Marcos native grew up watching the maroon and gold, and now he gets to grow up even more while wearing it.
“(San Marcos is) where I grew up at, I moved here when I was three. You know, my dad’s (Bryan Webb) made a big impact on San Marcos High School. I like to think that I made a pretty decent impact at the high school,” Webb said. “Now my little brother’s going through his stint at the high school and growing up in this town. So you know this town really shaped me and molded me to who I was, you know, the friends he put in my life, the people I met, the experiences I had, you know, good and bad. Some of my friends who’ve passed away (under) unfortunate circumstances, some of my friends who went off and did great things outside of college.
“Just the people (I) met, the situations (I’ve been) through and the great times and the bad times (I went) through a really shaped me into the guy I am. It’s where, you know, I had my first girlfriend, had my first kiss, where I scored my first touchdown or swam for the first time you know, so there’s a lot of just important events that happened in this town and molded me to shaped me for it and I’m forever grateful for the town.”