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Lincoln Pare is back with the Bobcats after a year long injury that forced the senior to miss the 2022 season. Pare enters the 2024 season looking to make an impact for Texas State along with Ismail Mahdi, Deion Hankins and Torrance Burgess Jr.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo


Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Pare returns to Bobcats after year long injury

Senior running back Lincoln Pare faced the difficult task of watching from the sidelines following the Bobcats’ historic season due to a leg injury that sidelined him for a year.

But after a long rehab process, the Bobcats leading rusher from the 2022 season, who ran for 772 yards on 172 carries and five touchdowns, is back in uniform looking to help lead Texas State to even higher heights.

“My recovery is going well,” Pare said. “I’m nine months post operation, and I don’t have pain in my leg anymore. I’m starting to feel like myself again, so I’m happy to be back with the team.”

In his recovery process, Pare credited both the Texas State Athletic training staff and Head Strength Coach Bret Huth for not only his rehab but also for making him feel better in general.

“He was huge,” Pare said. “It was 50/50 between the athletic trainers and [Huth]. I did my rehab there, then I’m in the weight room. We are working on shin angles and everything with my knee. Every day throughout the season, I was with him every morning before practice. I give big credit to him for why I’m back and how good I feel with my body.”

Despite not playing for the Bobcats last season, Pare took the opportunity to learn more about the game of football from the coaches themselves.

“It’s been really good,” Pare said. “This past season I was able to step back. [I saw] how the coaches and the game operate. It allowed me to really step back and learn the game more, so I would say through it that it really helped me.”

While recovering from his season ending injury, Pare did his best to help his teammates in the room better themselves.

“I was helping all the running backs with all the knowledge I have,” Pare said. “Especially with the young guys, I was pouring it in with any questions they had, helping with film and alignments. A big thing that I helped with was [pass protection] and helping the young guys see the field. A big thing for me in practice, after I did my rehab with my knee, was to go out there during team periods and stand out there with Coach Kinne and help the backs out to the best of my ability.”

One of the running backs that filled the void of Pare’s injury was Ismail Mahdi.

The sophomore running back became the first Bobcat running back to rush for 1,300 yards since Claude Mathis in 1997.

Pare credited Mahdi’s preparedness for filling in the hole in the running room following Pare’s injury.

“You always have to be prepared,” Pare said. “With running back, I feel like we are the most hit position on the field, so you have to stay ready. What Ish did was he was always prepared and ready for his opportunity. When somebody went down or wasn’t in the game, he stepped up and earned it. He balled out.”

Having played under both former Head Coach Jake Spavital and current Head Coach G.J. Kinne, Pare also noticed the differences in the Bobcat offense for the running back position.

“They are pretty similar, but the tempo is the big difference for me,” Pare said. “Just constantly lining up, you hit a big play and you get on the ball. The conditioning aspect for your whole team has to get up another level. Coach Bret Huth, our head strength coach, implements that in a lot of things we do.”

Heading into the 2024 season, both Mahdi and Pare will head up a talented running back room along with transfers Deion Hankins and Torrance Burgess Jr. Both Hankins and Burgess Jr. led the UTEP Miners in rushing.

With four running backs who all started for the respective schools, the Bobcat running back room could be considered one of the most experienced in the nation.

“What makes it a stacked room is the experience,” Pare said. “You have Deion [Hankins] who has five years and [Torrence Burgess Jr] with three years, so they are one and two. There’s chemistry there. Then you have me, who has been a starter and playing for five years. Then you have Ish [Mahd,] who is coming off an All-American season. … There are not many rooms where you have at least four guys who have been a starter somewhere.”

Another change in the running back room is the person in charge.

Former UTEP running backs coach and former Texas State quarterback Barrick Nealy is back with Bobcats for the first time since 2005, when he helped lead the team to their best season since 1983 winning the Southland Conference Championship advancing deep into the FCS playoffs.

“As far as knowledge wise, it’s huge to have a guy who played the game and coaches at a high level,” Kinne said “It’s just unbelievable, and we are very thankful in the running back room that Coach Kinne brought a guy like him in.”

With Nealy in charge of the running backs, Pare mentioned how the Texas State legend has added room.

“His three big keys are competitive excellence, undefeated in ball security and undefeated in pass pro,” Pare said. “Those are the big three things that he implements. From him playing quarterback, he talks to us in quarterback terms. We always got to know what the back end’s doing, what the concept is and what route we have off of the concept. Then he talks to us about pass pro, how we pass pro and with a certain block or cut block can affect the quarterback in his eye. Hearing it from a different perspective who’s been back there as a quarterback is huge.”

Off the field, Nealy has also made a big impact, especially when it comes to local San Marcos knowledge.

“It’s huge,” Pare said. “Because he went [to Texas State], you are always able to talk to him about what we’re doing outside of football. He gives us his whole eating spots. … A big one me and him talk about is Alvin Ord’s right outside the Square. Another place was Valentino’s then he took us to the Taproom. I haven’t been to the Taproom a whole lot, but we went for lunch and we had wings, and the big ole burger. He always talks about Taproom as his favorite place.”

cmcwilliams Twitter: @ColtonBMc

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