Texas State Offers Liberty-Eylau Receiver Thurman Morbley
A new realm of opportunities has opened for the Texas State football program. Those in charge are interested in spreading the wealth.
Brand new head coach Everett Withers and his skeleton crew gave leading Liberty-Eylau receiver Thurman Morbley his very first Division I FBS scholarship opportunity Sunday. Morbley reported the news through his personal Twitter account.
The senior was a big part of a banner year for Liberty-Eylau. The team put together a 12-game winning streak after a Week 1 loss to Gilmer and reached the Region II championship game of Class 4A Division I playoffs last month before falling to eventual state runner-up Argyle in the final minutes.
Morbley (5-10, 156), who also has an FCS offer from Stephen F. Austin, led the team in the receiving department with 1,215 yards and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 22.5 yards per reception while Liberty-Eylau's running game featured two 1,000-yard rushers in quarterback Ke'Mon Freeman and back Lamont Byrd.
Texas State, which became a full-fledged member of the FBS category of Division I teams in 2012, hit its first major transition point since when Dennis Franchione resigned as the program head Dec. 22. His departure wrapped up a five-year tenure that featured two bowl eligible seasons before a 3-9 record this past campaign.
Withers was formally announced as the Bobcats next head coach Friday. The new leader posted an 18-7 overall record at James Madison University through the two prior years and reached the FCS playoffs in both seasons.
In addition to time as James Madison's program head, Withers served as North Carolina's interim coach in 2011. He was promoted from defensive coordinator after Butch Davis was fired in conjunction with the school's academic scandal.
Between North Carolina and James Madison, Withers was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.
Texas State's new coach also has NFL experience as an assistant. He worked with the New Orleans Saints in 1994 and spent five years with the Tennessee Titans between 2001 and 2006.
Withers' college coaching resume includes other stops at Austin Peay, Tulane, Southern Miss, Louisville, Texas and Minnesota in sequential order. He has ranked as a defensive coordinator or higher since 2007.
Texas State has 20 verbal commitments expected to sign on Feb. 3, but that number could fluctuate down the stretch ahead of National Signing Day. Some of the players targeted by Franchione's staff could reopen their recruitment and others might not fit Withers' preferences.
Morbley won't have to worry about his standing in San Marcos. He is among the first to initially be recruited by Withers.
Liberty-Eylau's signing day ceremony will be a big event.
Freeman and safety Andre Wiley Jr. are among other East Texas seniors holding FBS offers. Linebacker Demarcus Pegue II and defensive back Arymis Johnson own a variety of offers from the Division II, NAIA and junior college levels.
Junior defensive end Lagaryonn Carson, a Texas commitment, will headline Liberty-Eylau's talent field ahead of the 2016 season.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — signed with Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
- Gabe Foster, RB/DB, Newton, 6-3, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Purdue, Texas State, ULL, ULM (5)
- Ke’Mon Freeman, QB/ATH, Liberty-Eylau, 5-11, 188 – offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, SMU (3)
- Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
- Alex Gregory, WR, Nacogdoches, 5-11, 175 — committed to Stephen F. Austin; additional offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
- Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offers from Baylor, Missouri, Texas Tech, ULM (4)
- La’Darius Hamilton, LB, Corrigan-Camden, 6-1, 220 — offers from Texas State, ULL (2)
- Adrian Harris, OL, John Tyler, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Tanner Holmes, LB, Newton, 6-3, 220 — committed to ULL (1)
- Jerrod Johnson, OL, Lufkin, 6-2, 290 — offer from ULM (1)
- Keenen Johnson, ATH, Alto, 6-1, 190 – committed to Tulsa; additional offers from North Texas, SMU, ULL (4)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Boise State, California, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, South Carolina, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Washington State (42)
- Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – committed to Houston; additional offers from Air Force, Army, Colorado State, Navy (5)
- Corey Lane, S, 5-11, 185 – offer from Louisiana Tech (1)
- Bronson Massie, DE/LB, Lufkin 6-3, 202 – committed to Kansas State; additional offers from California, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State, Washington (6)
- Jarrod McLin, DE, Carthage, 6-4, 212 – committed to UTSA; additional offer from ULL (2)
- Denzel Mims, WR, Daingerfield, 6-4, 180 – committed to Baylor; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa (6)
- Cody Mitchell, TE, Jasper, 6-5, 225 — committed to ULL; additional offers from Florida, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Missouri, Nebraska, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, (9)
- Jordan Morales, DL, Tyler Bishop Gorman, 6-3, 275 – offer from UTEP (1)
- Thurman Morbley, WR, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 156 -- offer from Texas State (1)
- Reshawn Parker, RB, Hooks, 6-1, 210 -- offer from Oklahoma State, Texas State (2)
- Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-6, 207 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM (11)
- Micahh Smith, DB, Marshall, 5-11, 185 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 5-10, 180 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Colorado State, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, SMU, Texas State (6)
- Jeremy West, OL/DL, Chapel Hill, 6-2, 297 — committed to Northwestern State; additional offer from ULL (1)
- Andre Wiley Jr., OLB/S, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 170 – offers from Arkansas State, Army, Louisiana Tech, Navy, Texas State, Wyoming (6)