Liberty-Eylau Receiver Thurman Morbley Commits To Texas State
It didn't take long for Thurman Morbley to accept Texas State's college football scholarship invitation.
The Bobcats reached out to the senior Liberty-Eylau receiver Sunday and by Tuesday Keff Ciardello of BobcatsInsider.com got confirmation from Morbley that he had indeed verbally committed.
Morbley (5-10, 156) is one of the first players committed directly to brand new head coach Everett Withers and his skeleton staff. Withers accepted Texas State's job Friday after a successful two-year stint at James Madison University.
Kumonde Hines, a former James Madison commitment from Virginia, re-upped with Withers last week.
There are 20 other players committed to Texas State, but the others pledged to former head coach Dennis Franchione. Following a 3-9 campaign after two bowl-eligible seasons, Franchione resigned in late December to complete a five-year San Marcos stint.
That makes Morbley not only the first Texas high school commitment Withers has received but also one of the players with the surest security as the new head coach reached just his fourth day on the job. Franchione and company did not recruit the receiver.
Morbley led the team in the catching 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.
Freeman committed to Stephen F. Austin today.
Withers guided James Madison to an 18-7 record during his two seasons in Harrisonburg, Va., and reached the FCS playoffs both years. He also served as North Carolina's interim head coach in addition to his assigned duty as defensive coordinator for the 2011 season after Butch Jones was fired in conjunction with that university's student-athlete academic scandal.
Between 2012 and 2013, Withers was Urban Meyers' first defensive coordinator at Ohio State.
Withers also picked up NFL experience as a New Orleans Saints assistant in 1994 and with the Tennessee Titans as an assistant from 2001 through 2006.
The coach started his career as a defensive coordinator at Austin Peay. He continued to climb as an assistant through Tulane, Southern Miss and the Saints before becoming defensive coordinator at Louisville under Ron Cooper in 1995. He then followed Mack Brown to Texas as an assistant coach in 1998 before hoping to the Titans and then dropping back to serve as Minnesota's defensive coordinator in 2007.
Jones hired Withers at North Carolina before the 2008 season.
Texas State has been a full-fledged member of the FBS side of Division I since 2012. It has been a member of the Sun Belt Conference since 2013.
Morbley, like all senior high school football players, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him Feb. 3. He has the opportunity to face Ohio, Arkansas, Houston and Incarnate Word in addition to Sun Belt competition if he does not redshirt during his freshman year.
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 – committed to Stephen F. Austin; additional 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 -- committed to 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)