The senior class for Texas State football got a little smaller last week as defensive end Ishmael Davis and receiver Mason Hays were reclassified, allowing them to play this season and next. Both players were granted an extra year of eligibility via a hardship waiver after their season was cut short due to injury last year.
Davis, a graduate student, was awarded a scholarship before the 2016 season after playing his first two years as a walk-on. He has 83 tackles in his career, including 19 in the first four games last year before tearing an ACL.
After transferring from Trinity Valley Community College in 2016, Hays worked his way into the starting lineup last season. He had nine catches for 148 yards and a touchdown through the first four games, all starts, before he fractured a fibula.
Senior outside linebacker Frankie Griffin has also appealed for an extra year. After taking a redshirt in 2014, then missing the 2015 season with an injury, Griffin has started the past 20 games at linebacker for the Bobcats, including all 12 last season, in which he recorded 74 tackles, 11½ tackles for loss and four sacks. A decision by the NCAA on his eligibility for the 2019 season will be made later this year.
Recruiting: Texas State received two pledges Friday to give the football team 16 for the class of 2019 — Jefferson outside linebacker Eric Gipson and Pine Tree tight end Keshon Williams.
Injury update: Two key players for the Bobcats are probably out for the 2018 season according to coach Everett Withers. Offensive tackle Nic Foster had successive concussions, and running back Anthony Smith tore his ACL in the spring.
Foster started the first 10 games at left tackle as a true freshman last season before he was hurt. With Foster out, Withers said sophomore Kameron Jemison has a “good chance” to start. Jemison transferred to Texas State from Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College this summer.
In 10 games last season, Smith finished second on the team in rushing yards with 352 and rushing touchdowns with three while leading the team in yards per carry at 4.8.
Other minor injuries for the Bobcats are sophomore center Reece Jordan with a hamstring pull, junior tight end Brendon Rushing with a bone bruise and freshman cornerback Kieston Roach. All three are expected back at practice within the next couple of weeks.
Jordan is expected to be the starter at center after making seven starts as a true freshman last year. Rushing has caught four passes with one touchdown in two years, all in his freshman year. Roach sat out as a redshirt last year.
Texas State will start its season Sept. 1 at Rutgers.
Soccer: After finishing last season with the second-best record in the Sun Belt Conference, Texas State has been picked to finish second again in the preseason coaches’ poll, behind 2017 champion South Alabama.
Texas State had four players, all juniors, named to the preseason all-conference team – forward Kaylee Davis, midfielder Jordan Kondikoff, defender Genesis Thurman and goalkeeper Heather Martin.
The Bobcats’ season will begin Friday at Louisiana Tech.