Photo by Gerald Castillo
Texas State's linebacker corps enters 2018 as experienced, talented unit
Editor’s Note: Texas State beat writer Nick Castillo will be previewing each position as the Bobcats gear up for the start of training camp on Friday.
Texas State is confident in its linebacker corps.
Head coach Everett Withers will tell you it’s probably the Bobcats’ most experienced group. Maybe even their best group on the team, Withers said at Sun Belt Media Day on July 23.
Withers highlighted three guys at media day: redshirt junior Bryan London II, senior Frankie Griffin and junior Hal Vinson.
“(London) is a preseason All-Sun Belt guy, really for two years in a row, last year and this year,” Withers said. “He’s a college graduate. He kind of epitomizes our program. You take a guy that was struggling academically, not playing football wise, and now he’s got a degree, and he’s a preseason Sun Belt guy. A guy that’s done a great job as far as being a leader on our football team.
“Frankie Griffin … he’s another one of our linebackers that was third team All-Sun Belt last year. We’re excited to have Frankie back for his senior year. And then, Hal Vinson, who played a lot for us last year, was injured some but he plays our boundary outside linebacker. A number of guys behind those guys that have played and add depth to our linebacker corps. But we feel like that might be the strongest piece of our football team.”
London II anchors the unit. The Converse native has started 24 straight games for Texas State. In 2017, London tallied a team-high 91 total tackles, and added three tackles for loss, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Griffin was the Bobcats third-leading tackler in 2017 with 74, which included 11.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. He added three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one quarterback hurry.
Vinson amassed 40 tackles, including five tackles for loss and two sacks, during his sophomore campaign.
Texas State also has juniors Nik Daniels, Gavin Graham, Clifton Lewis, Jr. and Kumonde Hines. Daniels tallied 35 tackles in 2017. Graham recorded 22 tackles, including one tackle for loss and one sack. Lewis had 11 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
The Bobcats have sophomore John Brannon, who had nine tackles, and sophomore Markeveon Coleman, who had one tackle.
With the depth and experience, the linebacker corps should lead Texas State in 2018.