The Bearkats look to come out of the gates strong at the start of next season after they recruited 16 new faces to the athletic program, including 12 freshman and four transfers.
“This has been one of the most challenging recruiting classes in my time,” Sam Houston State Head Coach K.C. Keeler said. “There was a lot of time in January spent away from home.”
Despite some self-professed struggles this recruitment season, Keeler once again came out with a strong recruiting class that boasts seven two-star recruits as well as two three-star transfers.
The Bearkats continued the trend of adding leaders to the program, 10 of the 12 high school recruits were captains.
Half of the recruits also took the initiative and attended one of the Elite Kat football camps.
One of the top prospects in this class is 6-foot-6-inch 225 pound quarterback Cody Brewer out of Flour Bluff High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Brewer threw for 2,111 yards with 20 touchdowns his senior year and rushed for another 445 with five touchdowns.
“He’s a big guy,” Keeler said. “When I met him in person his stature reminded me exactly of Joe Flacco (who Keeler coached during Flacco’s two years at Delaware).Very athletic, very strong arm, tremendous upside. We feel really fortunate to get a quarterback the quality of Cody Brewer.”
The Bearkat’s biggest goal this recruitment season was to address the two positions where they will lose seniors- wide receiver and defensive back.
The loss of receivers LaDarius Brown and Gerald Thomas on the offensive side and Trenier Orr and Mikell Everette on the defensive side weighed heavily on the coaches’ minds.
“You look at your weaknesses and all of a sudden you’re very young on the outside,” Keeler said. “We felt we had to bring some guys in that could give us some depth there.”
One player who Keeler thinks can have an impact right away is two star wide receiver recruit Nathan Stewart from Bryan Adams High School in Dallas, Texas.
The 6-foot-1-inch 178 pound Stewart caught 59 passes for 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior year.
“Incredibly mature receiver in terms of his skill set,” Keeler said. “He’s one of the few guys that we think can come in and play immediately for us.”
SHSU added two other wide receiver freshman, two offensive linemen, one other quarterback, three defensive backs, one defensive lineman and one linebacker.
The Bearkats added some major talent with the transfers as well, signing two players from power five conference schools, and two other players that had a big impact for their teams.
One player to watch is the University of Texas-Austin sophomore transfer Jermaine Roberts Jr.
At 5-foot-9-inches tall, 171 pounds the former three star recruit looks to make a big impact after a knee injury sidelined him at Texas.
Roberts received scholarship offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Alabama out of high school.
Other transfers include linebacker Justin Johnson from Blinn, running back Deontay Townsend from Pima, and defensive lineman Marcus Loud from Missouri.
“We still have a couple spots left,” Keeler said. “We could possibly add another two or three.”
One of those will include a punter, according to Keeler, since the loss of senior Lachlan Edwards has left the Bearkats with a hole in the special teams.
“We think we’re 90 percent there,” Keeler said. “And that last 10 percent is really, really hard. We’ll make it up a little through recruiting, but a lot is going to have to happen through the winter and in the spring camp. I’m excited for where we can go.”