Despite several standout performances at Texas State’s Pro Day, no Bobcats heard their names called in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Texas State should have three players sign as free agents: former linebacker Joplo Bartu (1), former tight end Chase Harper and former defensive back Darryl Morris (2). Bartu led the Bobcats with 95 tackles in 2012, Harper caught 28 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns, while Morris hauled in four interceptions.
Don’t be surprised if a few players from Texas State get drafted in 2015 and 2016. If sophomore offensive lineman Adrian Bellard, junior cornerback Craig Mager, junior linebacker Michael Orakpo and sophomore wide receiver Brandon Smith all put in the work, there’s a good chance NFL scouts would salivate over their potential.
Edit (1): About 15 minutes after this was posted, Bartu signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons. Last year, Atlanta fell to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Bartu on the feeling of signing: “It felt big to me, kind of like a ‘Mission Accomplished.’ But it’s not accomplished until I make the 53-man roster.”
Bartu on what led him to signing with the Falcons: “It was between the Packers and Falcons. Green Bay wanted me at fullback. Atlanta wanted me at linebacker and that’s my natural position. I wouldn’t mind playing fullback if that’s what someone needed, but linebacker is where I feel best.”
Edit (2): Soon after Bartu signed, Morris inked a deal with the San Francisco 49ers. Last year, San Francisco lost to Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl.
Morris on why he chose the 49ers: “They wanted me a whole lot and they have a lot of older cornerbacks. San Francisco told me that it ‘looks intimidating’ that they have a lot of corners, but they want to get some young talent in there. I can compete and if it’s not my year to be a starter, I can still learn from some really good guys.”
Morris on his immediate plans: “I just want to make the team first, then everything will sort itself out.”
Morris on how a strong work ethic kept him on pace: “I wish I could have partied or gone out more, but instead I had to work out and that helped me stay focused and stay out of trouble. You don’t know how nice it was — when the scouts asked me if I’d ever been in trouble or arrested — to say, ‘No, sir.'”