Brandon McDowell chooses Texas State

DeSoto, Texas, coach Claude Mathis always smiles a little when one of his players considers playing for his alma mater, Texas State. Imagine Mathis’ feelings when rising senior Brandon McDowell gave the Bobcats his verbal commitment.

McDowell gave his verbal pledge to the Bobcats on Friday, becoming Texas State’s seventh commit of the 2013 recruiting class. A 5-foot-9, 175-pound athlete who sees time on both sides of the field, McDowell is projected to play slot receiver for the new FBS program that will compete in the WAC this season, the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.

Texas State was McDowell’s only offer, and he had interest from Sam Houston State. McDowell was recruited by cornerbacks coach Jason Washington, who played football and baseball for the Bobcats in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“They seemed like they really wanted me, and you always want to go to a school that wants you,” McDowell said. “They said I can go and get lot of playing time as a freshman; plus, it’s close to home. I like that.”

Mathis added: “They’re getting a heck of a leader, one of those guys who really can do some those things. He can play defensive back as well as he play slot. He’s a go-to guy on offense and someone who can really help us on defense. He’s grown up a lot this summer. Just his leadership alone has sold me.”

As a junior, McDowell caught 11 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, helping DeSoto finish with a 10-2 record and a trip to the Texas Class 5A Division I playoffs. McDowell was a primary target during DeSoto’s 7-on-7 spring season, particularly the Texas State 7-on-7 Championships on the Texas A&M campus last week.

Mathis, a former running back for the Bobcats, was inducted into the Texas State Hall of Honor last year. He was a four-year letterwinner at Texas State (1994-97) and finished his college career at the Southland Conference’s all-time rushing leader.

Mathis isn’t one to persuade his players into choosing his alma mater, so seeing one of his players follow his footsteps is something he truly values.

“It really put things in perspective, especially after being inducted in the hall of honor,” Mathis said. “I know that another young man will get a chance to play for a great program and a chance to get a great education.”