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Possible Arrival of Rollison at SHSU Nears as Bearkat Feasibility Study Continues

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Though Sam Houston State has not officially announced Tyrik Rollison as a new member of the Bearkat roster, the highly-touted quarterback moved one step closer to joining the Football Championship Subdivision school of his choosing by gaining a release from Auburn.

Back in February, [url=]numerous media outlets reported[/url] Rollison was heading to SHSU. In fact, the signal caller's dad, Michael Kelly stated, "He wants to come closer to home. It's a go. He was just unhappy there. I think that's the reason they went out and got another quarterback."

Different news outlets report that Rollison did not transfer earlier in the year and did not practice in spring football at Auburn, so he could get his grades in line in order to be eligible at another school.

Will Rollison be the starting quarterback for head coach Willie Fritz, should he land in Huntsville?

The starting position is open after would-be incumbent [URL=]Blake Joseph[/url] completed his eligibility.

This past spring, [url=]Bryan Randolph[/url] and [url=]Greg Sprowls[/url] were the top two quarterback options moving toward fall practice. At the end of the spring, it was Randolph who emerged on top of the Bearkat [url=]tentative two-deep[/url].

Did Fritz feel comfortable in either of those quarterbacks taking the starting position heading into the fall? Neither was overwhelmingly impressive and competition does drive the marketplace. Sprowls and Randolph will be given every opportunity to compete with Rollison, just as he will not have anything handed to him.

Should Rollison join the Bearkats, it would mark the return back to the Lone Star State of a quarterback with plenty of prep credentials.

According to his [url=]Auburn athletic bio[/url], Rollison completed 315-of-428 passes for 4,728 yards and 51 touchdowns during his senior season of high school. He also rushed for 1,094 yards on way to being selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American All-Star game.

Though Rollison will be a new face amongst many on the roster, he would reunite with one of his playmaking wide receivers from his prep career, [url=]Jace Jackson[/url].

Jackson caught 105 passes for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior in teaming with Rollison to lead Sulphur Springs to the Texas Class 4A Division II state championship. Jackson ranked amongst the top five in receiving yard in Texas and No. 9 in the nation. A redshirt a year ago, Jackson does not currently appear on the Bearkat two-deep at wide receiver.

Though SHSU has a reputation for taking in transfer quarterbacks from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), this is not your typical transfer.

Rollison would come into SHSU with four years of eligibility, having redshirted in 2009. Typically, quarterbacks have come with just one year of experience, such as Dustin Long (Texas A&M) and Josh McCown (SMU), who led the Bearkat program to new playoff heights. Others like the Oklahoma pair of Rhett Bomar and Noah Allen had multiple years of eligibility upon hitting town.

Could we see a comparison made from Rollison to current SFA signal caller Jeremy Moses?

Moses, despite not being a transfer like Rollison, was given the keys to the ignition that runs the offense early in career. Notably inconsistent, Moses was given the time to grow under a new head coach and entering his senior year, is fresh off a Southland Conference championship.

SHSU has a very similar situation with a new head coach, who would like to make a splash from the get go, but will have time to develop Rollison, much in the same way Moses was brought along. If Rollison does become the starting quarterback, he could potentially have four years and grow an offense around him that will become a consistent winner in the SLC, positioned to move SHSU to a higher tier than the one former coach (and current Lamar offensive coordinator) Todd Whitten left them.

In addition to the Rollison news, the feasibility study at SHSU continues.

Today, the university launched a page, in which [url=]students, alumni, community members and fans are surveyed[/url] regarding the university's current place, the support individuals would be willing to place behind an FBS move, as well as providing schools for comparison purposes.

Considered by some to be strictly an FBS study, the analysis will prove the Bearkat athletic program with a better sense of direction and understanding of how the department can improve its current place, should the school stay in the SLC.

Times are changing in collegiate athletics. Budget issues are forcing schools to eliminate sports or in the case of a few schools, change classifications within the NCAA pyramid. Other schools are looking at changing conferences for geographic purposes or ultimately, trying to increase the television revenue.

Where does SHSU fit in this? Time will tell, but the school has consistently been part for all of its existence at the Division I level with schools like Northwestern State, Texas State (formerly Southwest Texas) and Stephen F. Austin. Of the group, only TXST has shared a desire to move up to FBS. Will SHSU keep up with their system sister school in San Marcos? Will TXST even be able to make the move up? The next few years will be intriguing, but it should be of no question that SHSU is keeping an eye on their surroundings and preparing to be in the best position possible.

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