COPPERAS COVE — Kaleb Honts got more than he expected.
During the process of finding the right fit for the next stop in his football life, the Copperas Cove senior weighed his options carefully.
After all, he heard multiple pitches from people touting their programs and complementing his skills, so when Honts’ visit to McMurry did not involve either topics of conversation, he knew it was meant to be.
“It felt like home,” the receiver said. “The coaches didn’t approach me with, ‘Come to McMurry.’
“They appealed to my emotions, asking me about how my day was or how the drive was. It just felt comfortable.”
Honts followed through with his instincts Wednesday morning, committing to play for the War Hawks during a National Signing Day ceremony inside the Copperas Cove gymnasium.
But he was not the only Bulldawgs standout to take part.
Floyd Connell, who was named 8-6A All-District Offensive Player of the Year as a senior, also made his decision official by signing to play for Louisiana-Monroe.
Much like his teammate, the locker-room atmosphere was instrumental in Connell’s choice.
“I went there just thinking I’d look at what they had to offer,” he said, “but then I met the whole coaching staff, and I fit in well.
“It just felt like I’d be a good addition.”
The pair certainly made an impact at Copperas Cove, combing for more than 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
En route to his all-district accolade, Connell had 20 receptions for 912 yards and nine touchdowns while also being starting on defense at cornerback, recording 29.5 tackles, including four for a loss, and broke up eight passes.
Honts caught 20 pass for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
But statistics cannot measure the duo’s contributions to the program, according to Copperas Cove head coach Jack Welch.
“These guys helped put the Bulldawgs back in the playoffs,” said Welch, referring to Copperas Cove’s absence from the 2016 postseason. “We’ve been there in 17 of the last 18 years, and that’s not a bad feeling.
“I’m proud of them, because both of these guys were very unselfish athletes.”