Carter handoff

Former Sam Houston State running back Toneil Carter (30) takes a handoff from quarterback Eric Schmid (3) during last year's home win over Oklahoma Panhandle.

A pair of former 4-star recruits that arrived at Sam Houston State via the University of Texas are no longer with the Bearkat football program.

Senior defensive end Erick Fowler and junior running back Toneil Carter will not be playing for SHSU in 2020. The duo is no longer listed on the Bearkats' official roster, and a source close to the program confirms that both have left the team.

Fowler arrived in Huntsville prior to his sophomore season and immediately made his impact felt, compiling 19 tackles for loss, six sacks and two fumble recoveries over the next two years — earning second-team All-Southland Conference honors in 2018. However, he only appeared in two games in 2019, while newcomers such as Trace Mascorro, Joe Wallace, Jahari Kay and Jevon Leon emerged as integral parts of the defensive line. Mascorro, Wallace, Kay and Leon are all set to return for the Bearkats in 2020.

Carter, a 2017 Under Armour All-American, joined the program last spring after compiling 283 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns in one season with the Longhorns. The former Houston Langham Creek standout made an early impact for SHSU — hauling in a touchdown catch in the season opener at New Mexico, and rushing for 106 yards and three touchdowns the next week against Oklahoma Panhandle — but recorded just 14 carries over the final eight games of the season. The Kats return Donovan Williams, Kyran Jackson and Alex Williams at the running back position, while also adding Ramon Jefferson from Garden City Community College in Kansas.

SHSU opens its 2020 season at home against Tarleton State on Sept. 5.