Junior highlights of 2018 four-star running back Keaontay Ingram.
East Texas has a long history of being a talent-rich recruiting ground from a per capita standpoint. The 2018 class appears it will provide the region with another strong crop of FBS prospects.
Headlined by three early Scout 300 four-star recruits, East Texas -- a largely rural region east of Dallas-Fort Worth and north of Houston with its bigger towns being Tyler, Longview, Texarkana, and Lufkin -- has already hit double-digit FBS-offered prospects two months prior to the start of the spring evaluation period.
Below is an overview of the East Texas 2018 prospects who have already emerged as FBS targets, as well as others who should in the near future.
Scout 300 Prospects
The past couple of weeks have shown that programs across the nation want DeMarvion Overshown, a high-ceiling prospect who dominates in Texas small-town Class 3A football. Overshown recorded 173 tackles as he helped Arp High to a 12-3 state semifinal season. He combines exceptional frame potential relative to his position with great overall athleticism and football instincts. Overshown's offers include Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, and numerous others.
The 2015 playoffs were the first real glimpse of what Keaontay Ingram could do on the football field as he broke loose in the postseason before an ankle injury ended his sophomore season in the state quarterfinals. Fast forward to now and Ingram has definitively secured the No. 1 running back spot in the entire state of Texas after leading Carthage to a 13-2 record and the Class 4A Division I state championship, the school's fifth state crown in nine years. Ingram is an exciting mix of frame potential, elusiveness, and pass-catching prowess who can stay on the field all three downs. Ingram's coming off a 2,200-yard rushing season and has garnered offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, UCLA, Colorado, Nebraska, and several others.
Chasen Hines is the East Texas region's top offensive line prospect. At 6-foot-2 1/2 and almost 350 pounds, Hines is a physical bull in the run game who's athletic and light on his feet for such a massive prospect. He is a guard-to-guard prospect with experience all over the line for Marshall High School, a Class 5A program that he's helped to consecutive playoff appearance in the past two seasons and a cumulative record of 17-7 during his sophomore and junior seasons. Hines has double-digit offers, including Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and a few others.
- Tre Allison has played linebacker and short-yardage back so far in his high school career. His best fit at the next level is linebacker. Allison is an early SMU pledge and a great get for the Mustangs in their 2018 class. He also has a Mississippi State offer.
- Tyler Lee quarterback/athlete Chance Amie has emerged as one of the more high-production prospects in East Texas and now has offers from Syracuse, Iowa State, and Bowling Green. Amie threw for 1,556 yards and ran for 1,256 yards as a junior.
- Xavier Benson picked up his first offer from ULL in the past couple of days. The Texarkana Pleasant Grove prospect is an outside linebacker who may be able to fit multiple schemes.
- DeKalen Goodson joined the aforementioned Tre Allison as the earliest offered 2018 prospects in East Texas (Mississippi State offered them last spring). Goodson is a pure pass-rusher who had 20 tackles for loss and 11 sacks this past fall.
- Texarkana Texas High receiver Tevailance Hunt recently picked up his first offer from Louisiana Tech. He caught 36 passes for 701 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior while catching passes from North Texas quarterback signee Cade Pearson.
- Arkansas State recently became the first school to offer Lufkin receiver Malik Jackson, who performed well in position-specific work at The Opening Houston two weeks ago. Jackson caught 52 passes for 1,017 yards and nine TD's this past fall against Class 6A competition.
- Tyree Wilson is a raw prospect with great physical tools who excels in Texas small-school Class 3A football. At 6-foot-4, 224 pounds, Wilson has impressive frame potential as a scheme-versatile edge defender. ULL offered this week. Wilson had 74 tackles and 13 tackles for loss this past fall.
Likely FBS Targets
- Mykel Gates, LB, Carthage -- the physical 6-foot, 218-pound Gates was the ringleader of a Carthage defense that limited its final three playoff opponents to a total of three second-half points. Gates will be a four-year varsity starter. He's gotten a lot of recruiting interest, but should soon see his first offer after recording 158 tackles as a junior.
- Trae Hall, QB/ATH, Henderson -- on the shoulders of Big 12 signees Lakendrick VanZandt and Trestan Ebner, Henderson won 11 games in 2016, but couldn't have done it without Hall running the show at quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder accounted for almost 2,800 yards of offense and 30 total touchdowns (2,016 passing and 24 TD's, 749 rushing and six TD's).
- Jonathan Shepherd, WR, Kilgore -- coming from a run-oriented offense and a family full of baseball players, Shepherd wants to stick to football, and his 6-foot-4, 182-pound frame, combined with a 40 laser-timed in the 4.5's, will make him a target for schools this offseason.
- Kris Dike, OT, Van -- at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds, Dike has an FBS-caliber frame and the run-blocking ability that should draw recruiting attention in the near future. Dike helped Van to a 12-2 season and a Class 4A Division I state quarterfinal appearance.
- Mekhi Colbert, CB/ATH, Carthage -- Colbert was instrumental in all three phases for Carthage's state title team as he finished the season with eight interceptions, including two in the state championship game and four in his team's final three games. Colbert is a crafty, instinctive player who puts up numbers and could garner some FBS attention this offseason.
Prospects to Watch
Dewaylon Ingram, WR, Carthage -- caught 60 passes for 1,006 yards and 10 touchdowns for Carthage's 13-2 Class 4A Division I state championship team.
DaRyan Williams, S, Nacogdoches -- recorded 75 tackles, nine tackles for loss, one sack, one INT, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one FG block, and five pass breakups for Class 5A Nacogdoches.
Qua Heath, ATH, Gilmer -- started at WR and CB; caught 55 passes for 765 yards and nine touchdowns for Gilmer's 14-1 Class 4A Division II state semifinal team.
Javier Neal, CB, Whitehouse -- recorded 65 tackles, five tackles for loss, eight interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and 10 pass breakups at safety for Whitehouse's 6-5 Class 5A Division Division II first-round playoff team.
Mose Jeffery, OG/C, Longview Pine Tree -- a guard-to-guard prospect with snapping experience who's in the 6-foot-3, 320-pound range; plays for Class 5A Pine Tree High.
Trai Gardner, ATH, Tenaha -- started at WR and DB; caught 74 passes for 1,410 yards and 21 TD's, while rushing for 260 yards and five scores; recorded 35 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, five interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and eight pass breakups for Tenaha's 13-1 Class 2A Division II state quarterfinal team.
Corteze Hurd, S, Marshall -- recorded 72 tackles, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and three pass breakups for Marshall's 6-5 Class 5A Division II first-round playoff team.
Kris Wade, CB, San Augustine -- started at cornerback and also played receiver for Class 5A Nacogdoches; has since moved to nearby Class 2A San Augustine.