D'Torian Smith's recruiting process is heating up across the regional landscape, but Southland Conference schools have taken a particular interest.

Houston Baptist joined league rivals Lamar and Stephen F. Austin in the chase for the rising senior Tatum linebacker by awarding him a college football scholarship opportunity Monday. Smith confirmed his latest offer to ETSN.fm.

The Huskies program is a relative newcomer to the football landscape. It began competition in 2013 and opened its own on-campus stadium in 2014 to coincide with its first season as a full-fledged NCAA member.

Houston Baptist has been a member of the Southland for two seasons and owns a 1-15 all-time conference record. That could change this season with a first-ever homegrown senior in running back Craig Bell and 16 additional seniors that have transferred from other schools over the past three years.

Fourth-year head coach Vic Shealy additionally should benefit from 39 juniors. The program had 27 upperclassmen in total last season.

Former Lufkin receiver Kyler Henson, a junior and transfer from Howard Payne University, is the lone local representative on the 2016 Huskies roster.

Smith (6-3, 225) -- who also owns FBS offers from Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe and UTEP -- was a bright spot on a winless Tatum squad last season.

Tatum athletic director and head football coach Andy Evans retired from his coaching duties after the year concluded. Evans, who won two state championships and made a third title game appearance in 12 years at the school, will be an assistant athletic director going forward.

Craig Barker, formerly Kaufman’s head coach, was hired to replace Evans in February. Barker led Kaufman to the District 8-4A Division I championship last season and a third round playoff appearance.

Tatum was realigned into District 8-4A Division II in February. Its league is rounded out by Diboll, Huntington, Jasper and Rusk.

Smith, like all high school football prospects entering their senior year, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him on Feb. 1, 2017.