The University of Houston's connection to John Tyler High School got a little deeper Thursday.

Junior quarterback Bryson Smith received a college football scholarship opportunity from the Cougars program, the official John Tyler football Twitter account announced. That means all three John Tyler players with multiple FBS offers prior to Thursday are all being targeted by Houston.

Smith (5-11, 160) joins teammates Damion Miller and Javontaveous Mosley on the Cougars' shortlist. Miller is verbally committed to Texas as a receiver while Mosley is an uncommitted cornerback.

Tyler Bishop Gorman junior receiver Judah Bell is a fourth regional player with a Houston offer. He is uncommitted as well.

Smith holds other invitations from Bowling Green, New Mexico, North Texas, SMU and Louisiana-Lafayette.

Houston exploded onto the national scene this past season under first-year head coach Tom Herman. The team went 12-1 during the regular season with an American Athletic Conference championship game victory and then defeated Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl to finish the campaign ranked eighth in the last Associated Press poll.

John Tyler graduates Greg Ward Jr. and Tyus Bowser played major roles in the ascent toward the program's best rankings finish since the 1979 season.

Ward passed for 2,2828 yards with 17 touchdowns to six interceptions and also ran for 1,108 yards and another 21 scores. Bowser, a linebacker, recorded 50 tackles plus two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Smith enjoyed a similar season to Ward at John Tyler in his first season under center. He threw for 2,415 yards and 20 touchdowns to six interceptions and led the team in rushing with 1,428 yards and 28 scores. Those numbers helped the team rally to a 7-0 regular season finish after an 0-3 start.

John Tyler won the District 16-5A championship and reached the second round of the Class 5A Division I state playoffs before falling to Mansfield Lake Ridge for an 8-4 overall record. Lake Ridge advanced to the state championship game.

The Cougars -- in addition to retaining Ward and Bowser for their senior years -- have added the services of senior John Tyler defensive tackle Braylon Jones.

Jones recorded 70 tackles last season and also started on the offensive line. He'll join the program this summer after graduating in May as John Tyler's valedictorian.

John Tyler will lean heavily on Smith, Miller and Mosley during their senior years as it moves from Class 5A to the state's largest classification, Class 6A.

The school will face Longview, Tyler Lee, Mesquite, Mesquite Horn, North Mesquite, Rockwall and Rockwall-Heath as its District 11-6A competition. It also has challenging non-district games lined up against Plano West, Ennis and New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton.

Smith, like all high school football players currently in their junior year, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him on Feb. 1, 2017.

2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — offers from Bowling Green, Houston, SMU, ULL (4)
  • Lagaryonn Carson, Liberty-Eylau, DE, 6-4, 261 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M (9)
  • Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Arkansas, Kansas (3)
  • Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR, 6-2, 180 — offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane (9)
  • Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 — offers from Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas State, ULL (6)
  • Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — offer from Air Force (1)
  • Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-9, 186 — offers from SMU, Tulane, ULL (3)
  • Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma State; Ole Miss; SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (9)
  • LaMarcus Morton, Gilmer, WR, 6-2, 175 — offer from Tulsa (1)
  • Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-1, 170 — offers from Houston, SMU, Texas State, ULL, UTSA (5)
  • Bryson Smith, John Tyler, ATH, 5-11, 160 — offers from Bowling Green, Houston, New Mexico, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, ULL (7)
  • Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech (7)