Pleasant Grove’s Xavier Benson Commits to Texas Tech
Last week, Pleasant Grove 2018 linebacker Xavier Benson set his commitment date for July 30. But instead, he pulled the trigger six days early.
Benson (6-3, 200) announced his commitment to Texas Tech via Twitter on Monday afternoon.
The Hawks' standout defender chose the Red Raiders over offers from 12 other FBS programs, including Memphis, North Texas, SMU, Southern Miss, and Texas State.
Benson became the 17th member of East Texas' 2018 recruiting class to commit, and the first to pledge to Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders currently have 16 commitments in 2018.
Last season, Benson helped guide Pleasant Grove to the third round of the Class 4A Division II state playoffs. He had 89 tackles and tied for the team lead in takeaways with four through the 13-game campaign.
Pleasant Grove also utilized Benson as a heavy receiver on the high school level. He caught nine balls for 122 yards and two touchdowns out of a Wing-T offense.
Texas Tech stumbled to a 5-7 record last season, but the Red Raiders still have a solid local reputation thanks to the work head coach and quarterback specialist Kliff Kingsbury put in with former Whitehouse star Patrick Mahomes II.
Mahomes, who declared for the NFL Draft as a true junior, was selected 10th overall in April by the Kansas City Chiefs.
Former Tenaha receiver Reginald Davis also reached the NFL from Texas Tech. The Atlanta Falcons offered him a free agent contract after the draft.
Former Lufkin receiver Keke Coutee, former Whitehouse receiver Dylan Cantrell, and ex-Longview lineman Broderick Washington will be on the Red Raiders’ roster this season.
Two other players with East Texas roots signed with Texas Tech in February from the junior college ranks -- former Gilmer quarterback McLane Carter and former Nacogdoches cornerback Jaylon Lane.
Benson will first become eligible to sign with any Division I program that offers him in December.
2018 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Tre Allison, John Tyler, OLB, 6-2, 211 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (7)
- Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Iowa State, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Texas, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (18)
- Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-3, 200 — committed to Texas Tech; additional offers from Arkansas State, Army, Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Wyoming (13)
- Hunter Brabham, Hughes Springs, DE, 6-3, 235 — committed to Army (1)
- Drake Centers, Tatum, OL, 6-3, 296 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from SMU, Southern Miss, ULM (4)
- Kylar Cooks, Liberty-Eylau, OL, 6-5, 252 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, ULL (4)
- Jeremiah Davis, Lufkin, CB, 5-10, 194 — committed to ULL (1)
- Kris Dike, Van, OL, 6-6, 283 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Colorado, Houston, Memphis, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Tulane (8)
- Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 209 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Mississippi State, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (6)
- Trae Hall, Henderson, QB/ATH, 6-3, 185 — offers from Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State, Tulane, ULL, ULM (5)
- Conner Henson, Harmony, OL, 6-3, 243 — offers from ULL, ULM (2)
- Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 353 — committed to LSU; additional offers from Arizona, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Rice, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech (16)
- Tevailance Hunt, Texas High, WR, 6-2, 180 — committed to Kansas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, Nevada, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, TCU, Tulsa (17)
- Dewaylon Ingram, Carthage, WR, 6-0, 160 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
- Keaontay Ingram, Carthage, RB, 6-0, 198 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Florida State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
- Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 163 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Texas State (3)
- Chris Kessler, Longview, K, 5-9, 150 — offer from Army (1)
- Kameron King, Marshall, OL, 6-2, 275 — offers from Memphis, North Texas, Tulane, ULM, Southern Miss (5)
- Trevor Lawrence, Whitehouse, DE, 6-4, 245 — offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
- DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, S, 6-4, 196 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (30)
- Leonard Parks, Texas High, DE, 6-5, 230 — offers from SMU, ULM (2)
- Michael Sanchez, Gladewater, TE/OL, 6-5, 327 — offer from Houston (1)
- Jonathan Shepherd, Kilgore, WR, 6-3, 196 — committed to Oklahoma State; additional offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Kansas State, ULM, Missouri, New Mexico, Memphis, North Texas, Oregon State, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech (15)
- Marje Smith, Marshall, DE, 6-6, 210 — committed to Baylor (1)
- DaRyan Williams, Nacogdoches, S, 5-10,199 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Washington State, Wyoming (16)