The John Tyler Lions possessed among the most talented secondaries in all of East Texas in 2014, and one of its most productive members received his first Division I scholarship opportunity on Wednesday.

Lions 2016 defensive back Bryston Gipson was offered by SFA, an announcement made by the John Tyler football program's official Twitter account.

 

SFA, which competes on the FCS level as a member of the Southland Conference, is coached by Clint Conque. The Lumberjacks are coming off a 2014 season that ended with an overall record of 8-5 and league mark of 5-3.

The 'Jacks qualified for the FCS playoffs, falling to Northern Iowa, 44-10, in the first round.

Gipson (5-10, 170) enjoyed a breakout junior season for JT, which advanced to its third state semifinal in the previous four years last fall. Playing safety with senior standouts Isaac Warren (Northwestern State), Deandre Williams (UTSA) and Jordan Owens (Henderson State), Gipson make an impact in his own right.

He finished the 2014 season with 71 tackles, two interceptions, six fumble recoveries, two blocked kicks, and a handful of defensive touchdowns.

Gipson also performed at the third annual ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine in Tyler on May 10, which featured 113 of East Texas' top prospects in the 2016, 2017 and 2018 recruiting classes.

He registered the fastest laser-timed 40-yard dash of any of the 16 defensive backs in attendance at 4.50 seconds, and had the second-most bench press reps of 185 pounds (13) among his position group.

As the only returning starter in John Tyler's defensive backfield, Gipson is expected to anchor a secondary that will be breaking in a new corps of downfield defenders.

The Lions begin the 2015 season Aug. 28 at Plano.

Gipson, like all 2016 football prospects, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him on Feb. 3.