Chance Billington is the second current East Texas sophomore to earn an invitation to join an NCAA Division I FBS college program.

SMU began the chase for the John Tyler left tackle Thursday. The John Tyler football Twitter account, overseen by head coach Ricklan Holmes, was first to report the Mustangs' interest.

Billington (6-4, 275) started last season and served on an offense that ultimately generated 6,564 yards and 565 points through a 13-game season. He was tasked with protecting Houston quarterback signee Bryson Smith's blind side.

John Tyler was the region's most successful of four Class 6A teams, as far as postseason advancement. It reached the third round of the 6A Division II playoffs and closed the year with an 11-2 record.

SMU has a certain familiarity with John Tyler's underclassmen. It has a commitment from junior linebacker Tre Allison and offered fellow junior defender Dekalen Goodson earlier this week.

Mustangs coach Chad Morris, as he declared at a high school coaching clinic in Longview, is optimistic he has the pieces in place to make a serious run at the American Athletic Conference championship this season. Last year's roster featured six local players, and two more signed with the program in February.

Morris' 2016 team squandered a situation in which it needed to win just one of its final two games to achieve bowl eligibility. However, its final record of 5-7 was a three-win improvement compared to Morris' first team in 2015 and a four-win improvement versus the 2014 squad.

Billington, like all college football prospects currently in their sophomore year of high school, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him in February of 2019.

 

2019 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Chance Billington, John Tyler, OL, 6-4, 275 — offer from SMU (1)
  • Keontae Burns, Pittsburg, WR, 6-3, 175 — offers from Iowa State, SMU, Southern Miss (3)