It's been a good week for a handful of regional senior football players waiting for their first college football scholarships.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University and Southern Arkansas University, both NCAA Division II schools, hit East Texas hard in the days leading up to and following the Christmas holiday.

Whitehouse linebacker Dominique Hollie, Pine Tree receiver Mason Hays, Carthage linebacker James Marshall, Lindale defensive back Kolton Pierce, Van running back Matt Savis and John Tyler cornerback Deandre Williams all reported their very first offers from NCAA schools in a six-day span.

Southeastern Oklahoma State opened things up with an offer out to Marshall on Saturday. Savis reported his offer Thursday. Pierce and Hays announced they had offers from the same Savage Storm team Friday.

Southern Arkansas simultaneously offered Hollie and Williams on Monday. The program, known as the Muleriders, reached out to Hays on Tuesday.

Hays was the only player that acknowledged a college football opportunity prior to the big Division II recruiting week. He has an additional offer from Grand View University, an NAIA school in Iowa.

Hollie was a standout linebacker at Whitehouse with 74 tackles and a major factor in the Wildcats' running back rotation with 564 yards on 102 carries. He is being recruited by Southern Arkansas as a linebacker.

Hays started his senior season as Pine Tree's primary quarterback but was switched to receiver after the first game of the year. In just nine games at the position, he finished the season with 831 yards and six touchdowns on 58 receptions.

Marshall began his senior year as one of very few returning starters from Carthage's 2013 Class 3A Division II state championship team. He helped the team ride out a rough 1-5 start to the 2014 season all the way to a narrow area round playoff loss against state power El Campo for a final record of 6-6.

Pierce entered his final high school season looking for redemption. The two-way skill player broke his leg early in his junior campaign on the heels of a very promising sophomore season at Lindale. His primary strength is speed with a top 40-yard dash time of 4.48 when fully healthy. Southeastern Oklahoma State projects him to play cornerback on the next level.

Savis, a major factor in the Vandals' perfect regular season, broke the 1,000-yard mark for the third time in as many years in Van's Class 4A Region I upset loss to Paris in the first round of the playoffs. That was a major accomplishment with the rise of junior Aphonso Thomas as a complimenting running back. Savis rushed for nearly 4,500 yards in his high school career and caught for an additional 848 yards. He scored 63 varsity touchdowns.

Williams helped guide John Tyler to the Class 5A Division I state semifinals. With Arizona State and Purdue target Isaac Warren holding down the other side of the secondary, Williams was picked on frequently and walked away with an impressive season. Williams had one interception, a fumble recovery and broke up jammed up quite a few receivers along the way. John Tyler fell to eventual state champion Aledo.

All six players can sign with a program on Feb. 4, 2015.


Offered By Southeastern Oklahoma State

  • Mason Hays, WR, Pine Tree, 6-2, 210
  • James Marshall, LB, Carthage, 5-11, 183
  • Matt Savis, RB, Van, 5-10, 195
  • Kolton Pierce, CB, Lindale, 6-1, 183

Offered By Southern Arkansas

  • Dominique Hollie, LB, Whitehouse, 6-1, 219
  • Mason Hays, WR, Pine Tree, 6-2, 210
  • Deandre Williams, CB, John Tyler, 5-10, 168