Tarleton State got an East Texas haul this weekend, receiving commitments from three veteran defensive stalwarts.

Longview LB DeMarkus Lathan. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Longview linebackers DeMarkus Lathan and Torean Sheppard joined Hallsville safety/linebacker Cayden Ferrill in committing to Tarleton State. Lathan and Ferrill committed while on official visits this weekend. Sheppard visited the Stephenville campus two weeks ago.

Longview coach John King alerted ETSN.fm to Sheppard's commitment, while Ferrill told ETSN.fm of his and Lathan's commitments.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Lathan joined the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Sheppard in a three-way tie for the team lead in tackles with 138 (senior safety Corey Bartley also had that many). Lathan, who was the consensus Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year as a junior, had 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, one fumble recovery, eight pass breakups, and one kick block as a senior. Sheppard had six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, five pass breakups, and one safety in 2012, when Longview finished 9-4 and reached the Class 5A Division II Region II semifinal round.

Longview LB Torean Sheppard. (Courtesy lobosfootball.com)

Ferrill, a 5-foot-11, 207-pounder who played multiple positions during his four-year varsity career at Hallsville -- including running back, linebacker, and safety -- led Hallsville with 89 tackles, 19 for loss, three sacks, five forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 2012. Ferrill and the Bobcats finished 7-4 with a Class 4A Division II Region II first-round playoff appearance. Ferrill is the first Hallsville player since former Texas standout and current Washington Redskins linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy to start for four years on varsity for the Bobcats.

Tarleton State is a Division II program competing in the Lone Star Conference.