[By Justin Wells, Special to ETSN.fm]

MARSHALL — While Texas coach Tom Herman is blazing the recruiting trail, he and his coaches decided to hold one satellite camp in-state for the summer of 2017.

That location was on the campus at East Texas Baptist University, in conjunction with the ETBU, Southern Mississippi, Texas State, Northwestern State, Midwestern State, and Hendrix College coaching staffs at Ornelas Stadium on Monday.

They hosted over 300 of the best players in the prospect-rich region of East Texas, plus kids from Shreveport, La., and West Orange-Stark. The group included players from the 2018, 2019, and 2020 classes.

Whitehouse, Longview, Carthage, Kilgore, Gilmer, and Marshall were well-represented at the event. And with more than 25 college coaches on hand, prospects received everything from coaching, to scholarship offers, and a camp T-shirt.

For Herman, it was about getting back to an area that supplied him with ample talent during his tenure as head coach at the University of Houston from 2014-15. With players like Greg Ward and Tyus Boswer (John Tyler), Tommie Mark (Lufkin), and Kevrin Justice (Kilgore), Herman left UH with a 22-4 mark before accepting the position of head coach in Austin.

"It's great to be back," said Herman. "We've had a lot of success at the different stops with the players from East Texas. It's a great brand of football out here. It's very loyal, committed to their team and teammates. It's just really good to be back.

“At the University of Houston, we had a lot of success in East Texas, especially Tyler, so for us to be able to have kids committed, some of the top players in the state and country, from East Texas that believe in what we're doing and want to come be a part of something special in Austin, it's really great to know that we have those relationships with the high school coaches up here."

Herman is big on developing relationships with players and high school coaches, but even more so the bigger picture.

"Scholarships are earned on Friday nights. I tell guys all the time, 'this isn't football.' Let's not get this confused. Football is played with full pads, it's a physical game. It's with your teammates on Friday nights. That's when you earn scholarships. What this is for is to verify or deny what we see on film by watching a guy running around in person."

One such player is newly committed Arp defender, DeMarvion Overshown, who was in attendance less than a week after verbally pledging to the Longhorns. Overshown held 30 offers including Alabama, LSU, Florida State, and USC, but at the end of the day, wanted to be part of UT's Class of 2018.

"It's a great feeling and a lot of stress taken off my back," said Overshown about his decision. "Just being out here with the coaches, getting to see and talk to them, figuring out what I'm going to be doing when I get to Austin, it's a head start for me. It's a huge honor (committing to Texas) and talking to all the prospects, getting this class going, they can be a part of something big, bringing Texas back is very exciting and almost overwhelming."

Overshown wasn't the only prospect on hand Monday.

Standouts included Texas High 2019 QB Coltin Clack, Longview 2019 OL Marcus Williams, Henderson 2019 DE Keivie Rose, and Tatum 2018 OL Drake Centers, who all earned offers from Southern Miss.

Nacogdoches 2018 LB/S DaRyan Williams, Jefferson 2019 WR T.Q. Jackson, Pittsburg 2019 WR/DB Keontae Burns, and Lufkin 2019 DT Carl Williams also had a good day and great experience.

"I learned some new techniques from the defensive line coaches," said Carl Williams, who holds recent offers from Oklahoma and TCU. "We learned the stab, rip, and how to get around linemen using your speed and hands."

Herman left the players with one final, and profound message.

"When I call your coach, he better tell me you're the hardest working kid at your school," Herman said.