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ULM Offers Pleasant Grove’s Xavier Benson

Pleasant Grove linebacker Xavier Benson (3) tries to run down Pittsburg receiver Keontae Burns in their Oct. 21 game. (ETSN.fm)
Pleasant Grove linebacker Xavier Benson (3) tries to run down Pittsburg receiver Keontae Burns in their Oct. 21 game. (ETSN.fm)

Xavier Benson’s strong week in the recruiting sphere got that much better Saturday thanks to a positive conversation with coaches from Louisiana-Monroe.

The Warhawks closed dialogue by presenting the junior Pleasant Grove linebacker his eighth college football scholarship opportunity in total and his fifth from the FBS level. Benson then directly alerted ETSN.fm.

Benson (6-3, 200), who earned offers earlier in the week from Army and Southern Miss, helped guide Pleasant Grove to a third-round playoff appearance at the Class 4A Division II level and finished a 13-game campaign with 89 tackles.

More than that, Benson tied for the team lead in takeaways with four.

Pleasant Grove also used Benson as a heavy receiver in its Wing-T set. He caught nine balls for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

ULM normally makes the East Texas region a priority in its recruiting ventures, but Benson marks its very first local prospect within the Class of 2017. Chief rival Louisiana-Lafayette has tabbed seven regional players as potential fits, including Benson.

Tulane has been in the regional mix as well and previously identified Benson. It also wants Tyler Lee quarterback Chance Amie.

Louisiana Tech is interested in three regional players.

Even LSU has been more active locally than ULM. It has a commitment from Marshall guard Chasen Hines and offers out for Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram and Arp safety DeMarvion Overshown.

The Warhawks went 4-8 last season under first-year coach Matt Viator, who took the role after leading McNeese State to a fifth FCS playoffs appearance in nine seasons. Two of the losses came on the road against Auburn and Oklahoma.

Benson will have the opportunity to join five former East Texas players if he signs with ULM. He’ll become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.

2018 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Tre Allison, John Tyler, OLB, 6-0, 200 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, ULL (5)
  • Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Colorado State, Houston, Iowa State, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (12)
  • Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-0, 200 — offers from Army, Southern Miss, Tulane, ULL, ULM (5)
  • Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 215 — offers from Houston, Mississippi State, Texas State, ULL (4)
  • Trae Hall, Henderson, QB/ATH, 6-3, 185 — offer from ULL (1)
  • Conner Henson, Harmony, OL, 6-4, 250 — offer from ULL (1)
  • Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 340 — committed to LSU; additional offers from Arizona, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech (15)
  • Tevailance Hunt, Texas High, WR, 6-2, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Marshall University, Nevada, North Texas, Southern Miss, Tulsa (10)
  • Keaontay Ingram, Carthage, RB, 6-0, 198 — offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Florida State, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (26)
  • Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 165 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
  • DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, ATH, 6-4, 196 — offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kansas, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
  • Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Washington State; additional offer from ULL (2)

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