Army Gives Hughes Springs Defensive End Hunter Brabham First Offer
The region's strong senior class of college identified trench players got even better Tuesday with the United States Military Academy's decision to come after Hughes Springs defensive end Hunter Brabham.
Army, as the school is known in the athletics field, is Brabham's first scholarship opportunity from an NCAA Division I FBS institution. East Texas now claims 12 FBS caliber senior lineman with Hughes Springs' standout becoming the fifth on the defensive side of the ball.
Brabham (6-3, 235) is the area's 25th senior to hold at least one FBS option and the second to hear from Army behind Pleasant Grove linebacker Xavier Benson.
Hughes Springs went 4-6 last season and missed the Class 3A Division I playoffs with a four-point loss to Sabine in its final district game. The defense as a whole surrendered 30.7 points per game to the offense's 24 points per game.
Army, meanwhile, turned in its best season in 19 years with an overtime victory against North Texas in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The final win elevated the 2016 Black Knights team to an 8-5 record.
West Point only has two bowl game appearances this century.
Army and arch-rival Navy hold a very special place in the college football season.
The annual Army-Navy game is played one week after the conference championships weekend and officially closes the college football regular season regardless of division. It is usually attended by the sitting president of the United States, and it is broadcast nationally as well as to United States military installations across the globe.
The Black Knights lost a four-point game to Navy this past season. That decision tied for their best finish in an Army-Navy game since last winning in 2001.
Brabham's new suitor competes as an independent in football, is free to schedule any opponent it wishes and already has a majority of games lined up through the 2022 campaign. Should the defensive end ultimately sign with Army, he'll have the opportunity to compete against multiple FBS mid-majors as well as high-profile programs in Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
Army also faces Navy and Air Force each season in pursuit of the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. The Black Knights last won the award in 1996.
The United States Military Academy is a highly regarded institution in all spheres of American society.
Ulysses S. Grant and Dwight D. Eisenhower attended the university before becoming war heroes and subsequently presidents of the United States.
General George S. Patton briefly played football for the Black Knights in the early 1900s, but an arm injury persuaded him to try his hand in track and fencing. He competed in multiple events at the 1912 Olympics.
Far more recently, West Point graduate William P. Foley II established the Vegas Golden Knights franchise of the NHL. The hockey team will begin its first season in October while simultaneously breaking professional sports leagues' hesitance for franchises in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights' presence helped the NFL come to terms with the Oakland Raiders' planned move to Las Vegas.
Many other West Point graduates, after serving in the military, found their way to important jobs on Capitol Hill, inside the White House and at the Pentagon.
Brabham will become eligible to sign with any Division I school that offers him in December.
2018 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Tre Allison, John Tyler, OLB, 6-2, 211 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (7)
- Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Iowa State, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Texas, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (18)
- Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-0, 200 — offers from Arkansas State, Army, Memphis, North Texas, Rice, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Wyoming (13)
- Hunter Brabham, Hughes Springs, DE, 6-3, 235 — offer from Army (1)
- Drake Centers, Tatum, OL, 6-3, 296 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from SMU, Southern Miss, ULM (4)
- Kylar Cooks, Liberty-Eylau, OL, 6-5, 252 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, ULL (4)
- Jeremiah Davis, Lufkin, CB, 5-10, 194 — committed to ULL (1)
- Kris Dike, Van, OL, 6-6, 283 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Colorado, Houston, Memphis, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Tulane (8)
- Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 209 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Mississippi State, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (6)
- Trae Hall, Henderson, QB/ATH, 6-3, 185 — offers from Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State, Tulane, ULL, ULM (5)
- Conner Henson, Harmony, OL, 6-3, 243 — offers from ULL, ULM (2)
- Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 353 — committed to LSU; additional offers from Arizona, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Rice, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech (16)
- Tevailance Hunt, Texas High, WR, 6-2, 180 — committed to Kansas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Memphis, Nevada, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Tulsa (15)
- Dewaylon Ingram, Carthage, WR, 6-0, 160 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
- Keaontay Ingram, Carthage, RB, 6-0, 198 — committed to Texas; additional 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, Oregon State, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
- Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 163 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Arkansas State, Texas State (3)
- Kameron King, Marshall, OL, 6-2, 275 — offers from Memphis, North Texas, Tulane, ULM, Southern Miss (5)
- Trevor Lawrence, Whitehouse, DE, 6-4, 245 — offers from Texas State, ULM (2)
- DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, S, 6-4, 196 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (30)
- Leonard Parks, Texas High, DE, 6-5, 230 — offer from ULM (1)
- Michael Sanchez, Gladewater, TE/OL, 6-5, 327 — offer from Houston (1)
- Jonathan Shepherd, Kilgore, WR, 6-3, 196 — committed to Oklahoma State; additional offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Kansas State, ULM, Missouri, New Mexico, Memphis, North Texas, Oregon State, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech (15)
- Marje Smith, Marshall, DE, 6-6, 210 — committed to Baylor (1)
- DaRyan Williams, Nacogdoches, S, 5-10,199 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Mississippi State, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Washington State, Wyoming (16)