East Texas Baptist University and Southern Mississippi's joint camp at Gilmer High School yielded its first offer Tuesday, and it went to someone completely off the radar. Until now.

Keontae Burns, a sophomore receiver at Pittsburg with no varsity experience thus far, apparently caught the eye of Southern Miss representatives at the local event with a combination of size and speed relative to his age. Pittsburg head coach Brad Baca reported to ETSN.fm the Golden Eagles' scholarship offer for Burns.

Burns (6-3, 175) is the first local player within the Class of 2019 to earn a Division I football scholarship opportunity. He ran a 4.73 40-yard dash hand-timed by first-year Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson at the camp.

Baca dressed Burns in a varsity uniform for Pittsburg's run to the area round of the Class 4A Division I playoffs last season, but the receiver only played snaps on the freshman team.

This season, Burns will join a receiving unit Baca identified as a strong point on the field moments after his squad's 10-2 campaign ended. The unit also is expected to feature senior receivers Dejour Dowell and Deldric Shields.

Dowell and Shields attended the ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine last month.

Southern Miss was interested in signing John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith and John Tyler defensive back Javontavius Mosley from the local senior class. Smith subsequently committed to Houston and Mosley committed to Texas-San Antonio.

The Golden Eagles posted a 9-3 regular season last year and won Conference USA's West Division. Southern Miss fell in the Conference USA championship game and then lost its season finale to Washington in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

Former head coach Todd Monken left Hattiesburg, Miss., after the season to become offensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers franchise.

Hopson arrived on the heels of a successful four-year stint as Alcorn State's head coach. He guided his final two Alcorn State teams to Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.

SWAC teams abstain from the FCS playoffs.

Burns will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in 2019.

2019 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Keontae Burns, Pittsburg, WR, 6-3, 175 — offer from Southern Miss (1)