Houston, Memphis + Tulane Make It A Six-Offer Saturday For Henderson’s Lakendrick VanZandt
When Saturday began, Henderson 2017 ATH Lakendrick VanZandt was still waiting for his first scholarship opportunity from a Division I FBS program.
By the end of the day, he had six of them.
VanZandt (6-1, 196) was first offered by TCU, Oklahoma State, and Tulsa in a span of less than two hours. A little while later, the Lions' two-way standout announced through Twitter that Tulane, Memphis, and Houston joined the party as well.
The Henderson playmaker, who starts at both running back and free safety, was previously offered by FCS member Incarnate Word and Division II program Northeastern State.
Houston rose to national prominence in 2015, head coach Tom Herman's first year on the job. The Cougars captured the American Athletic Conference championship and finished 13-1 on the year, including a 38-24 upset of Florida State in the Peach Bowl -- one of college football's New Year's Six bowl games.
The Cougars have several native East Texans currently on their roster, including quarterback and John Tyler graduate Greg Ward, who could warrant Heisman Trophy consideration in 2016.
Houston already has one commitment from a 2017 East Texas recruit -- John Tyler QB/ATH Bryson Smith. The Cougars have also offered six other area players this cycle -- Tyler Bishop Gorman WR Judah Bell, Henderson WR Trestan Ebner, John Tyler WR Damion Miller (Texas commit), Gilmer WR LaMarcus Morton, John Tyler CB Javontavius Mosley (UTEP pledge), and Nacogdoches CB Josh Thompson.
Memphis, also a member of the AAC, is certainly no stranger to East Texas athletes this cycle.
The Tigers have now targeted seven area prospects — VanZandt, Lindale DE Terrell Cooper, Bell, Morton, Mosley, Tyler Lee S Makyle Sanders, and Bryson Smith.
Memphis will be under the direction of first-year coach Mike Norvell this fall. Norvell, who previously served as an assistant at Arizona State, is replacing Justin Fuente, who is now the head coach at Virginia Tech.
Fuente guided Memphis to an 8-0 start to the 2015 season, which included a 37-24 midseason upset of Ole Miss The Tigers faded down the stretch, dropping four of their last five games to finish the year at 9-4.
Tulane, located in New Orleans, also competes in the American Athletic Conference. Willie Fritz will guide the Green Wave this fall after serving as head coach at Sam Houston State and Georgia Southern since 2010.
Last season, Tulane finished 3-9 for the second consecutive year. The Green Wave has targeted five East Texans in the 2017 class -- VanZandt, Hooks WR/DB Montrell Estell (Texas commit), Arp RB Kayce Medlock, Bryson Smith (Houston pledge), and Thompson.
VanZandt helped Henderson to a 7-3 finish in 2015, but his squad missed the playoffs due to the combination of games it lost within District 9-4A Division I. However, Henderson closed the year with a bang by defeating a Kilgore team that had already clinched the league championship.
Like all high school football prospects who will be entering their senior year, VanZandt will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.
2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Tristan Allen, Atlanta, LB, 6-3, 206 — offer from UTEP (1)
- Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Memphis, Navy, New Mexico, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM, UTSA, Wyoming (13)
- Noah Bush, Athens, LB, 6-1, 216 — offers from Air Force, Army (2)
- Lagaryonn Carson, Liberty-Eylau, DE, 6-4, 261 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Tennessee, Texas A&M (9)
- Terrell Cooper, Lindale, DE, 6-3, 240 — offered by Memphis (1)
- Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Texas, Ole Miss, SMU, Syracuse, UTSA, TCU, Texas A&M, Tulsa (18)
- Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR/DB, 6-2, 180 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane (12)
- Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 — offers from Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas State, ULL (7)
- Ted Fuller, Harleton, RB, 5-11, 195 — offers from ULM, Wyoming (2)
- Tre Gatlin, Carthage, DE, 6-6, 210 —offer from Wyoming (1)
- Austin Hawley, Gladewater, DB, 6-1, 200 — offer from ULM (1)
- Kollin Hurt, Gilmer, DB, 6-3, 175 — offers from Louisiana Tech, ULM (2)
- Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — committed to Air Force (1)
- Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-10, 186 — offers from Army, Colorado, Navy, SMU, Tulane, ULL, UTSA (7)
- Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Houston, Kansas, Missouri, North Texas, Oklahoma State; Ole Miss; SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (11)
- LaMarcus Morton, Gilmer, WR, 6-2, 175 — offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, New Mexico State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (12)
- Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-1, 170 — committed to UTSA; additional offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Memphis, North Texas, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, ULL, ULM (10)
- Cade Pearson, Texas High, QB, 6-3, 193 — offer from Wyoming (1)
- Dhailon Phillips, Lufkin, WR, 6-3, 195 — offer from Texas State (1)
- Kordell Rodgers, Lufkin, QB/ATH, 5-10, 165 — offers from Arkansas State, Texas State, ULM (3)
- Makyle Sanders, Tyler Lee, S, 6-1, 177 — offers from Memphis, Navy (2)
- Bryson Smith, John Tyler, QB/ATH, 6-0, 170 — committed to Houston; additional offers from Air Force, Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Memphis, New Mexico, North Texas, Purdue, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (16)
- D’Torian Smith, Tatum, LB, 6-3, 225 — offers from Air Force, ULM, UTEP (3)
- Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas Tech (13)
- Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, CB, 6-0, 182 — offered by Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, North Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, ULM, Utah, UTSA, Washington State, Wyoming (22)
- Lakendrick VanZandt, Henderson, S, 6-1, 196 — offered by Houston, Memphis, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tulane, Tulsa (6)
- Traveion Webster, Longview, S, 6-0, 197 — offered by ULM (1)