Memphis Offers Three Local Players
[Updated: 10:15 p.m.]
Memphis rolled through the region Monday evening and jumped from being interested in one local player to four.
The Tigers program presented offers to Kilgore receiver Jonathan Shepherd, Pleasant Grove linebacker Xavier Benson and West Rusk linebacker Tyree Wilson within a matter of hours. All three players reported their new college football scholarship opportunities via Twitter.
Carthage running back Keaontay Ingram is the fourth and longest-tenured East Texan on Memphis' board.
Last season, in a predominantly run-oriented offense, Shepherd (6-3, 196) caught 17 passes for 260 yards and three touchdowns. Kilgore shared the District 9-4A Division I title and advanced to the area round of the playoffs, finishing with a 7-5 record.
Benson (6-3, 200) recorded a team second-best 89 tackles for Pleasant Grove and tied for the team lead in takeaways with four. Pleasant Grove reached the third round of the Class 4A Division II postseason
Benson also plays some receiver for Pleasant Grove. Out of the Wing-T formation, he caught nine passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Wilson, a Washington State verbal commitment, was a force on West Rusk’s Class 3A Division II bi-district team last season. He made 68 solo tackles, including 13 for loss, and assisted six other tackles in 11 games as part of a linebacking corps that cannibalized each other’s stats.
In addition to 74 total tackles, Wilson forced two fumbles and returned one interception 34 yards for a touchdown.
Memphis posted its third consecutive season of eight wins or better with an 8-5 record under first-year coach Mike Norvell. The Tigers made a Boca Raton Bowl appearance after posting a 5-3 mark in American Athletic Conference competition.
Norvell, 35 years old, joined the program after serving as the offensive coordinator and associate head coach under Todd Graham at Arizona State. Norvell gained earlier coaching experience at Tulsa and Pittsburgh.
Memhpis has been to 10 bowl games in its 104-year history, including the past three seasons.
Shepherd, Benson and Wilson will become eligible to sign with any programs that offer them in December.
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, Texas State, Tulane, ULL (7)
- Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Georgia State, Houston, Iowa State, New Mexico, North Texas, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (17)
- Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-0, 200 — offers from Arkansas State, Army, Memphis, North Texas, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Wyoming (12)
- Drake Centers, Tatum, OL, 6-4, 295 — offers from SMU, Texas State (2)
- Kylar Cooks, Liberty-Eylau, OL, 6-5, 250 — offers from Arkansas State, North Texas, Texas State (3)
- Kris Dike, Van, OL, 6-6, 283 — offers from Colorado, Houston, North Texas, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Tulane (7)
- Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 215 — 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, 6-4, 250 — offers from ULL, ULM (2)
- Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 340 — 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, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall University, Nevada, North Texas, Oklahoma State, Southern Miss, Tulsa (13)
- 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, Oregon State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
- Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 165 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
- Kameron King, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 270 — offers from North Texas, Tulane (2)
- DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, S, 6-4, 196 — 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, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (30)
- Jonathan Shepherd, Kilgore, WR, 6-3, 196 — offers from Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Houston, Kansas State, ULM, New Mexico, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech (12)
- Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Washington State; additional offers from Kansas, Memphis, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, Wyoming (10)