Big Ten Conference schools have been a little more active in East Texas than usual recently, to the benefit of local players.

Nacogdoches defensive back Josh Thompson announced through his personal Twitter account Sunday that Minnesota reached out to him with a college football scholarship opportunity.

Minnesota is the first program from the Big Ten, Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Pac-12 or Southeastern conferences to deem the current junior capable of playing against the highest level of competition on a week-to-week basis.

Purdue did the same thing for John Tyler quarterback Bryson Smith last week.

Thompson (6-0, 180), who now has seven FBS offers in total, is poised to become Nacogdoches' fourth college caliber defensive back in a three-year span. He will likely follow in the footsteps of Jaylon Lane and Brandon Jones -- both of whom led their respective East Texas recruiting classes in sheer volume of offers -- as well as Corey Lane.

Jones and Corey Lane will join Texas and Navarro College, respectively, following graduation from Nacogdoches later this month. Jaylon Lane was an Oklahoma State commitment leading up to the 2015 National Signing Day, but an off-the-field incident led him to play junior college football last season.

As a senior, Thompson will anchor a secondary that must transition away from Jones and Corey Lane. He recorded nine pass breakups, one interception and 33 tackles during his junior season while also recording 10 receptions for 152 yards as a receiver in a 10-game season.

Nacogdoches missed the playoffs despite tying for fourth place in its district last season with Lindale and Corsicana. Lindale claimed the league's final playoff spot with the best point differential between the three teams.

Minnesota's 2015 season started off well with an encouraging, tight opening game against then-No. 2 TCU and then three straight non-conference wins. Things soured once Big Ten play began toward a 6-6 regular season record, and head coach Jerry Kill retired midway through the year to address health problems.

The Golden Gophers lost all four Big Ten games they played against ranked teams and finished league play with a 2-6 record.

With a .500 overall record and the fact there weren't even enough .500 teams to fill the slots of all 40 bowl games, however, Minnesota easily clinched a spot in the Quick Lane Bowl. It defeated Central Michigan to conclude competition under Kill's successor and longtime assistant, Tracy Claeys.

Claeys and a continuing staff of assistants put together a 2016 signing class considered the 48th-best nationally by

Thompson, like all high school football prospects currently in their junior year of high school, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.

2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Navy, North Texas, SMU, ULL, UTSA (9)
  • 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)
  • Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — offers from Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, North Texas, SMU, Syracuse, UTSA, TCU, Tulsa (10)
  • Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR/DB, 6-2, 180 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas, Notre Dame, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane (12)
  • Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 — offers from Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas State, ULL (6)
  • Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — committed to Air Force (1)
  • Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-9, 186 — offers from Army, Colorado, SMU, Tulane, ULL (5)
  • Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, North Texas, Oklahoma State; Ole Miss; SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (9)
  • LaMarcus Morton, Gilmer, WR, 6-2, 175 — offer from Arkansas State, Indiana, Texas Tech, Tulsa, ULL, ULM (6)
  • Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-1, 170 — offers from Arkansas State, Houston, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, ULL, ULM, UTSA (8)
  • Dhailon Phillips, Lufkin, WR, 6-3, 195 — offer from Texas State (1)
  • Kordell Rodgers, Lufkin, QB/ATH, 5-10, 165 — offer from Texas State (1)
  • Bryson Smith, John Tyler, QB/ATH, 5-11, 160 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Houston, New Mexico, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, ULL, ULM, UTSA (11)
  • Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech (11)
  • Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, CB, 6-0, 180 — offered by Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Ohio, SMU, Texas State, Tulane, UTSA (7)