Penn State Offers Nacogdoches Defensive Back + Texas Commitment Josh Thompson
Looks like Penn State wants to know if Josh Thompson has any second thoughts now that the Texas program he's committed to is being challenged day-to-day with stories head coach Charlie Strong won't be back next season.
The Nittany Lions reached out to Nacogdoches' senior defensive back Wednesday and presented him his first scholarship opportunity since he committed to the Longhorns program on July 24. Thompson, who now has 25 NCAA Division I FBS offers in total, reported the news to ETSN.fm.
Texas was the final school to offer Thompson (6-0, 182) in a flurry of activity between May and July that immediately followed a Defensive Most Valuable Player designation at the ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine. It took the defensive back three days to flip his commitment to the Longhorns program from a prior verbal to TCU.
Schools competing against Texas threw in the towel because, not only does Nacogdoches have a good recent history with the Longhorns, it seemed an offer from Strong's staff was the one Thompson wanted all along.
But Texas' 2016 season is a 3-4 disappointment thus far, and each loss has ignited speculation a change in direction is coming.
Penn State, meanwhile, has worked its way to a 5-2 record and has a highly winnable game this week at Purdue. If the Nittany Lions do win, they will be bowl eligible for a third consecutive season under third-year head coach James Franklin on the heels of the 2012 Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and a two-year bowl game ban.
The Nitanny Lions program has a handful of selling points.
Penn State has a history of success. It claims national championships from the 1982 and 1986 seasons and previously was awarded 14 other national titles from less-recognized entities.
The program also has won three Big Ten Conference titles. It joined the league in 1993 after 100 seasons as an independent.
Furthermore, Penn State has been the home to one Heisman Trophy winner -- running back John Cappelletti in 1973 -- and 39 consensus All-Americans.
Thompson, who has 56 tackles and four takeaways in eight games this season, is the third consecutive high-profile defensive back recruit from Nacogdoches.
In 2014, cornerback Jaylon Lane led all of East Texas in scholarship offers and committed to Oklahoma State before an off-the-field incident forced him to rebuild his reputation in junior college. UCLA is the biggest brand name recruiting Lane today.
Safety Brandon Jones signed with Texas last season.
Nacogdoches has a huge game Friday at Ennis with two games remaining in the regular season. If it fails to win the game, it will lose control of its own destiny for a playoff berth.
Thompson, like all high school football prospects currently in their senior year, 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 Louisiana Tech, UTEP (2)
- Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 — committed to Navy; additional offers from Bowling Green, Coastal Carolina, Houston, Kansas, Memphis, 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 — offers from Arkansas State, Memphis, North Texas, Texas State (4)
- Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Texas, Ole Miss, SMU, Syracuse, UTSA, 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)
- Quan Hampton, Texas High, WR, 5-8, 165 —offer from Texas State (1)
- Austin Hawley, Gladewater, DB, 6-1, 200 — committed to ULM (1)
- Kollin Hurt, Gilmer, DB, 6-3, 175 — committed to Louisiana Tech; additional offers from ULM, UTSA (3)
- Jordan Johnson, Hooks, ATH, 6-0, 195 — committed to Air Force (1)
- Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-10, 186 — committed to SMU; additional offers from Army, Colorado, Navy, 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 — committed to Oklahoma State; additional offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Houston, Indiana, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, New Mexico State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, ULL, ULM, UTSA (13)
- Javonta 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 — committed to North Texas; additional offer from Wyoming (2)
- Dhailon Phillips, Lufkin, WR, 6-3, 195 — offers from Air Force, Army, Texas State (3)
- Dez Robinson, Atlanta, LB, 6-3, 210 — offers from UTEP, Wyoming (2)
- Kordell Rodgers, Lufkin, QB/ATH, 5-10, 165 — committed to Texas State; additional offers from Arkansas State, ULM (3)
- Makyle Sanders, Tyler Lee, S, 6-1, 177 — offers from Air Force, Memphis, Navy, North Texas (4)
- 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, DE/LB, 6-3, 225 — committed to Air Force; additional offers from ULM, UTEP (3)
- Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 — committed to Alabama; additional offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, SMU, Texas, Texas Tech, UCLA (14)
- Josh Thompson, Nacogdoches, CB, 6-0, 182 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, Missouri, North Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma State, Penn State, SMU, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulane, ULM, Utah, UTSA, Washington State, Wyoming (25)
- Lakendrick VanZandt, Henderson, S, 6-1, 196 — committed to TCU; additional offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Memphis, Oklahoma State, SMU, TCU, Tulane, Tulsa (8)
- Traveion Webster, Longview, S, 6-0, 197 — offer from ULM (1)