Southern Miss Offers Pleasant Grove’s Xavier Benson
Make it four FBS scholarship opportunities and seven choices in total for Xavier Benson.
Southern Miss hopped into the picture Monday and is the latest potential landing spot for the Pleasant Grove junior linebacker. Benson (6-3, 200) reported the Golden Eagles' offer through his personal Twitter account.
Pleasant Grove enjoyed a strong 2016 with Benson helping to anchor the defense. It reached the third round of the Class 4A Division II playoffs after a second-place finish in the extremely tough District 7-4A Division II, which featured a Gilmer squad that went on to win the region.
Benson recorded 89 tackles during the season and tied for the team lead in takeaways with four through 13 games. He also was used as a heavy receiver in Pleasant Grove's Wing-T offensive set and caught nine balls for 122 yards and two scores.
The Southern Miss program, located in Hattiesburg, Miss., simultaneously reached a bowl game for the second consecutive season under first-year coach Jay Hopson. It went 6-6 through the regular season and won the New Orleans Bowl while representing Conference USA against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Hopson seems to have an affinity for East Texas players. His staff also is interested in obtaining Tyler Lee quarterback Chance Amie, Marshall guard Chasen Hines, Texas High receiver Tevailance Hunt, Arp safety DeMarvion Overshown and sophomore Pittsburg receiver Keaonte Burns.
Of those, Burns belongs to the same district as Benson.
Hopson joined Southern Miss after four seasons as head coach at Alcorn State. He won first place in the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference in both of his final two seasons.
Southern Miss boasts eight conference banners and has produced 78 All-Americans in its 104-year history of competitive football.
Benson, like all college football prospects currently in their junior year of high school, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February.
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, ULL (5)
- Chance Amie, Tyler Lee, QB, 6-3, 190 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Central Florida, Colorado State, Houston, Iowa State, Rutgers, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Tulane, ULL, Virginia (12)
- Xavier Benson, Pleasant Grove, LB, 6-3, 200 — offers from Army, Southern Miss, Tulane, ULL (4)
- Dekalen Goodson, John Tyler, DE/OLB, 6-2, 215 — offers from Houston, Mississippi State, Texas State, ULL (4)
- Trae Hall, Henderson, QB/ATH, 6-3, 185 — offer from ULL (1)
- Conner Henson, Harmony, OL, 6-4, 250 — offer from ULL (1)
- Chasen Hines, Marshall, OL, 6-3, 340 — committed to LSU; additional offers from Arizona, Baylor, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, Texas Tech (15)
- Tevailance Hunt, Texas High, WR, 6-2, 180 — offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Marshall University, Nevada, North Texas, Southern Miss, Tulsa (10)
- Keaontay Ingram, Carthage, RB, 6-0, 198 — offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado, Iowa State, Kansas, LSU, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, UTSA (23)
- Malik Jackson, Lufkin, WR, 5-8, 165 — offer from Arkansas State (1)
- DeMarvion Overshown, Arp, ATH, 6-4, 196 — offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Clemson, Colorado, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kansas, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTSA (27)
- Tyree Wilson, West Rusk, LB, 6-5, 225 — committed to Washington State; additional offer from ULL (2)