Cade Pearson's patience finally paid off last week when he received his first Division I college football scholarship opportunity.

Now, it's time for Texas High's rising senior quarterback to become discerning. An offer from Stephen F. Austin on Monday gave the two-year starter a second option in the matter of where he should play at the next level.

The Lumberjacks program joined McNeese State in the early battle for Pearson (6-2, 200). Both schools are participants in the Southland Conference and the FCS circuit at large.

Texas High's signal caller is preparing for his third and final season as the varsity starter under center. He has guided the school to a 15-7 overall record, including two Class 5A Division I bi-district round playoff appearances and a shared District 15-5A title with Longview and Marshall last year.

Pearson produced nearly identical numbers as a sophomore and as a junior. He posted a two-to-one touchdowns to interceptions ratio and threw for a little more than 1,600 yards in both seasons.

Stephen F. Austin has been a popular destination for East Texas players since it started its football program in 1923. Its 2016 signing day class featured Brownsboro athlete Tamrick Pace, Nacogdoches receiver Alex Gregory and Tyler Lee quarterback Zach Hall.

Clint Conque will begin his third season as head coach of the Lumberjacks in September. He has a 12-12 overall record in Nacogdoches and guided the program to an FCS playoffs appearance in 2014.

The 'Jacks struggled to a 0-5 start last year but seemed to turn a corner midway through the campaign. They won four of their final six games.

Four of seven losses came by eight points or less. One defeat was at the hands of TCU from the Big 12 Conference.

Pearson's senior season will feature a district shift mostly in name only. Longview -- which won at least a share of the District 15-5A title the past two seasons -- jumped to Class 6A while Greenville, Hallsville, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Pine Tree and Sulphur Springs remained alongside Texas High to make up the new District 16-5A.

Pearson, like all players currently in their junior year of high school, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him in February.