Texas State + Houston Baptist Offer Tatum Tackle Drake Centers
[Updated 4:10 p.m.]
Tatum offensive tackle Drake Centers became the 13th local player with at least one NCAA Division I FBS scholarship opportunity thanks to a Friday offer from Texas State.
Centers (6-4, 295) reported his first college choice directly to ETSN.fm. The news came a day after several regional schools announced visits from the Bobcats coaching staff.
Houston Baptist, an FCS competitor in the Southland Conference, offered later in the afternoon.
Texas State seems to be prioritizing East Texas interior players. It previously reached out to uncommitted John Tyler defensive end and linebacker Dekalen Goodson as well as Marshall guard and LSU verbal commitment Chasen Hines.
Centers is the third local offensive lineman to hold an offer at the FBS level. He joins Hines and Harmony guard Conner Henson on the board.
Hines and Centers have accepted invitations of the ETSN.fm + APEC Football Recruiting Combine, which will be conducted May 21 in Tyler.
Centers helped guide Tatum to a 7-3 regular season record and a Class 4A Division II bi-district playoff appearance as a junior under first-year coach Craig Barker. Tatum went winless the season beforehand.
Texas State had a considerably more difficult season under first-year coach and 28-year coaching veteran Everett Withers. The squad dropped 10 of its final 11 games for a 2-10 overall record.
However, Bobcats fans are still optimistic Withers is the answer. He headed the James Madison program at the FCS level between 2014 and 2015, and he reached the playoffs in both seasons.
James Madison won the FCS national championship this past year with players predominantly recruited by Withers' staff.
Withers was Urban Meyer's first defensive coordinator at Ohio State prior to joining James Madison. He was hired by Meyer after leading North Carolina the full 2011 season and through a bowl game as an interim coach.
Texas State's headman also has NFL experience from stints with the New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans. He went to the NFL playoffs twice as the Titans' defensive backs coach.
A commitment from Centers would give the Bobcats a fifth East Texas player heading into the 2018 season. Pine Tree's Mason Hays, Liberty-Eylau's Thurman Morbley, Wills Point's Jacob Rowland and Lufkin's Kordell Rodgers are all underclassmen as the 2017 campaign approaches.
Houston Baptist entered the mix while presenting a track record of positive results through its four-year history. The Huskies went 4-7 this past season, which is their best record to date.
There will be 40 seniors on the Houston Baptist roster this season. Fifteen seniors exhausted eligibility last year.
Of those 15, only two started their college careers with the Huskies.
Like all college football prospects currently in their junior year of high school, Centers 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, 6-0, 200 — offers from Army, Southern Miss, Tulane, ULL, ULM (5)
- Drake Centers, Tatum, OL, 6-4, 295 — offer from Texas State (1)
- 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 — committed to Kansas; additional offers from Arkansas State, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Marshall University, Nevada, North Texas, Southern Miss, Tulsa (10)
- 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, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UTSA (26)
- 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)