Lions' quarterback Bryson Smith received an offer from Texas State on Wednesday (Robbie Rakestraw,

Offering an underclassman on National Signing Day is never coincidental. The action is a big statement about what coaching staffs want to bring in for the next cycle.

John Tyler junior quarterback Bryson Smith got one of those statement college football scholarship opportunities Wednesday while 13 of his senior teammates signed with other universities across the country. His offer came from Texas State, according to the school-run John Tyler football Twitter account.

The Bobcats program is the the fourth such to establish a relationship with Smith (5-11, 160). They have joined Bowling Green, Louisiana-Lafayette and SMU in the early battle for the quarterback's services.

Smith broke out this past season under center after playing receiver for John Tyler as a sophomore. In his first year as the team's signal caller, he threw for 2,415 yards and 21 touchdowns while also serving as the squad's leading rusher with 1,421 yards and 20 ground scores.

John Tyler went 7-0 in District 16-5A for the league championship and posted an 8-4 record overall. It reached the Class 5A Division I area round before falling to Mansfield Lake Ridge, which advanced all the way to the state championship game.

At the third annual + APEC Football Recruiting Combine in Tyler last May, Smith recorded the highest vertical jump of all 113 athletes in attendance — 39 inches — and logged the best laser-timed 40-yard dash, 4.52 seconds.

Smith also serves as the school's starting point guard. In the spring, he is a distinguished triple jumper and relay team member.

Texas State started a new era in December by hiring former James Madison head coach Everett Withers for the same position in San Marcos. Withers replaced the retiring Dennis Franchione.

The first player Withers and his new staff targeted, other than a few James Madison commitments, was Liberty-Eylau senior receiver Thurman Morbley. That receiver signed with Texas State on Wednesday.

Withers guided James Madison to an 18-7 overall record through his two years at James Madison, and the program reached the FCS playoffs in both seasons.

In addition to time as James Madison’s program head, Withers served as North Carolina’s interim coach in 2011. He was promoted from defensive coordinator after Butch Davis was fired in conjunction with the school’s academic scandal.

Between North Carolina and James Madison, Withers was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.

Texas State’s new coach also has NFL experience as an assistant. He worked with the New Orleans Saints in 1994 and spent five years with the Tennessee Titans between 2001 and 2006.

Withers’ college coaching resume includes other stops at Austin Peay, Tulane, Southern Miss, Louisville, Texas and Minnesota in sequential order. He has ranked as a defensive coordinator or higher since 2007.

Texas State posted a 3-9 record last season with Franchione. The program has been bowl eligible twice in its four years as an FBS program, but it is still seeking a bowl game appearance.

Smith, like all current junior football players with scholarship options, will become eligible to sign with any school that offers him in February, 2017.

2017 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers

  • Judah Bell, Tyler Bishop Gorman, WR, 6-3, 180 -- offers from Houston, SMU (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)
  • Trestan Ebner, Henderson, WR, 5-11, 180 -- committed to SMU; additional offer from Kansas (2)
  • Montrell Estell, Hooks, WR, 6-2, 180 -- offers from Kansas, Texas Tech (2)
  • Octavius Evans, Center, WR, 6-2, 186 -- offers from Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech (2)
  • Kayce Medlock, Arp, ATH, 5-9, 186 -- offer from SMU (1)
  • Damion Miller, John Tyler, WR, 6-1, 189 -- committed to Texas; additional offers from Houston, Kansas, Oklahoma State; Ole Miss; SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech (8)
  • Javontavius Mosley, John Tyler, CB, 6-0, 160 -- offer from SMU (1)
  • Bryson Smith, John Tyler, ATH, 5-11, 160 -- offers from Bowling Green, SMU, Texas State, ULL (4)
  • Major Tennison, Bullard, TE, 6-6, 248 -- committed to Texas; additional offers from Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas Tech (6)