Keaontay Ingram is sneaking back toward the East Texas lead in NCAA Division I FBS scholarships thanks to new offers Wednesday from USC and Houston.

The Trojans and Cougars' invitations, which Ingram announced through his personal Twitter account, pushed the junior Carthage running back to 26 choices at the highest level of college football. He trails Arp safety and fellow junior DeMarvion Overshown by one option among FBS schools.

Ingram (6-0, 198) became a coveted recruit to blue blood programs shortly after helping guide Carthage to the 2016 Class 4A Division I state championship in December. Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M are just a few of the other schools that have taken an interest.

The back scored twice in the title game -- after getting the team there with a touchdown in triple overtime of the state semifinal game -- and eclipsed 2,200 yards on the season in the finale. He scored 31 rushing touchdowns and caught 46 passes for more than 400 yards through his 15-game junior campaign.

USC, a Pac-12 member located in Los Angeles, was the first school to reach out Wednesday and did so on the heels of an impressive Rose Bowl victory in January for a third-place finish in the final Associated Press poll. The Trojans posted a 10-3 overall record and finished tied for third place in their league.

Expectations for USC will be high this season with quarterback Sam Darnold back in the fold. projected the program will finish third nationally once again in its Way-Too-Early 2017 Top 25 poll, and Darnold is currently considered a candidate to be selected first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft if he chooses to forfeit his final two years of eligibility.

In addition to 11 claimed national championships through 128 seasons, the Trojans program is highly regarded for its ability to produce elite running backs. Reggie Bush, Marcus Allen, Charles White, Mike Garrett and O.J. Simpson all won Heisman Trophy awards while enrolled at USC.

Unfortunately, Bush was forced to surrender his Heisman for NCAA rules violations and USC can no longer claim him.

Simpson's trophy has changed hands several times since Simpson lost a 1997 wrongful death civil suit versus Fred Goldman and Sharon Rufo pertaining to the deaths of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, but the Trojans are still allowed to count him.

Two USC quarterbacks, Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer, have won Heismans as well. That gives the school seven all-time wins and six official wins.

Houston, which has one Heisman winner in quarterback Andre Ware, has been a favored destination for East Texas players in recent years. John Tyler senior quarterback Bryson Smith signed with the program in February and will become the third local player on the Cougars' roster upon high school graduation.

Former John Tyler quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and former John Tyler linebacker Tyus Bowser exhausted their eligibility at Houston as a 9-4 season ended with a loss in the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl. Both are hoping to have their name called at the NFL Draft later this month.

The Cougars will have a bit of a different flavor this season.

Tom Herman left the program to become the head coach at Texas at the end of the regular season. Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite was promoted to the head position in the Third Ward just ahead of the bowl game.

Like all college football prospects currently in their junior year of high school, Ingram 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 (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, 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)


More From East Texas Sports Network