By Jared Fields, Sports Editor
The 2005 football season hasn’t started, but two ACU football players have already racked up pre-season honors.
Junior safety Danieal Manning was voted the Lone Star Conference South Division pre-season Defensive Player of the Year. In 2004, Manning was named the LSC South Division Defensive Back of the Year and led the nation in punt return average with 22 yards per return with two touchdowns.
Manning and senior defensive end Clayton Farrell have been named to Division II pre-season all-America teams. Don Hansen’s Football Gazette named the two to its all-America team last week. The Gazette selected Farrell as one of seven defensive ends in the nation, and Manning as a return specialist.
College Sports Report.com also named the two to its Division II pre-season team. Manning was selected as a first team all-America return specialist and third team safety. Farrell, the 2004 LSC South Division co-Defensive Lineman of the Year was named to the all-America third team. Farrell also led the LSC last year with 18.5 tackles for losses.
First year head coach Chris Thomsen said the players’ awards speak for themselves.
“Anytime you’re getting awards like that people know you can play,” Thomsen said.
As a team, the Wildcats are picked to finish fourth in the South Division this year behind conference favorite Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Wildcats first game is 6 p.m. Sept. 3, at Shotwell Stadium.