ACU football finished national signing day landing 20 prospects including eight players ranked fairly high on the recruiting database, 247sports.com.
Eight of the players were given a two-star rating or higher meaning they are usually on Div. I Football Bowl Subdivision rosters. This class represents ACU’s full movement from Div. II to Football Championship Subdivision. They ranked sixth overall in national FCS recruiting, third in the Southland and even outrank current 5-time national champion North Dakota State. The Wildcats are still in the probational period, which means they are limited to less scholarships than a normal FCS school. But, head coach Ken Collums found quality talent with his limited scholarships.
ACU’s 2016 commits also include two players who garnered major Div. I interest: Cypress Springs wide receiver Donnell Dunn and Coronado offensive tackle Emoree Giddens. Dunn received 11 Div. I offers including: Arkansas, Cincinnati and Texas Tech. He turned down 10 schools to attend Abilene Christian. He averaged over 20-yards a catch during his junior and senior seasons and hauled in 19 touchdowns. He should be a player to watch entering the 2016 season.
The Wildcat coaches did an impressive job nabbing recruits from major programs. Some of the major reasons these big name players chose ACU are playing time and playoff eligibility. The Wildcats will be allowed to compete for the playoffs with this class. These recruits will be well into their collegiate careers when they compete for the FCS playoffs.
Giddens also turned down the Red Raiders to become a Wildcat. The three-star offensive tackle stands at 6’5″ and weighs 257 pounds. He needs to add some weight to that frame, but he is another player to watch. Both of these players rank in the top 200 for Texas recruiting. Collums pulled off a recruiting coup signing these two.
However, it isn’t just two players that make a recruiting class. Collums found a highly athletic, hybrid, safety/linebacker in Allen’s Jakob Yandell. The two-year starter led the Eagles in tackles this season. An impressive feat considering the players a top-tier program like Allen pumps out every year. Yandell comes in a similar mold as two-year starting and 2015 senior linebacker Lynn Grady. He played safety and linebacker for the Wildcats and put together some nice years as a hybrid defensive player.
Another player of note is All Saints’ quarterback Luke Anthony. Anthony led the All Saints to a Southwest Preparatory Conference state championship. He threw for 3,140 yards and 34 touchdowns while adding 225 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Anthony turned down a solid Div. I program in San Diego.
A major transfer for the Wildcats is defensive back Trayvone Blake. He transferred in from Garden City Community College. Garden City features multiple NFL players and produces quality talent to Div. I schools. At 6 feet and 195 pounds he could play either safety or corner for the Wildcats.
These five players feature just some of the incoming talent for the Wildcats. The rest of the class feature guys from major 6A Texas programs they just aren’t ranked as highly. However, ACU pick up some diamonds in the rough in the 2016 class. The future looks bright as ACU ranked close to many FBS schools in recruiting. A positive sign after a rough 3-8 2015.