football in 2013. That meant the need to get bigger and deeper along both the offensive and defensive lines, a point that was driven home when Collums was in the stands in early January when North Dakota State and future SLC opponent Sam Houston State met for the FCS national championship at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco.
"We've known this, but watching North Dakota State and Sam Houston State just re-affirmed to me that we'd better have some guys who are big and who can run and hit," Collums said as he and his staff began the recruiting process.
And on Wednesday, when Collums announced the program's first NCAA Division I signing class, ACU had inked five offensive linemen and three defensive linemen among the 18 players who will be first-year Wildcats in 2013. Those five offensive linemen average 6-4, 275 pounds, while the three defensive linemen average 6-2, 265 pounds, all with plenty of room to grow over the course of what Collums hopes will be a redshirt season for each of them during the 2013-14 academic year. "I feel very good about the five offensive linemen that we signed," Collums said. "Those are five guys who should be foundations for the future, and all of them are quality players. "On the defensive side, we were only able to sign three guys right now; we missed out on a couple of guys that we went after pretty hard," he said. "I would have liked to have signed one or two more guys, and I think we still will do that. Just because today (Wednesday) is signing day doesn't mean that the search ends. We'll keep looking and try to add a couple more guys before we get started in August."
Here is the entire list of Abilene Christian's Signing Class:
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Exp. Hometown (Previous School)
D.J. Arnold DB 5-10 180 fr HS Wichita Falls, TX (Wichita Falls Rider HS)
Quinton Baker DB 6-0 180 fr HS Austin, TX (Manor HS)
De'andre Brown RB 5-9 180 fr HS Lewisville, TX (Lewisville HS)
Quentin Bryant DB 6-0 180 fr HS Riesel, TX (Mart HS)
Sam Fodale OL 6-1 280 fr HS Shreveport, La. (Evangel Christian Academy)
Cedric Gilbert WR 6-2 220 jr Tr Lancaster, TX (Cisco Junior College)
Randy Gober RB 5-8 185 fr HS Waco, TX (La Vega HS)
Nik Grau P/K 6-1 195 fr HS Grapevine, TX (Grapevine HS)
Josh Hailey DE 6-6 230 fr HS College Station, TX (A&M Consolidated HS)
Austin Hisler OL 6-4 250 fr HS Cedar Park, TX (Cedar Park HS)
Josh McKinnies DT 6-1 280 fr HS Houston, TX (Mayde Creek)
Riley Mayfield OL 6-7 285 fr HS Cedar Park, TX (Cedar Park HS)
Kade Munden QB 6-3 195 fr HS Waco, TX (China Spring HS)
Chance Rieken OL 6-4 270 fr HS Comfort, TX (Comfort HS)
Herschel Sims RB 5-8 215 jr Tr Abilene, TX (Lamar University)
Hayden Wall OL 6-4 275 fr HS Hallsville, TX (Hallsville)
Will Weathers QB / Ath 6-2 210 fr HS Tyler, TX (Brook Hill Academy)