By mark rogers
February 6, 2012

Here's how it shakes down by the numbers:

Number of high school seniors signed last week selected LSC football teams -
Angelo State: 33
West Texas - 42
Midwestern State - 34
Tarleton State - 27
Kingsville - 35
ACU - 9

Wait...9? Is that a typo, you ask? No. 9 is the number single digits.

But before you let that concern you too much, let me explain why that 9 is a very good thing.

Here's the list of "The Nine" as we shall call them:
Cade Stone, QB/Ath, FW Christian
Parker McKenzie, QB, Smithson Valley
Christian Rodriguez, OL, Los Fresnos
Chad Quisenberry, TE/H, Frenship
Robbie Goldschmidt, LB/FB, Woodlands
Tyler Chapa, CB, SA Warren
Keith Barnett, CB, Converse Judson
Josh Bloom, DT, Kingwood Park
Chukwuma Oputa, LB, Woodrow Wilson

Let's start with the fact that ACU had four high quality mid-year signees (JUCO transfers) who are already on campus: a big O-lineman, two defensive linemen, and a corner back

Those guys will come in and be expected to make an instant impact so they most likely soaked up quite a few scholarship dollars from the freshman class.

When coaches finish their football seasons, one of the first things they do is to make a recruiting board with all the guys they want in the order they want them.

Under "RB" they will have 5 or 6 guys that they would give scholarship money to. The first guy on the list won't be a Johnathan Gray, but he'll be someone that could definitely play at a lower profile FBS school or an FCS school (got to keep it within reason).

Then all the guys under that will be rated just a bit lower each step down.

Getting all the top choices won't happen. That would be like emailing everything on your Christmas wishlist to your family including the most outlandish, most expensive stuff you could ever possibly dream of and getting every last bit of it.

You may get a handful of stuff from the list or even quite a bit of it if it's a good year. But you'll also get a pair of socks from Aunt May and a gift certificate for a weekend getaway to Noodle from Cousin Charlotte.

(side note: when I walked on at ACU, I was considered the "pink, bunny onesie" from A Christmas Story of the 1999 class)

That said, the ACU coaches were able to knock down their TOP 2 CHOICES at corner. That is unheard of. Tyler Chapa was 2nd Team All-State last year and Keith Barnett is another guy who could see significant playing time as a true freshman.

I can't say for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that no other LSC team nailed down their two most absolute, most highly touted corners.

They also nabbed Josh Bloom from Kingwood Park. Coach Collums told me he has never signed a defensive tackle like Bloom. He's 6-1, 300 pounds and can move. He turned down several FCS offers and had New Mexico State all over him right at the 11th hour. He's a playmaker that (barring injury or other unforeseen personal issues) will play early next year.

Another notable signee is Cade Stone, the QB/Ath from FW Christian. The guy apparently doesn't look like your everyday jaw-dropper, but he's dynamic and has some jets on him that may put him at the head of the pack when the team runs sprints next fall.

Stone will factor in next year in the return game and could possibly see some time at receiver. Collums told me that when you have an athlete like Stone who brings something completely unique to the table, you have to consider getting him on the field in some way.

The other five guys are quality football players as well.

So when you look at the comprehensive picture, ACU will bring in 14 new faces to the 2012 season.

That looks better than 9 especially considering that all of the wide receivers return and most of the other key offensive players are back as well.

The Wildcats also lost both RBs from a year ago and didn't work too hard to sign any. Why not? Because of how good they feel about their RB stable as it stands now and into the next few years.

So before you let the number 9 get you all crazy...remember that it's quality over quantity. ACU could have gone out and signed 50 guys, but how many of those 50 would be like those unwanted Christmas gifts that end up in a basket behind the customer service desk at Wal-Mart waiting to be put back on the shelf?

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