2020 ACU Spring Football Roster Breakdown

BCH Sports

ABILENE – Abilene Christian football is approaching the end of its first full week of spring practices, which began Feb. 28 with 90 participating student-athletes.

The roster is truly Texan with 78 percent listing Lone Star State hometowns. There’s also a good blend of old and new personnel with 50 returning letter winners opening the locker room to 16 newcomers.

Eleven of these first-term Wildcats reside on the defensive side of the ball as the coaching staff utilized their connections to help fill approximately eight starting positions. Within this group of defensive transfers are two d-lineman, two linebackers, two cornerbacks and five safeties.

Offensively, ACU welcomed junior QB Peyton Mansell (6-2 /210), freshman FB Kory Dabbs (6-0 / 240), wide receivers DK Blaylock (6-4) and Dak Neece (6-3) and sophomore o-lineman Truett Knox (6-2, 290).

Among ACU’s pool of returning letter winners (those who played at least three games) are 17 returning starters (two or more starts) with 11 on offense and six on defense.

The area returning the most expertise is the offensive line, led by the senior trio of Jon Crisp, Kade Parmelly and Nico Russolillo. There are currently 16 o-linemen in camp with six more expected to join the squad this summer.

The second biggest group is linebackers (12) followed by safeties (11) and wide receivers (11).

Linebacker and Abilene native Qua’Shawn Washington, who suffered a season-ending injury vs. McNeese, is listed on the spring roster, as are running back Billy McCrary and place kicker Oscar Hernandez. McCrary also knocked out for the year vs. the Cowboys, while Hernandez missed all of 2019 with a leg injury, giving way to Blair Zepeda.

McCrary’s backfield mates include Tyrese White, Tavian ‘T.J.’ Tumbleson, Conrad Perry, Hunter Burcham and Jessie Anderson. Handing off to them will be junior signal caller Sema’J Davis, 2019 redshirts Cutter Sparks and Andrew Stripling, and Mansell.

Kobe Clark, who set a program single-season record with 87 receptions, is the Wildcats’ most experienced receiving target followed by tight end Branden Hohenstein and second-year WR Javorian Miller.

The defensive line has six returning players who appeared in 10 or more games last season but DE Kameron Hill is the only one who earned more than one start.

Similar situations exist at linebacker and within the secondary. There are many returning letter winners at these positions, but few returning starters.

Academic All-America Jack Gibbens is ACU’s lone linebacker with more than four starts in 2019. Washington started the first four games, and in his absence, Jarian Parker earned three starts and Torian ‘Tory’ Hargrove recorded one.

Six returning members of the secondary played in 11 or more games a year ago with then-freshman Ryan Stapp making the most starts with three. Gabe Ortega, who also can punt, made two starts at safety, while Koy Richardson and Byron Robinson Jr. each started once through 12 appearances.

17 Returning Starters (2+ starts)
Offense (11)
Jr. QB Sema’J Davis
Sr. FB Tavian Tumbleson
So. OL D’Wayne Anthony
Sr. OL Jon Crisp
Jr. OL Kage Hendrix
Jr. OL Tanner Parker
Sr. OL Kade Parmelly
Sr. OL Nico Russolillo
Jr. WR Kobe Clark
So. WR Javorian Miller
Sr. TE Brandon Hohenstein

Defense (6)
Sr. DE Kameron Hill
Sr. LB Jack Gibbens
Jr. LB Jairan Parker
Jr. LB Qua’Shawn Washington
Sr. S Gabe Ortega
So. CB Ryan Stapp

50 Returning Letter Winners (3+ games)
Offense (21)
Jr. QB Sema’J Davis
Sr. RB Billy McCrary
Jr. RB Conrad Perry
Jr. RB Tyrese White
So. FB Rece Stafford
Sr. FB Tavian Tumbleson
So. OL D’Wayne Anthony
Sr. OL Jon Crisp
Jr. OL Everett Gunnoe
Jr. OL Kage Hendrix
Jr. OL Tanner Parker
Sr. OL Kade Parmelly
Sr. OL Nico Russolillo
Jr. OL Zachary Terry
Jr. WR Kobe Clark
Jr. WR Brendan Harmon
Jr. WR Lionell McConnell
So. WR Javorian Miller
So. WR Taelyn Williams
Sr. TE Brandon Hohenstein
Jr. TE Remington Lutz

Defense (26)
Sr. DE Garviea Freeny Jr.
Sr. DE Kameron Hill
So. DE Osaretin Obadeyi
Sr. DE Reynel Previlon
Jr. DT Michael Gayden
Sr. DT Lakendrick Jones
So. DT William Morgan
Jr. DT Quent Titre
Sr. LB Jack Gibbens
So. LB Gage Graham
Jr. LB Greg Green
Jr. LB Toriano Hargrove
Jr. LB Joshua James
Sr. LB Hunter Kier
So. LB James Neal
Jr. LB Ben Norman
Jr. LB Qua’Shawn Washington
Jr. CB Daniel Duah
So. CB Anthony Egbo Jr.
So. CB Donovan Johnson
Jr. CB Robert McKnight
Sr. CB Koy Richardson
Jr. S Austin Goffney
So. S Braelon Hill
Sr. S Gabe Ortega
Sr. S Byron Robinson Jr.

Specialists (3)
So. LS Dustin Inness
Sr. LS David Stone
So. PK Blair Zepeda

16 Newcomers
Offense (5)
Jr. QB Peyton Mansell
Fr. FB Kory Dabbs
Fr. WR DK Blaylock
So. WR Dak Neece
So. OL Truett Knox

Defense (11)
Jr. DE Jordan Paup
Jr. DT Jack Schultz
Jr. LB Oliver McDowell
So. LB Chike Nwankwo
So. CB Triston Anderson
Jr. CB Ty Taylor
Fr. S Anthony Cuthbert
Fr. S Elijah Moffett
Fr. S Joshua Oyewole
Fr. S Kam Stokes
Jr. S Shelby Washington

Roster by Position
QB – 4
RB – 5
FB – 4
WR – 11
TE – 3
OL – 16

DE – 6
DT – 7
LB – 12
CB – 8
S – 11

Specialists – 5

Notable Position Switches
Gage Graham S to LB
Braelon Hill CB to S
Rece Stafford LB to FB

New Coaches
Running Backs: Bryce Baccarini
Wide Receivers: Donte Ellington
Defensive Line: Travis Britz and Cody Scribner
Safeties: Zach Williams

Roster by Class
Fr. – 4
R-Fr. – 18
So. – 21
Jr. – 30
Sr. – 17

Roster by State / Country
Texas – 70
California – 3
Arizona – 2
Nebraska – 2
Colorado – 1
Illinois – 1
Kansas – 1
Louisiana – 1
Maryland – 1
Minnesota – 1
Mississippi – 1
Missouri -1
New Jersey – 1
New Mexico – 1
Ohio – 1
Utah – 1
Germany – 1

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