RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University’s 2017 recruiting class has been ranked 14th in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) by HERO Sports, the organization announced today.
The group of new Colonels includes 20 players that received all-state honors in their respective home states. The class includes 11 defensive linemen, seven offensive linemen, five wide receivers, five running backs, four linebackers, three quarterbacks, two tight ends, one kicker and one long snapper.
The only other Ohio Valley Conference team with a higher ranked recruiting class was Jacksonville State at No. 7. Tennessee-Martin had the 27th rated class, Tennessee State was 35th and Austin Peay came in at 44th.
Eastern’s class was rated higher than such schools as national runner-up Youngstown State (No. 38), Furman (No. 39), Charleston Southern (No. 32), North Dakota (No. 26), Southern Illinois and (No. 22), Illinois State (No. 21).
Since becoming EKU’s head coach, both of Mark Elder’s recruiting classes have been rated among the top-25 by HERO Sports. Last year’s class, despite having less than two months to put it together after being hired in mid-December, was picked as the 23rd best in the country.
Many elements factor into the rankings – with the collective of individual rankings being most important. All individual rankings are based on a mixture of data including the 247Sports.com composite, scholarship offers extended to the FCS prospects and also the opinions of HERO Sports’ FCS recruiting analyst Brian McLaughlin.
The ranking reflects high school recruits only, transfers are not considered.
Those new Colonels’ will have a chance to suit up for EKU for the first time on Sept. 2 when the team plays at in-state rival Western Kentucky University.