EKU Football Recruiting Class Ranks 14th in Nation


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.

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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.


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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com