The last thing ACU head coach Chris Thomsen and his three offensive standouts (quarterback Billy Malone, running back Bernard Scott and wide receiver Johnny Knox) want to talk about is anything that doesn't have something to do with them getting ready for the season-opener against Northwest Missouri State on Aug. 30.
But for the fans of Wildcat football, the question since last year is if those three players will get a chance to perform on Sundays at the next level. The short answer is yes ... the longer answer is a little bit more complicated.
All three have already been extensively scouted by several NFL teams, and they'll likely each play several games (both home and away) in front of more scouts this fall. Josh Buchanan, who does small-college player rankings for d2football.com and several other Web sites, has Scott and Knox projected as second-day draft picks with Malone a priority free agent entering the 2008 season.
His projections are based on scouting reports and what NFL scouts are telling him about the players they've seen throughout playing careers and last spring's work. Buchanan's latest work tells him that entering the season, NFL scouts see Scott as a mid-round pick with Knox a 6th or 7th round pick with Malone a priority free agent. Senior guard Joseph Thompson -- who checked in Sunday at 6-3, 315 pounds -- is alos listed as a free agent.
Buchanan's latest small-college rankings should be on www.d2football.com sometime later this week or next week.
Now, obviously, those are just projections, so don't take them for the gospel truth. Still, if the Wildcats can get four players into NFL camps next summer, it would be the program's largest single-season haul ever.