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Fifteen NFL teams send scouts to ACU Pro Day

Perhaps one of the best compliments to NCAA Division II football and Abilene Christian University’s nationally ranked program was apparent yesterday when 15 National Football League teams sent scouts to the Wildcats’ Pro Day.

Aston Whiteside
Last year, standout ACU wide receiver Clyde Gates helped attract representatives of 17 teams to campus to watch him and several teammates work out. Their interest proved sincere later that spring: Gates was selected in the fourth round by the Miami Dolphins, while offensive lineman Trevis Turner (Pittsburgh Steelers) and wide receiver Raymond Radway (Dallas Cowboys) signed as free agents.
Yesterday, defensive end Aston Whiteside and running back Darryl Richardson were joined by five teammates: tight end Ben Gibbs, offensive tackle Neal Tivis, fullback Justin Andrews, defensive tackle Donald Moore and linebacker Derek Drummond. West Texas A&M wide receiver Brittan Golden was one of four other Lone Star Conference players to participate, along with several others from Hardin-Simmons and McMurry universities.
Darryl Richardson
Whiteside, who is 6-2 and weighs 285 pounds, has been one of the most dominant defensive players in Lone Star Conference history and may have a future in the NFL as a linebacker. He participated yesterday in drills for five different positions, including tight end and fullback. Richardson ranks in the top five of three Wildcat career offensive marks: overall scoring, touchdowns scored and rushing yards.
Other current Wildcats in the NFL are Danieal Manning (Houston Texans), Johnny Knox (Chicago Bears) and Bernard Scott (Cincinnati Bengals).
ACU is one of only four universities to qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs each of the last six years. Others are North Alabama, Albany State (Ga.) and Northwest Missouri State.
The 2012 NFL Draft is April 26-28 in Radio City Music Hall in New York City, N.Y.