Holding its first signing event at the new campus in Glendale, Arizona Christian University introduced 92 young men, who will help build the program to the university’s goal.
“Our goal here is to build a championship team and bring a national championship to ACU,” head football coach Jeff Bowen said. “We are calling this group Team Six, as the first five classes were the legacy to build this to where we are.”
The Firestorm, entering its sixth season in existence, introduced its largest recruiting class ever during National Signing day February 6 at the new Glendale campus.
“Our assistant coaches evaluated 6,457 players and got that list down to 600 young men that we put in our data base,” Bowen said. “Today, we are introducing our largest recruiting class of 92 new young men to our team.”
Among the recruits are 50 from high schools, 35 are transfers from junior colleges and seven transfers from four- year schools. Among the recruits, 55 are from Arizona while 26 are from California and 11 from other states.
“The majority is from Arizona because, after all, we are Arizona Christian University and we will always focus in state,” Bowen said. “Our coaching staff worked hard and tirelessly over the past year to focus on the best kids to bring in here.”
Among the local players signing with the Firestorm are wide receiver Zaachary Cullop and defensive back Rylee Williams, both from Cactus High School, and defensive back Frank San- chez from Apollo High School.
Community college transfers from Glendale Community College include lineman Pablo Beltran and Joseph Parker.
Cullop said he selected ACU based on location and being part of some- thing special.
“I chose ACU because it is close to home and I just got a special feeling when I visited,” Cullop said. “I am just focusing on coming in here, working hard and doing what is needed.”
Bowen welcomed the new signees by telling them to enjoy the moment as they begin building for the future.
“Just enjoy the day because it is a special day for all of you,” Bowen said. “It is an exciting time here with the new facilities and the entire university has such a positive vibe right now. Enjoy the ride, the ground breaking for our new stadium should be in the next month or two and the future is bright.”
Through five seasons, the Firestorm has had four winning seasons, including two undefeated seasons in the Central States Football League and the 2015 CSFL Championship and ranked No. 22 in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Firestorm has compiled a 30- 19 overall record and Bowen said the college is building for one thing for the team.
“This is team six,” Bowen said. “The first five teams are the legacy and they set the ground work for what we are doing here in the future. We want to bring a national championship to ACU and you are here to help get to that.”