Three universities tapped into theÂ Central TexasÂ football pipeline last weekend.Â Â KansasÂ StateÂ selected Belton offensive lineman Zach Shackelford, SMU grabbed Waco La Vega wide receiver Brandon Benson, andÂ TulsaÂ nabbed Gatesville linebacker Cooper Edmiston.
Shackelford received 15 D1 offers including ones fromÂ Arizona State,Â Colorado,Â Houston,Â Illinois,Â IowaÂ State, andÂ OklahomaÂ State.Â Â But at decision time, he opted to commit to the Wildcats who made the initial offer.Â Â Shackelford (6-3, 290 pounds) plans to graduate in December and enroll atÂ KansasÂ StateÂ next spring,
â€œI think itâ€™s a very good decision for Zach,â€ said Tigers offensive coordinator Sam Skidmore.Â Â â€œHeâ€™s a great player and a great young man.Â Â Heâ€™s a real grinder on the field, and I think heâ€™ll be real nasty for us this fall.â€
Benson (6-1, 190 pounds) also received multiple offers but selected the Ponies overÂ Houston,Â Kansas,Â Illinois,Â Wisconsin, and Purdue.Â Â Scout.com ranks him as the No. 15 receiver inÂ TexasÂ and the 102nd best in the country.
The wideout made an unofficial visit to SMU in June and came away impressed the first-year coach Chad Morris and the Mustang football program.
â€œIt seemed like it would be real fun,â€ he told Billy Embody of Scout.com.Â Â â€œThat Iâ€™d have a good career and make it to the next level as I aspire to do.Â Â It just seemed like everything would be right.â€
The Mustangs have announced a whopping 20 commitments for their 2016 class.Â Â Benson becomes the second receiver in the mix along with Houston Lutheran Southâ€™s Joshua Shelmire.
Unlike Shackleford and Benson, Edmiston (6-2, 235 pounds) received only one D1 offer, and he promptly seized it.Â Â The Golden Hurricanes liked what they saw after the linebacker attended their football camp in June.
â€œIt feels good,â€ he commented to Jordan Mason of theÂ Killeen Daily Herald.Â Â â€œI already have my plans ready and can just concentrate on my senior year and being the best teammate I can be.â€
Since hiring former Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery to run theÂ TulsaÂ football program, the Golden Hurricanes have utilized hisÂ TexasÂ roots.Â Â Current 2016 recruits fromÂ TexasÂ high schools include linebacker D. J. Allen of San Antonio Brennan, defensive back Montray Norris of Houston Aldine Davis, and offensive lineman Clay Greathouse ofÂ Wichita Falls.