Abilene Christian had a major hole at linebacker entering the 2022 season as the Wildcats lost multiple top contributors this offseason from the 2021 squad. The Wildcats picked up a major addition as former SMU linebacker Izaiah Kelley announced his commitment to Abilene Christian this weekend on social media.

Kelley was a standout at Coronado High School in Lubbock, TX in the class of 2021. The 6-foot-3, 197-pound linebacker was a consensus 3-star prospect and ranked as a Top-130 linebacker in the country. Over his high school career Kelley totaled 285 tackles, 37 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 10 forced fumbles, 3 defensive touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. He was selected as the District 2-5A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior and was also a 2nd Team All-District selection as a sophomore. Kelley helped Coronado make a run to the regional round of the 5A Division 1 playoffs. He announced his commitment to SMU over Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and multiple other FBS offers. 

Kelley saw action in nine games last season for the Mustangs primarily on special teams and totaled two tackles for the season. He announced his transfer on June 15th and immediately received offers from Abilene Christian, McNeese State, Incarnate Word, Houston Baptist, and Austin Peay. Kelley will have three years of eligibility left at Abilene Christian. 

The Wildcats lost Hunter Kier and Greg Green this offseason as Green announced his transfer to Incarnate Word. Kelley will join Jailen Dixon and Kyle Pointer as new additions to the linebacker core for the Wildcats. Tory Hargrove, Chike Nwankwo, and Trey Adams all return at the linebacker position for the Abilene Christian. Kelley will bring elite athleticism and playmaking ability to the linebacker spot for the Wildcats and should be able to make an immediate impact in the 2022 season.

Abilene Christian opens their 2022 season against Lamar on September 1st in an extremely important WAC matchup in Week 1. 

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