There is more to Southern Methodist Universities number one draft prospect then one may see at first glance. In an interview with Kenneth Acker, Pro Player Insiders was able to uncover more about the 6 feet, 195 pound defensive back and his off the field inspiration.
By simply watching Aker’s film one can see his has an instinctual knack for where the ball will end up. Recording 46 tackles and 3 interceptions in his senior season, Kenneth was named to the All-American Athletic Conference 2nd team and on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list. He was also able to defend 16 passes which was 2nd best in the American Conference and 11th in the nation. He is a shut-down corner who puts the pressure on the opposing receivers. Not only able to shut down offenses, Acker is also very adept at making plays on special teams. Able to get yards on kick and punt returns, Acker has made himself into an offensive and defensive threat. Former coach June Jones spoke of former player Kenneth Acker and only had words of praise for his top defensive back. “He’s a talented player. He can make an impact on both sides of the ball.” Kenneth also had the opportunity in high school to play special teams and wide receiver.
After graduating from Grant High School, he was ranked as the 6th best recruit coming out of Oregon. His high school stats spoke for themselves. Kenneth had racked up over 3,000 all-purpose yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior. These stats alone were the first of its kind for any high school player in the Portland Interscholastic League. With over 3,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, 11 kick and punt return touchdowns, 6 interceptions (4 of which were returned for a touchdown). Kenneth Acker was named the Offensive and Defensive player of the year twice for the Portland Interscholastic League. He earned first team All-State Class 6A DB and 2nd team All-State at QB. Kenneth is no stranger to having a spotlight on himself, one of the reasons he will be able to withstand the pressures in the NFL.
After a stellar senior season at SMU, Kenneth was invited to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. In addition to SMU’s star finishing with 7 tackles, he was able to show NFL teams an additional glimpse at what he has to offer at the next level. Aker sat down with Pro Player Insider’s Theresa Villano to talk about his experience so at the NFLPA Collegiate bowl, Kenneth stated, “The exposure and meeting a lot of scouts and coaches at the next level that you can connect with and learn a lot from.” Kenneth went on to say, “It’s great to meet a lot of the other players from my conference and play and interact with them. It’s great to play with some of the bigger schools as well. I always loved away games at bigger schools. The hatred they had towards us as the away team was always great and a fun atmosphere.”
SMU is one of the smaller college football schools although they had great success in the 70’s. With roughly 6,500 students in attendance at SMU, they were playing much larger schools with even triple the enrollment. This never bothered him though, it actually has proven to energize the all-star from Oregon and prepare him for the league. Acker states it very clearly, “My versatility and ability to make the plays will help an NFL team be productive.”
Not only does Kenneth play for himself and his family, he also plays for his deceased brother Karols Acker. With Karols watching down on him, Kenneth also has a tattoo of his brother on his arm. “It’s myself kneeling on a football field with my brother watching over me. He explains my tattoo means that I am, “playing for two, his eyes watch over me.” With the NFL Draft days away, Kenneth will bringing his talents along with his guardian angel to the next level come next fall.
PPI Fire 5- Five things Fans are burning to know about Draft Prospect K. Acker:
- What is your go to fashion accessory?
Kenneth: Probably shoes. I’ve got to make sure my shoes look straight, I think females like it when your shoes look nice so you’ve got to have nice shoes.
- Go to snack or food?
Kenneth: I’m a sweet tooth guy so any type of candy is fine with me. I really dig the sour Jolly Ranchers right now so I’ll take those any day.
- A nickname to call you by?
Kenneth: K-Ack or Ack. Anything that has the Ack at the end. My last name is Acker so I’ve heard it all. Black Jack, all those. Anything with Ack at the end is fine with me.
- One tattoo we need to know about?
Kenneth: The one of myself and my deceased brother. He watches over me as my guardian angel. It says playing for two, his eyes watch over me.
- What inspirational quote do you live by?
Kenneth: “Everything happens for a reason.”
– Nate Winans, Follow @nwinans9
–Theresa Villano contributed to this story. For more Follow @Theresa_ppi @PlayerInsiders
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