Butch Jones and crew is putting together a nice little recruiting class this year. They’ve done a nice job adding speedy playmakers to the class but I’ve always thought they haven’t addressed the bulldozers along the offensive and defensive lines. That’s not a knock on the players currently committed, it’s just that Cincinnati needs more of them. Well today they’ve taken another step towards filling those ranks. The Bearcats most recent commitment is defensive tackle Nik D’Avanzo who was previously verballed to the Temple Owls. After receiving a scholarship offer from UC Friday night, the young man made the right choice and switch allegiances.
D’Avanzo doesn’t have a ton of FBS offers, Temple and UMass being his only ones, but I trust this staff to find the right players to fit this team. And when you watch some of his highlights after the jump you’ll see what makes him such an intriguing prospect.
|Height - Weight||6'4" 190 lbs|
|High School||Coolidge HS|
|247 Sports||*** - 86|
To the fear of most high school linebackers and defensive backs I’m sure, D’Avanzo plays runningback/fullback along with defensive line. His sheer size makes him a physically imposing two-way player in high school but he will line up in the trenches on defense at the next level. However, the fact that his coaches trusts him enough to put the ball in his hands on offense speaks wonders about him. He’s clearly a very athletic young man that reminds of Camaron Beard at his point in his career. D’Avanzo explodes off the snap attacked his blocker with a good combination of quickness and raw force. Like I mentioned he’s a physical beast in high school. Most lineman have trouble keeping up with him and I’m sure D’Avanzo just wears them down as the game goes along.
After combing through some of his highlight reels I found it odd that D’Avanzo didn’t have many more FBS scholarship offers to his name. No matter. It appears Butch Jones has found a diamond in the rough who won’t be leaned upon to contribute right away. He will be given plenty of time to learn the schemes and add some lbs to his frame during a redshirt freshman year. Remember, guys like Jordan Stepp and Camaron Beard will both be back next year and will be joined by Mitch Meador, Brandon Mitchell, and Alex Pace. That’s good news for D’Avanzo and Cincinnati alike.