The Bearcats have added a sixth prospect from the JUCO ranks in Pierce College cornerback Howard Wilder, where Cincinnati also found Elijah Shuler. It was originally reported about a week ago that Wilder had given UC his commitment but the story may have jumped the gun a bit. The cornerback was interested in playing for Cincinnati but wasn’t quite ready to commit, as he had already verballed to South Florida just days before and wanted to weigh his options. Understandable but now a week later it looks like he is ready to sign with UC on Wednesday. Wilder’s recruitment has blown up over the past month. He’s received offers from Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri, Rutgers, and Arizona State to name a few as college programs have scrambled to get in on the JUCO corner. But Wilder is all Bearcat.
|Height - Weight||6'3", 190 lbs|
|Hometown||Glen Ellyn, IL|
|JUCO||College of DuPage|
|247 Sports||** - 70|
In man to man coverage Wilder is difficult to beat. He seems to have quick-adaptable route recognition skills that helps him predict just where the wide receiver is going. His hips are very flexible which allows him to rapidly adjust from sprinting backwards to forwards and moving laterally with a receiver as well. This agility allows him to stick to them like glue. Wilder also appears to play the ball better than the receiver at times, going after it like the pass was intended for him. I don’t think it’s a factor of the quarterback making a mistake. It’s just that Wilder covers receivers very close, has above-average instincts, and plays the ball in the air well.
This is clearly a talented player who should be able to contribute right away for Cincinnati. JUCO’s are sometimes hit or miss but I think the Bearcats landed a real stud in Wilder. While Deven Drane will occupy one of the cornerback positions, there has been some turnover on the other side of the field with Camerron Cheatham graduating. Youngsters Trenier Orr and Leviticus Payne should be battling for that spot but I’d expect Wilder to get a look there as well. Another possibility is Nickelback, where the Bearcats are replacing Chris Williams and Aaron Roberson. I’d expect Wilder to have a spot on the two-deep somewhere on the regular defense if not we might see him playing a little special teams his first year at Cincinnati.