(Photo courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer)
Happy National Signing Day, everyone!
Today we get to finally unwrap the newly minted, wide-eyed high school prospects who have nary a flaw and unlimited potential. Like I mentioned in my brief write up previewing the events of today NSD is one of my most-anticipated days of the year. And Tommy Tuberville did an exemplary job keeping my expectations for this day high.
Overall Cincinnati’s head coach did an impeccable job salvaging UC’s 2013 recruiting class after Butch Jones took the Tennessee job. For one reason or another, there are just three remaining holdovers from Jones’ class, Rasheen Jones, Ben Flick, and Javon Harrison. As a whole the 2013 recruiting class got a massive overhaul and Tuberville not only put a sizable class together, he added many quality recruits. Such recruits as tight end Travis Johnson, a mismatch nightmare and the highest rated recruit to ever sign with Cincinnati according to ESPN’s rankings. It also includes highly rated JUCO players such as Rodriguez Moore, the #1 runningback in the JUCO circuit, and Jerrell Jordon who notched 13.5 sacks last season.
Given what Tuberville has done in just a month and a half, it gives me high hope for Cincinnati’s class of 2014, which he will have a full year to compile. The full list of all 20 signees in the 2013 class as well as a brief review after the jump.
|Height - Weight||6'1" 185 lbs|
|247 Sports||** - 73|
Cincinnati won most of their National Signing Day battles. They beat out South Florida for Travis Johnson and flipped Korey Cunningham and Chris Burton from UAB and NC State respectively. While Rodney Adams ultimately picked Toledo over UC, the Bearcats did I nice job closing the deal on their uncommitted targets.
Also I was pleased to see offensive lineman Kyle Williamson in particular join this group. When his named popped up on Cincinnati’s official website I flat out forgot that he had undergone shoulder surgery last season and was forced to grayshirt. Thus he was unable to technically sign any letter of intent papers until now. I was practically begging UC to add another offensive lineman other than Ben Flick and bringing in a solid talent like Williamson was encouraging.
Even though the Bearcats essentially added 2 offensive linemen to this class, I feel like they fell short in this area. When adding blockers, coaches need to think 2-years ahead because an OL’s first year is typically spent in the weight room and in film study as redshirt freshmen. Cincinnati will have major turnover along the offensive front after next season and to really prepare for that I was hoping Tuberville would have added a third recruit in this area.
In addition Cincinnati didn’t add a single true defensive tackle to this class. Anthony Green was expected to fill that role but he was lost after Butch Jones left. Cincinnati lost John Williams and Adam Dempsey on the interior of the defensive line after this past season but don’t seem to have found their replacements. Unless Tuberville eventually transitions one of these signees to defensive tackle, this position will be a must need in the class of 2014.