UC received a surprise commitment today in the form of wide receiver JJ Pinckney. The 6’3″ athletic hails from Sylvania, Ohio near Toledo. That’s the first impressive part of this commitment. You see, that region of Ohio is Michigan and Michigan State territory. Even the Ohio State Buckeyes, who lay claim to most of the state, don’t do particularly well there. So the fact that Cincinnati was able to reach into those recruiting grounds and pull out a player is cause for celebration.
Secondly, this is a pretty solid caliber of a player. Pinckney is a consensus three-star recruit with offers from Michigan State (no surprise), Minnesota, Louisville, Indiana, Kentucky, and Boston College in addition to interest from several MAC schools. UC has had a habit for garnering commitments from under-the-radar prospects. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it is refreshing to see a high school player choose UC over other strong programs. Pinckney will be joining fellow Sylvania Southview player Ryan Stout, who verballed to the Bearcats over the Summer.
|Height - Weight||6'3", 185 lbs|
|High School||Sylvania Southview|
|247 Sports||*** - 84|
|Rivals||*** - 5.6|
|ESPN||*** - 74|
BONUS HIGHLIGHTS: Pinckney’s HUDL reel from his senior year
Pinckney plays on both sides of the football for Sylvania Southview. On offense, he plays wide receiver, which makes completely sense considering his 6’3″ 185 lbs frame. But Pinckney does a lot of the little things right. First and foremost is the way he runs in and out of his routes. Pinckney does a nice job planting his foot solidly in the ground and making hard cuts to ensure he doesn’t “round off” his routes. It’s a basic skill every elite receiver has down pat. Additionally, when he gets the ball in his hands, his long strides make him nearly impossible to catch in the open field. But when he does get into traffic, that excellent body control causes the wide receiver to deke defenders easily.
Defense, however, doesn’t appear to be Pinckney’s forte. He’s not terrible at cornerback or safety, it’s just not his best position. Pinckney does a nice job going after the football and because of his size opposing wide receivers won’t dominate him physically. But the intricacies of the DB position like flexible hips and tackling with his body are a bit subpar with this recruit. To me, where Pinckney will make his money on offense.
This kid is explosive in nearly every sense of the word. He runs crisp routes, can open up the top of the defense, and is tough to bring down. But Pinckney is also as thin as a rail. It would do him a world of good to spend a year redshirting to bulk up in Cincinnati’s S&C program. I can understand the temptation of giving him playing time as a true freshman but the Bearcats will be pretty stacked at receiver next season with McKay, Washington, Moore, and Morrison returning in 2014. Not to mention players like Alex Chisum, Shakim Alonzo, and Nate Cole will be in the mix as well. I’m not sure Pinckney can overtake any of those entrenched wide receivers as a freshman so it wouldn’t be worth wasting a redshirt year for just a few reps in a season.