Cincinnati has increased the number of early enrollees in the 2014 class to four. Last week, JUCO quarterback Jarred Evans signed his letter of intent and so too did quarterback Hayden Moore and cornerback Linden Stephens. As of Friday, JUCO linebacker Marcus Tappan will join them. Like the others, he will be eligible to join UC’s football team in January and participate in winter workouts. Per the Glendale News Press article, the 6’2″ 227 lbs linebacker had 56 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 4 interceptions this past season, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns. Tappan also boasted an offer from Virginia but preferred the Bearcats due in part to Cincinnati’s ability to offer him a spot on the roster in January. The linebacker also had an offer from Indiana State.
Tappan was just a freshman this past season so he will have four years to play three seasons for the Bearcats.
|Height - Weight||6'2", 227 lbs|
|247 Sports||*** - 89|
Tappan has excellent size (6’2″ 227 lbs, as mentioned above) but is surprisingly quick on his feet. I’m impressed with his sideline-to-sideline speed. He’ll begin by floating in coverage then burst effortlessly towards the ball carrier. That’s rare agility not seen in many linebackers his size and will serve him well at the next level. Additionally, when he burst through the line in run support, Tappan really puts that speed on display with how quickly he gets to the ball carrier. And when he does encounter blockers, he appears to be pretty slippery, shedding the blocks and getting his target with ease. Overall, Tappan appears to be a very well-rounded linebacker.
Cincinnati graduates only Greg Blair from the linebacker position after this season. Starters Nick Temple and Jeff Luc as well as key rotational players Solomon Tentman and Clemente Casseus will return. As such it might be tough for Tappan to see the field in his first year at Cincinnati. Still, he increases his chances of seeing the field in 2014 by joining the team next month. Being able to see a playbook in January and participate in winter workouts and spring practice will accelerate his development. Otherwise, a redshirt is likely in his immediate future but I can envision Tappan ultimatley lining up at either MLB or OLB for Cincinnati.