On May 17th, the Cincinnati Bearcats were happy to hear that cornerback Antonio Howard had verbally committed to UC for the 2015 class. Since then his recruitment has absolutely blown up. The speedy defensive back, who has clocked Forty times in the 4.30-range, has added offers from eight schools and most recently Clemson. Howard’s offer list has now ballooned to 18, including the following Power 5 programs.
- Penn State
- West Virginia
- Miami (FL)
- Mississippi State
Several other schools such as Tennessee, Rutgers, and Ole Miss are also expressing interest.
One player doesn’t make or break a recruiting class but I worry about all of the attention Howard is receiving. The cornerback is clearly a talented athlete and warrants all of these looks but I’m concerned with Cincinnati’s ability to hang on to him. Flashbacks of Spencer Williams pop into my head with every offer Howard receives.
You remember him, right? A member of the 2014 class, Williams verbally committed to the Bearcats way back on June 6th, 2013, three-quarters of a year before National Signing Day in February. From the day UC formally offered the defensive end, his recruitment shot through the roof. Auburn, Nebraska, NC State, Georgia Tech, and Missouri all extended one Williams’ way. And on February 5th of this year, the young man finally caved and became a Mizzou Tiger. It was morale blow witnessing Cincinnati cling to Williams for the months prior to National Signing Day only to see him slip through their grasps at the last minute.
At the very least the Williams situation and now Antonio Howard’s further prove that this staff’s ability to identify talented recruits early and get in on them before everyone else is undeniable. Some might say it’s second to none. It’s a nice mantra to have and I’m proud of Tuberville and co. for their efforts but I’d like to see them win a few more of those battles. Will Howard be one of them? I sure hope so.