National Signing Day Eve: Some Final Thoughts


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Coach Jones and crew are putting together a phenomenal class. While stars and ratings of incoming recruits aren’t the be-all end-all to winning championships in college football, teams who bring in more three-, four-, and five-star prospects (i.e. Nearly everybody under the SEC banner) tend to win more games. I don’t have the hard numbers to back that up but I’ve paid close enough attention to college football to know there’s a linear relationship between the two.

That is the kind of philosophy the Cincinnati coaching staff has gone with since taking over two years ago. In that time, the Bearcats have reeled in better-and-better recruiting classes at least in the eyes of stars and rankings. I’ve grown to trust the evaluations of this coaching staff as true freshman such as Nick Temple, Ralph David Abernathy, and Alex Chisum jumped a slew a veterans to see tons of playing time in the 2011 season. They didn’t just get garbage time but contributed greatly to the success of this team and it’s that trend that makes me so excited to see what future players who sign on to play for Butch Jones do at Cincinnati.

So with the class of 2012 nearly wrapped up below is a list of players to keep an eye out for tomorrow. In past years this list would have been much longer but because Coach Jones and his staff evidently do little besides coach football and spend time with recruits, the Class of 2012 had been 95% completed months ago and they are merely putting the finishing touches on it.

– Eric Kinsey: I inadvertently missed him in my original post two weeks ago but Kinsey is a guy that will be a signing day decision. Charlie Strong over at Louisville has been cleaning up the Miami, Florida area like nobody’s business so it’s not a surpise at this point that he’s a strong lean towards UL. But Cincinnati and West Virginia are still in the mix and while Kinsey is on the path to signing with the Cardinals tomorrow, you never know what will happen when the hats are on the table.

– Ti’on Green: He visited West Virginia on the weekend of January 20th and even showed interest in South Florida but has since reaffirmed his intention to sign with Cincinnati. That’s great news for the Bearcats as Green is a heck of an athlete but nothing is certain until he signs on the dotted line.

– Orlando David: The Bearcats had been in need of a tight end for the 2012 class for quite some time. But with the commitment of DeShawn Dowdy, who is also getting a leg up on his fellow classmates by being on campus right now, it seems like the recruitment by Cincinnati of David has cooled off. Currently on Rivals he is listed as deciding between UC and Miami (Oh) but don’t be surprised if he takes his talents to Oxford as Cincinnati’s coaching staff likely backed off of him.

– Vincent Miller: After verballing to play for the Bearcats way back in June, Miller has been missing in action this past fall. Rumors abound that he didn’t even playing football last season and may have gotten into some incidents with his coaches. He may or may not be on Henry Clays football team. Whatever happened, I’m not confident that he faxes over his letter of intent tomorrow morning.

– Lester Liston Jr.: As good of a football player Lester is, grades have always been an issue with him. Instead of signing with the Bearcats tomorrow he will be taking the JUCO route. In two years I’d love for Cincinnati to try to reel him back in. He’s going to tear it up at the college level.

So those are your basic storylines to look out for tomorrow. I think the 30-or-so recruits who have already cast their lot with Cincinnati will honor their verbal agreements. I honestly can’t remember the last time none of the UC’s recruits got poached on signing day. My possible jinx aside, this will be the best recruiting class in UC’s history. Make sure you get up bright and early as the fax machine turns on at 7 am EST. You can probably expect the 9 players who are already in Clifton like DeShawn Dowdy to be among the first to sign. As the LOI’s trickle in, I’ll have full coverage via Twitter as well as a post wrapping up the day.