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Cincinnati Bearcats Football Signing Day Primer; 2014 Edition

This begins with an admission. Down The Drive has done a crap job covering recruiting, for both major sports, but football in particular. Part of that is on me. When I stepped back from the day to day of this site in November of 2012 it was because I was burned out. Jeff Gentil took over the site in the interim, and eventually I came back. But the bargin, at least in my head was that I was only going to write about the subjects that captured my attention to the degree that I felt that compelled to write. The grind that is the recruiting cycle fell well down the list. The long and short of it is the Bearcats took a year off the recruiting beat, but that stops today. It stops today because signing day is, uh, tomorrow.

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

The Commits

  • Jarred Evans -- 6'4" 188 QB, Santa Barbra City College - Highlights - ***
  • Hayden Moore -- 6'2" 190 QB, Prinson, AL - Highlights - ***
  • Linden Stephens -- 6'0" 185 DB, Euclid, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Casey Gladney -- 6'2" 185 WR, Copiah-Lincon C.C. - Highlights - ***
  • Marcus Tappan -- 6'3" 245 LB, Glendale C.C. - Highlights - ***
  • Hakeem Allonce -- 6'5" 290 DT, L.A. Pierce College - Highlights - ***
  • Hunter Atkinson -- 6'6" 250 TE, Oakwood, GA - Highlights - ***
  • J.J. Pinckney -- 6'3" 175 ATH, Sylvania, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Ja'merez Bowen -- 6'5" 270 DL, Shaker Heights, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Franklin Labady -- 5'7" 165 RB, Hialeah, FL - Highlights - ***
  • Joel Thompson -- 6'5" 280 DT, Hollywood, FL - Highlights - ***
  • Odell Spencer -- 6'0" 1701 WR, Shaker Heights, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Spencer Williams -- 6'4" 220 DE. Jacksonville, FL - Highlights - ***
  • Luke Callahan -- 6'4" 277 OL, Powell, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Davin Pierce -- 6'2" 170 WR, Orlando, FL - Highlights - ***
  • Kimoni Fitz -- 6'4" 230 DL, Ringgold, VA - Highlights - ***
  • Landon Brazile -- 6'6" 230 DL, Dayton, OH - ***
  • Ryan Stout -- 6'5" 245 OL/DL, Sylvania, OH - Highlights - ***
  • Tyrell Gilbert -- 6'0" 193 ATH, Princeton - Highlights - **
  • Mike Boon -- 5'9" 185 WR, Glen St. Mary, FL - Highlights - **
  • Chris Ferguson -- 6'5" 280 DL, Orlando, FL - Highlights - **
  • Michael Farkas -- 6'4" 170 K, Mishawaka, IN - Highlights - **
  • Alex Thomas -- 6'1" 165 WR, Hollywood, FL - Highlights - **
  • John Kurtz -- 6'5" 260 OL, Louisville, KY - Highlights - **
  • Carter Jacobs -- 6'1" DB, Fort Lauderdale, FL - Highlights - **
  • Kaleb Harris -- 6'4" 200 WR/DB. Creston, OH - Highlights - **
  • Connor Krizancic -- 6'2" 190 WR, Mentor, OH - Highlights - **

This Class Compared To Others

Where that ranking is depends on which recruiting service you hold the most stock in. Every service has some variance, that much is obvious as there is no other way to differentiate themselves in a saturated market place. For the sake of this exercise I choose rivals. They have been doing this the longest, their database is the biggest and they have the general reputation of being the best at guessing the athletic capabilities of teenagers. Nevermind that the Cincinnati Rivals site is hilariously inept, its literally beside the point.

National Rank Conference Rank **** *** Total Signee's
2007 90 8 0 6 23
2008 67 7 0 6 24
2009 60 5 2 8 25
2010 59 4 1 10 22
2011 49 4 1 20 24
2012 50 5 0 25 29
2013 71 6 0 12 20
2014 54 4 0 16 23

This class is more or less in line with what Cincinnati has done in the past. I would hear the argument that Tommy Tuberville and this staff have not recruited as doggedly as they should and or could have with this class. Given the pedigree of the guys on this staff and their recruiting prowess I can see the argument. But I don't buy into it at all. For a start the landscape in recruiting has shifted away from the Bearcats. There is no point in denying that.

The AAC is not the Big East, and it no longer has a guaranteed spot at the table with the big money bowls. That is one less thing that the staff can use to get themselves in the door with these kids. Likewise Tuberville is someone with a lot of history in the business. That history is an asset in some respects, but it can be flipped on its head rather easily. That is particularly true where the Bearcats have done most of their recruiting, which is in the south in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Changes Coming

The commit list above is tentative, nothing is binding between the school and the players yet. Not until pen is put to paper on the morning of the 5th. There are two current commits that are expected to wind up elsewhere. Connor Krizancic took a late visit to Minnesota and is widely expected to sign with the Gophers, as of this writing it is speculation, by the time this is read it most likely already happened. Kaleb Harris took a visit to Marshall this past weekend, along with former Cincinnati commit Nate Devers, a guard from Massillon. Devers also took a visit to Indiana, but ended up committing to the Herd. Harris is also thought to be Huntington bound.

One other commit to keep an eye on is Spencer Williams. The First Coast star has been committed to Cincinnati since July when he initially committed with his teammate Rasheed Kennion. Kennion flipped to Auburn in mid July, and for a time it seemed that Williams was out the door with him. But he has stuck, for now. Williams has looked around a bit, taking officials to Auburn and Missouri. Nebraska tried to get him on campus for a visit but he never went. My guess is that Williams signs with the Bearcats, but it is really only a guess. Recruiting man, crazy shit happens.

The flip side of that is that the Bearcats are in position to sign the programs first ever Army All American in the form of linebacker Kevin Mouhon out of Norcross, GA and yes, he is the brother Silverberry Mouhon. Mouhon the Younger was a longtime commit to Tennessee before he took an official visit to Clifton. At the time it was seen as little more than a courtesy visit and a chance to spend time with his brother on an all expenses paid trip. At some point UC became a viable option for Mouhon the Younger. Given that Cincinnati is the only school Mouhon visited officially other than Tennessee the prevailing opinion is the Mouhon the Younger ends up in red and black.

The last remaining target for the Bearcats is Tajee Fullwood, a USF commit who recently took an official visit with the Bearcats. Fullwood has been a USF commit since late June, but he took an official visit with the Bearcats and is going to decide between the Bulls and the Bearcats.

Consider this primer over, check back with Down The Drive for more signing day coverage.