Hitting The Offensive Line Hard
The Bearcats will be saying goodbye to four senior offensive linemen, three of them are expected to be a part of the rotation. The depth the Bearcats have built up front over the last couple of years has allowed them to be more selective in who they want to go after. They hit the position harder a year ago, and they are being even more aggressive this year. Part of that is surely need, but the bumper crop of local linemen surely is playing a part. There are five local big's who hail from the greater Cincinnati area who are ranked among the top 100 nationally at their projected positions.
George Asafo-Adjei (Lakota West), Noah Listerman (Winton Woods), Simon Stepanik (Ross), Ian Leever (Loveland) and George Brown Jr. (Winton Woods). Most pundits have the Bearcats well down the list for these guys, with Kentucky being a surprisingly popular pick for a program that has won 9 games in three years. The good news is that all of these guys have been on campus, and pretty recently at that. Another guy to keep an eye on is Evan Mallory from Brownsville, Indiana. He was on campus twice in the month of march and is transferring from Brownsburg to the IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida. I won't even fathom a guess what that means for his recruitment.
Tubs and Co. have cast a very wide net in recruiting linemen this year with 34 offers out to guys ranging from South Dakota to South Florida, and plenty of those guys would be solid additions. But if Tubs and Co want to make statement locally getting two or three of these guys to stay home would be that statement.
In Search of Running Backs
At the conclusion of the 2014 season the Bearcats will have precisely three scholarship running backs in the program. Tion Green, Mike Boone and E.J. Junior which makes running back a need in this class. Ideally Eddie Gran can nab someone to serve as a change of pace for Tion Green as a freshman. The top target at the position is Indianapolis's LeVante Bellamy.
Its not hard to see why. Effortless speed, excellent vision, and surprising power for a 170 pound kid. A perfect fit as a change of pace to Tion Green and E.J. Junior. The Bearcats are the current favorites to land his services.
Top Target At Quarterback Still Waiting
Quarterback is not a huge need in the class of 2015 for the Bearcats with just 7 offers outstanding. One of the top targets is Ross Trail from Wynn, Arkansas. Trail was a Louisville commit who jumped ship when Charlie Strong departed. After an initial wave of action things have cooled down a bit with Trail. My best guess is that Trail is awaiting an offer from Ole Miss. He has visited Oxford twice since mid March but still awaits an offer.
Meanwhile Hugh Freeze and Co are awaiting word on a couple of their QB offers. The Rebels have 10 offers outstanding, four of whom are already committed to other institutions. Two of the outstanding offers are to Drew Lock, widely expected to wind up at Mizzou. Another offer is out to Kelly Bryant from South Carolina who seems likely to come down to the Rebels and Clemson. If Ole Miss whiffs on both they will start to expand their pool at QB and could get involved with Trail. If they get either they will likely be done at the position which will force Trail to consider his other options including the Bearcats.