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Bearcat Freshman Profile: J.J. Pinckney

In recent years the Bearcats have had some pretty good pass defenses. In the last two seasons the Bearcats ranked in the top 25 for passer rating defense. There has been a high standard of play in the defensive backfield really since Kerry Coombs left, but the Bearcats have never had a cornerback as big or as rangy as J.J. Pinckney.

The Essentials

  • High School: Sylvania Southview
  • Position: Cornerback
  • Height: 6'3"
  • Weight: 185
  • Consensus Rank*: 84 (***)

* As determined by 24/7 sports composite algorithm which combines and weights the rankings of 24/7, Rivals, Scout and ESPN to come up with one number.

If you are building a prototype cornerback for this era of college football with the proliferation of spread offenses and Godzilla sized receivers like Mekale McKay J.J. Pinckney would check a lot of the boxes. He is a legit 6'3", he has long arms, great closing speed, good short area quickness, good hips and phenomenal ball skills honed from years of working on the offensive side of the ball. The only box he doesn't check is size, he weighs 185 pounds but he is a really skinny 185 pounds. He could easily add 20 pounds to his frame without looking filled out at all.

Pinckney is heading for a redshirt this year, but thats not because he can't play. The coaches really threw him into the fire during camp having him match up with the 1's often in practice and after taking a couple of days for the room to stop spinning he settled in pretty nicely. I think that in a pinch he could perform reasonably well for a freshman. But the more prudent course is to redshirt him for 2014. With Howard Wilder and Adrian Witty, the sternum breaker manning the top two spots, and spot starter LEVITICUS PAYNE also back and fellow freshman and early enrollee Linden Stephens the Bearcats are good for depth at the position this year. In that situation it makes a lot of sense for Pinckney to take a year to learn from Witty and Wilder, adjust to college and get into the Bearcats strength and conditioning program early. In 2015 he will be competing for one of the starting jobs vacated by Wilder and Witty.