Conventional recruiting wisdom suggests that it is difficult to build a class without having a quarterback to build around. That has not always been the case for the Bearcats. In the last several classes the Bearcats have added their quarterbacks relatively late in the process.
Ross Trail committed in June, in the 2014 class Hayden Moore committed in August. Brent Stockstill was a December addition in the class of 2013 after the Kyle Kempt saga played itself out. Bennie Coney was also an August commitment in the class of 2012. To find an exception to the trend you have to go way, way back to the class of 2011* when Patrick Coyne committed to Butch Jones in March of 2010.
*OK not that far back
The recruitment cycle of quarterbacks is not like it is for other football players. In fact and practice it more closely resembles the recruitment of elite high school basketball players than it does the elite players at other positions. There is a huge domino effect to this position more than any other because the top schools all recruit more or less the top players. At this time of the year everyone is waiting on the guys at the top of their respective boards to make their decisions. As those players make their decisions everyone starts moving down their boards en masse looking for their next quarterback.
The Bearcats benefited from this process last year. Ross Trail was the guy the Bearcats singled out as their quarterback early in the process for the 2015 class. But UC's interest level in Trail wasn't equal to Trail's to them, not at first. He was very, very interested in getting an offer from Ole Miss. He went on several visits, he camped their and made it clear that he would jump at an Rebel offer if it came. But it never came, Hugh Freeze and his staff favored Jason Pellerin of Louisiana over Trail. Pellerin committed to Ole Miss on the 8th of June, 10 days later Trail was a Bearcat.
The way that played out has been very common for UC quarterbacks, and its generally been the way that the Bearcats have managed to punch above their weight in recruiting. However with the class of 2016 the Bearcats quarterback pattern could be changing, in large part thanks to an abnormally strong local quarterback class.
Perhaps because of that factor the Bearcats have been very aggressive in targeting quarterbacks in the class of 2016. Today alone the Bearcats offered three quarterbacks, Jake Sopko, Elijah Cunningham and Gunnar Haok. That makes nine different quarterbacks, all of them from either Ohio or Florida. It seems clear that this staff really wants to get a quarterback in the fold, the sooner the better.
The nine quarterbacks who are currently sitting on offers from UC include local products Thomas MacVittie (Moeller) and Peyton Ramsey (Elder). There is also former Michigan commitment Messiah deWeaver and Cunningham from the Dayton area. Hoak (Dublin Coffman) is the only central ohio native with an offer to play quarterback for UC. Rounding out the Florida contingent are Tyler Huntley (Hallandale), Rex Cullpepper (Tampa), Cato Nelson and (Hollywood). At this point the only player who holds a UC crystal ball is Nelson, but that can obviously change.
At this point the question is, who jumps at the offer to play quarterback for the Bearcats. UC will take at least one, possibly two in this class. But who will they be? We will start to find out this month.