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Update: Bearcats Flip Meechi Harris, Sign 22 on Early Signing Day

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This is how you recruit.

SMU v Cincinnati Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Today is the first early signing day. If that means nothing to you, then here’s a guide. For the the Cincinnati Bearcats, it means is the football program got a chance to add talent before the New Year.

Luke Fickell has made a name for himself on the recruiting trail, even if his first season as head coach didn’t go as planned. The Bearcats currently have the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the American Athletic Conference for 2018. That class was ranked No. 47 nationally as well (Update: UC has since moved up to No. 45), but that was before a major recruiting coup was pulled off today.

Meechi Harris, a 6’2” wide receiver from Xenia, Ohio, signed with the Bearcats after committing from Kentucky. It’s what folks in the recruiting business call a flip. According to Bearcat Journal, Harris made his decision official to Joker Phillips, UC’s wide receivers coach, on Monday, but the signing makes it official for the rest of the country.

Harris is a three-star recruit and had offers from 17 other schools, including Michigan State, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Ranked the No. 20 prospect in the state and the No. 79 wideout in the 2018 class, Harris highlighted a day on which 20 players have signed with Cincinnati. Check back here for updates

Malik Vann, DE

The best known commit for the 2018 class, Vann is a four-star recruit according to ESPN and Rivals, but only has a three-star rating by 247Sports. He should still be an incredible difference maker on defense.

Josh Whyle, TE

Whyle is a local product and a three-star tight end. He is now ranked the No. 14 prospect in Ohio and the No. 18 tight end in the 2018 class.

Ben Bryant, QB

You know how Hayden Moore has frustrated? Bryant could be the quarterback of the future. Maybe. He’s the No. 33 pro-style QB in the 2018 class.

Alec Pierce, WR

The most recent commit, Pierce is the No. 24 prospect in Illinois and at 6’3”, he has the size to be a standout wideout.

Arquon Bush, CB

Bush would be a welcome addition to the secondary, which has seen better days. From Euclid, Ohio, Bush is a three-star prospect.

Charles McClelland, RB

McClelland is a three-star prospect from Homerville, Georgia. He was listed among the top 50 athletes for the 2018 class.

Lorenz Metz, DL

If there was a signee more surprising than Harris it was Metz. A 6’9”, 276-pound defensive lineman from Germany, he had 48 tackles, six tackles for loss and a sack while playing for everyone’s favorite European high school team, the Kirchdorf Wildcats.

Daeshon Martin, DE

Coming out of Akron, Ohio, Martin is a 6’2”, 242-pound defensive end who ranks among the top 50 prospects in the state.

Ty Van Fossen, LB

A product from Columbus, Ohio, Van Fossen is a three-star recruit and the No. 43 prospect in Ohio.

Ryan Montgomery, RB

Montgomery committed in October and would be one of the players behind Gerrid Doaks and Michael Warren once he gets to Clifton.

Taj Ward, CB

Ward is ranked the No. 123 cornerback in the 2018 class. He comes from Solon, Ohio, standing at 6’0” and weighing in around 173 pounds. He’ll need to bulk up a bit.

Jeremy Cooper, OL

The offensive line is an area that has not received as much attention in this recruiting cycle, but Cooper is one reinforcement. He is 6’2” and 295 pounds and comes from Mount Carmel, Illinois.

Colin Woodside, OT

The other offensive lineman to sign today, Woodside is a 6’4”, 270-pound tackle from Lancaster, Ohio.

Blake Bacevich, DE

Bacevich is definitely sporting some #CinCityPride. The Cincinnati native played high school ball at St. Xavier and is the No. 63 recruit in the state.

Jayshon Jackson, WR

A wideout from Chicago, Jackson is the No. 221 wide receiver in the 2018 class. He originally committed to Toledo.

Yanez Rogers, ATH

Rogers could fit in at a lot of positions. He is 6’1” and 180 pounds and comes from Pompano Beach, Florida.

Ja’Von Hicks, S

Another Cincinnati prospect, Hicks played at Colerain and is 6’2” and 185 pounds. He played on both sides of the ball in high school and is a three-star recruit. He will play safety initially for the Bearcats.

Darnell Shields, S

It’s like we’re on repeat. Shields is an Ohio recruit with a top 70 pedigree among recruits from the state.

Dylan O’Quinn, TE

A 6’5” tight end from Millbury, Ohio, O’Quinn is a three-star prospect who played both tight end and defensive end. One of the top 70 talents out of Ohio for the 2018 class.

Update

After this post went live, the Bearcats didn’t stop, signing two more prospects for the 2018 class. UC is now ranked the No. 45 class in the nation for 2018, according to 247Sports, and remains the No. 1 class in the AAC.

Alex Dowds, RB

From Campbell County in Northern Kentucky, Dowds is a 5’11” running back who tallied more than 1,600 yards as a senior.

Wyatt Fischer, WR

Another addition from Ohio, Fischer amassed more tan 3,000 yards in prep school and picked up Division II First-Team Ohio honors in 2017.