July has been a busy recruiting month for Cincinnati Bearcats football. First they added a new linebacker in Daved Jones, who will help bridge the gap between the current group of linebackers and the next phase. Then Tyler Scott committed and with his varied skill set, he could play multiple positions for the Bearcats. Finally, four-star recruit Jaheim Thomas decided to play for the Bearcats, proving just how much better the program is recruiting right now. As if that wasn’t enough, the Bearcats received another commitment on Friday night, with defensive lineman Justin Wodtly making his plans known via Twitter.
Wodtly will be staying in-state to play for the Bearcats. A native of Cleveland, he will join Jones, Scott and Thomas on the 2020 recruiting class and his addition will help bolster the defensive front. He is listed as a defensive tackle by 247Sports and as a defensive end by Rivals, so he could play anywhere on the line. A three-star prospect, he is among the top 25 players in the Buckeye State, according to both Rivals and 247Sports.
With Wodtly in the fold, the 2020 recruiting class has continued its ascension. Rivals currently ranks the class the 38th-best in the country and the top one in the American Athletic Conference. 247Sports is a bit less charitable, but at 45th nationally and second in the league, its clear that this is an impressive group of players. In terms of other defensive linemen in the class, Wodtly joins three-star defensive end Sterling Miles among future contributors up front.
Although we still have a ways to wait before the 2020 class will have a chance to make an impact for the Bearcats, its worth looking at how Wodtly might fit into the equation. There are a collection of proven and promising defensive linemen on the roster who are set for major promotions in terms of playing time and production in 2019. The list includes juniors Michael Pitts, Ethan Tucky, Elijah Ponder, Curtis Brooks and sophomore Malik Vann, who already have experience under their belt but should be even more important contributors in 2019. Looking past this fall, the group will have plenty of returning talent in 2020 and now with Wodtly on board, that won’t change as much once we get even further into the future. That’s a positive for the Bearcats and their new-found success in rushing the passer, as they had 32 sacks in 2018, which is the most they’ve produced in a season since 2014.