Even though the Cincinnati Bearcats have experimented with the depth chart since Luke Fickell took over as head coach, the team still needs linebackers. They have more than a few good ones right now, including first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection Perry Young and top returning pass rusher Bryan Wright. With such a great deal of depth and talent, they haven’t had to worry too much about the next wave of players at the position, but recruiting additions for the 2019 and 2020 class show that the staff isn’t ignoring this part of the roster.
Prior to Tuesday, the 2020 class had been much more focused on the offensive line and secondary, but the Bearcats added their first linebacker for the class in Daved Jones, who announced his commitment yesterday.
Jones is a solid addition to the 2020 class. A three-star recruit with in-state ties, he is among the top 1,000 players in the country for 2020 and a top 35 inside linebacker, according to 247Sports. Rivals is even more impressed with him, as he is 29th at his position and the 27th overall recruit in the state of Ohio by the site’s measures.
As mentioned previously, Jones is the only linebacker who is currently committed for the 2020 class. That could very well change between now and national signing day, but for now, Jones is following in the footsteps of 2019 additions like Dorian Holloway, Brody Ingle and Darrian Beavers, who transferred from UConn, which means he’ll miss out on Big East hoops. Holloway, Ingle and Beavers are all three-star prospects like Jones and they represent the future at linebacker for the Bearcats. Young will be a senior this season and Wright is a graduate student already. That will still leave the program with experienced players like Jarell White and Joel Dublanko to fill the starting roles, but reinforcements will certainly be necessary sooner rather than later.
In addition to adding talent and depth to the linebacker pool, Jones helps expand the scope of the 2020 class as a whole. He will join cornerbacks Deshawn Jones and Devin Neal, safeties Todd Bumphis and Deshawn Pace as well as defensive end Sterling Miles among players who will be asked to keep UC’s new defensive identity in tact once they hit the field in 2020. As it stands, the class is ranked second in the AAC and 57th in the country, according to 247Sports.