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Recapping National Signing Day Part 2 and the Success of the Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati has the highest ranked recruiting class among all Group of Five schools by a very wide margin.

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 11 Cincinnati at Miami Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images

Coming into Wednesday’s National Signing Day the Cincinnati Bearcats already locked up 16 commitments and had the highest ranked Group of 5 class at #52. After Wednesday’s success, their ranking has jumped to #40, with the addition of 6 more players.

The #40 class is the highest in school history and remains, by and large, way higher than any other AAC school. The next best AAC school is Tulane at #67. UCF is 70 and Memphis is 76. The next best Group of Five school is Boise State at #65. The gap between Cincinnati and the rest of the Group of Five is incomprehensibly wide.

A big part of this class was the first 16 guys who signed back in December.

Six new recruits on Wednesday, helped vault the Bearcats 12 spots up the recruiting ranking.

WR Jaden Thompson was the big addition. Thompson was a late commitment, flipping from his initial commitment to Illinois, to join Cincinnati. He is the #5 ranked player in Illinois and chose to leave his home state to come to UC. The 59th ranked WR in the country joins QB Evan Prater, LB Jaheim Thomas, and DB Sammy Anderson as the FOUR 4 star players to commit to Cincinnati as part of this class.

Thompson also further sures up a need for Cincinnati. Gone from the 2019 team are WRs Rashad Medaris and Thomas Geddis (graduation) and Malick Mbodj (transfer), TE Josiah Deguara (transfer), and RB Michael Warren II (NFL). Those 5 guys represent 5 of the top 7 players in receptions for 2019.

The Bearcats managed to sign 3 wide receivers on Wednesday. In addition to Thompson, they added Marquez Bell and Chris Scott.

Bell, a 3-star from Florida, is the 107th ranked player in the state and the 125th ranked WR overall.

Bell chose Cincinnati over Indiana, Arkansas, USF, and Virginia and did so in quite the unique way. While most players sit at their high schools with a table full of hats, Bell went the route of baby onesies and even used a child instead of a hat to make his announcement.

Bell becomes the 6th best player (out of 22) in this recruiting class. The 7th best is Chris Scott, another local Ohio star, who is ranked 26th in the state. Scott chose Cincinnati over Iowa State, Kentucky, Boston College.

WR Blue Smith, a highly ranked recruit from 2018, who transferred to UC from Ohio State before the 2019 season, is excited.

He should be excited! There is a ton of talent in that wide receiver room. WR Coach Mike Brown also seems pretty pumped.

In 2019, Cincinnati signed the #1 DB in Ohio (Justin Harris). They did the same in 2020, signing Sammy Anderson at the first Signing Day. Those two, plus Ahmad Gardner, James Wiggins, Ja’Von Hicks, Arquon Bush, Coby Bryant gives Cincinnati an exciting secondary for years to come. They managed to add to that excitement on Wednesday with De’Arre McDonald.

McDonald is ranked #13 on Tennessee and the #34 CB overall. He is ranked 481 nationally. He de-committed from Ole Miss shortly after they hired Lane Kiffin in December. In addition to Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Louisville were in consideration for McDonald.

Carson Hinton is an athlete, who chose Cincinnati over Syracuse and Purdue. Hinton joins Ethan Wright, Tyler Scott, and Norman Love as other athletes in this 2020 class. Wright and Love will likely play WR. Hinton can potentially play all over the field. He is the 27th ranked player from Michigan.

Dominique Perry rounds out the new additions to the 2020 class. Defensive end from Maryland chose Cincinnati over Louisville, Boston College, Syracuse.