A Saturday night home game allowed several top prospects to make the trip to Cincinnati and take in a Bearcats game. While at the game Bearcat Insider saw the following recruits and have the following report.
One of the major needs in this class is offensive line, with several of the top prospects having made commitments already; the Bearcats staff is working on several who are still out there looking at where they have interest to go.
One player who I've followed over the summer at several camps and combines made the trip and has interest. Bob Gulley (Berea High School) is a 3-star Scout.com Ohio prospect and a Bearcat Insider Super 50 contender. At 6'4 - 275 lbs, Gulley has used a great summer to have several schools take serious looks at his ability.
With offers from Miami Ohio, Toledo, Akron, Bowling Green and Kent State, Gulley also has schools like West Virginia, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State taking hard looks. Many in the recruiting business feel the Buckeyes could be ready to offer.
How good was Gulley's summer? One stop he made was the John Teerlinck NFL Big Man Camp and was named the overall top lineman against 150 of the top offensive linemen in attendance. For this he earned the coveted "Rock" trophy.
In talking with Bob and his family on Saturday, they all said they liked what they saw at UC and were glad they could take in the game. "It worked out that we could be here today. Our other son plays for Muskingum and they were in Wilmington today and we just made the trip down after they finished." Said Mr. Gulley about the trip to Cincinnati.
If the Bearcats can land Gulley they will have received the commitment of a player whose best football is still to come.
Another player who has heavy interest in the Bearcats is Jordan Gafford. The 6'0 - 195 safety is a 2-Star Scout.com prospect and is seeing his stock climbing during his senior season. With offers from Miami Ohio, Marshall and the Bearcats, Gafford may be close to ending his recruiting.
When asked what he thought about his visit Jordan had the following to say. "I really like it. Everything was great and I really enjoyed being here." Having watched Jordan play last season during the playoffs I can tell you he fits into the mold of players Coach Dantonio is recruiting. Tough, hard nosed and smart on and off the field.
One player who I've been high on over the past few months is Karl Finkes of Xenia. The Bearcats have had good luck with Xenia players Trent Cole and Cedric Tolbert. Could Finkes be next in line? At 6'2 - 205 Finkes plays safety in high school and most schools are recruiting him as a safety, but with his size and speed he could be a player that moves to linebacker also.
Karl also runs track and is a very good student who's visited several campus during the past spring and summer. Having visited Kentucky, Louisville, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green and Ohio State has allowed Finkes a chance to see several of the college who are showing the most interest. "I liked what I saw here today. I'd be very interest in Cincinnati if they would decide to offer me." said the Xenia prospect.
One player who's not seen much press during his recruiting is Miami Trace running back Dominique Smith. A running back / safety prospect, Smith knows his lack of summer camps has slowed his recruiting.
"I play baseball and that keep me from getting out to camps." said the senior during his trip to Cincinnati. When asked about how his team did on Friday, Smith said he rushed for 144 yards rushing and a touchdown during the Panthers loss to Jonathan Alder. When asked about another prospect that's got interest in the Bearcats, safety Jesse Kontras, Smith said the kid was a very tough player and very good one.
If looking at another prospect that's been very interest in the Bearcats, you don't have to go any further then Collin McCafferty of Kings High School.
The 6'2 190lb. linebacker/running back has made several visits with the Bearcats and Saturday night allowed him and his father a chance to see the team in action.
While many of the prospects on hand were for the Class of 2006, there was also one in the Class of 2007 who has a real interest in the Bearcats. Junior offensive lineman Garrett Celek is no stranger to the University of Cincinnati. As the younger brother of Bearcats tight-end Brent Celek, Garrett is very interested in staying close to home and following in his brother's footsteps and may see several programs stay away from recruiting him because of the same problems his brother had.
When Brent was a senior, many college coaches felt he was too thin to play college ball. But then UC Head Coach Rick Minter placed Brent on scholarship and the rest is Bearcats history as Brent has become one of the top players on the Bearcats team.
There were several other prospects on hand for the game, but I only had a chance to catch up with these few who I've had the chance to get to know over the past year and were easy to spot before, during and after the game. I'm sure we'll see many more of the top prospects visit during a game in the coming weeks as the Bearcats schedule gets into Big East play. One thing for sure, Bearcat Insider will be looking to see who they are.