One of the newest Bearcats to verbally commit to the Brian Kelly led Cincinnati football program is Alex Delisi of St. Mary Preparatory School in Orchard Lake, Michigan. Delisi verbally committed to Cincinnati a couple days after his official visit on December 13th.
Bearcat Insider recently spoke to the Michigan Division II 1st team all-state linebacker about what impressed him during his visit to the Clifton campus. "The facilities were, in my opinion, second to none. Their sports medicine and training facilities are pretty unbelievable, and I've seen some pretty unbelievable things. I was recruited by Michigan State, and they've spent millions of dollars for new everything, but Cincinnati blew them out of the water." Alex has also had unofficial visits or camps at Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue and Ohio State.
Even though Orchard Lake is only a three to four hour drive from Cincinnati, Coach Kelly flew Alex and his father to town for his official visit. "They flew us in and showed us everything, and we met basically everybody. Then I met with Coach Kelly for about 45 minutes. He said I was a highly recruited kid, and he could see the toughness in me. I told him I absolutely loved Cincinnati." Alex ate at the Montgomery Inn Boathouse and enjoyed the legendary ribs. He was also aware of another Cincinnati food icon. "I've heard that (chili/spaghetti) was one of the things to do." Alex took a few days to think about his decision and talk to people close to him before making the call. "I spoke with my family, high school coach, strength coach and I still stay in contact with my junior high linebacker coach. They were all supportive so I called and told them Cincinnati was the place I wanted to be."
The 6' 2"/222 pound linebacker had some interesting scholarship offers in addition to Cincinnati‘s. One of those offers came from a Pac 10 school only days after his visit to the Queen City. "I had an offer from Washington, but the distance was one of the negatives. Coach Willingham really liked my film and offered me. At the time of their offer, I had already visited Cincinnati and had a big time/Big East offer from Cincinnati, and that was only about three and a half hours down the road." Delisi also held a Big Ten offer. "Illinois was the first one to offer. They offered me back in March."
Coach Kelly and his assistants were recruiting Alex to Central Michigan, but the total recruiting story is a bit complicated. Alex was also being recruited by the old Bearcat coaching staff. "They (Coach Dantonio's staff) gave me a phone call and said they'd like to see some film. A couple days later, Coach Dantonio took the job at Michigan State. Cincinnati was recruiting me for both my junior and senior year but hadn‘t given an offer." Alex said he liked Coach Kelly's CMU staff and admitted his original interest in the Chippewas was mostly because of that staff so when Coach Kelly came to Cincinnati, the Bearcats immediately became the leading contender for his services. It didn't hurt that UC was also in a BCS conference. "Another part of the situation was I viewed myself as a Big Ten/Big East player."
St. Mary's Preparatory is a Catholic school with 500+ boys and plays in the same league as Brother Rice. Alex served as a captain for the 8-3 playoff squad and played both ways. "I've played linebacker my whole life, but Coach Porriet came to me and said, ‘You're the biggest, strongest guy that we've got, and the offensive line is our biggest area of need so we're going to put you there.' Since I was a captain, I said I'd do anything so I played offensive guard this year." Alex knows and has played against John Goebel (Brother Rice) over the years.
Delisi is expected to play inside linebacker at UC. "They've told me I'll play inside, but they've said I have the speed to play outside too." Alex said his best 40-yard-dash time was 4.56 seconds. He runs the 100 and 200 meters and had an 11.3 time in the 100 meters last year. He also throws the shot put and discus and boasts a 405 pound bench with 18 reps at 225 pounds. A true student/athlete, Delisi has a 3.76 GPA.
Some Bearcat football fans feel some bad blood toward Coach Dantonio and his staff, but Alex doesn't understand that type of thinking. "I've talked to Coach Roushar on the phone, and he actually told me he can't guarantee me anything at Michigan State so he encouraged me to commit to Cincinnati."
Alex Delisi is definitely looking forward to playing in the Big East. "Cincinnati is Big East ball. West Virginia, Louisville-we're talking top teams here. Cincinnati is definitely up and coming."
This Italian Catholic is also proud of his work ethic and beliefs. "People call me the ‘Silent Worker' because every day I show up on time and bust my ass. My mother said, ‘Alex, you have an angel on your shoulder.' I believe that too because I had no injuries and a very productive season. I led the team in tackles and ended up getting all this attention-all league, all state, all everything. That angel is looking out for me." Alex was asked if that angel will cross state lines and continue his good fortune in Cincinnati. His voice got stronger as he replied, "Oh, I know so. I know so."
I can't vouch for Alex's angel, but here's what I do know. The Cincinnati Bearcat football program will soon be adding another quality player and person to its roster, and that person is Alex Delisi.