Wednesday, February 03, 1999

UC defense needs help fast

Bearcats to sign 15 JC recruits

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The University of Cincinnati has gone heavily to the junior college ranks for its 1999 football recruiting class, attempting to revive a defense that ranked last nationally in points allowed (41.5 per game) in 1998.

        UC is expected to sign about 15 junior college players today, nearly all defensive players. The full list won't be released until today.

        Terry Forbes, a former Notre Dame assistant coach who runs the Forbes Recruit Evaluation out of Miami, Fla., said he knows of few prep recruits UC has signed.

        “From what I heard, Cincinnati is trying to get guys who are a little older, more mature, and ready to play a little sooner on defense,” Forbes said. “They'll probably return back to the high school phase more in the following years.”

        Locally, UC is known to have received two oral commitments from high schoolers:

        • Chas Hall, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound running back/linebacker from Glen Este who rushed for 1,163 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.

        • A.J. Lucius, a 6-4, 225- pound tight end/defensive tackle from Loveland.

        Last year, the Bearcats signed 10 Greater Cincinnati recruits following their 1997 Humanitarian Bowl victory. This year, after a 2-9 season, they went to the junior colleges.

        Among other commitments are Josh Shneyderov, an offensive lineman from North Central High School in Indianapolis, who was ranked among Indiana's top 50 players by the state coaches association; and Aaron Guzman, a linebacker from Rochester Community College, Minn., who was a first-team junior college All-American.

        UC has the full allotment of 25 scholarships to give, but not all will go to incoming athletes. For instance, sophomore punter Adam Wulfeck (Beechwood High School, Ky.) is being awarded a scholarship after playing as a walk-on last year.

        Also, some players already enrolled in school have been guaranteed scholarships if they attain academic eligibility.

        UC coach Rick Minter cannot comment on recruits until they sign today.

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