Thursday, February 08, 2001

Bowl game sparks UC recruiting

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Coincidence? Probably not. University of Cincinnati football coach Rick Minter said Wednesday that his eighth recruiting class is probably one of his best two.

        This one followed a 7-5 season and Motor City Bowl appearance. The other came after the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl appearance and 8-4 campaign.

        “If I'm a kid out there, I certainly want to come to a team that's winning, a team that's going places and in the postseason and playing on television,” Minter said.

        Seventeen players — 15 from high schools and two from junior college — signed national letters of intent Wednesday to attend UC. A few more are expected to sign.

        Among the players who will join the Bearcats next fall are three local products: Defensive back Doug Monaghan (Colerain), lineman Matt Webster (Scott) and quarterback Kenwood Lattimore (Winton Woods), who could end up at linebacker.

        “It's a class that answers a lot of needs,” Minter said.

        Matt Tupuola, a defensive lineman from El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., may have the most immediate impact.

        “He is the one guy that we looked at who is capable of stepping into our lineup right away and fill the hole left by Mario Monds,” Minter said.

        With rare exception, Minter stayed away from special teams players and running backs, two areas in which the Bearcats return several players.

        In addition to Lattimore, UC signed two other quarterbacks: George Murray (Tallahassee, Fla.) and Billy Faulkner (Cynthiana, Ky.).

        “You hope no freshman has a chance to make (an impact) early,” Minter said, then added, “There are freshmen in the area capable of making an impact for us should they decide to come our way.”

        The Bearcats would still like to sign Gino Guidugli, the Highlands High School senior who committed to Kentucky but is waiting before signing in the wake of coach Hal Mumme's resignation Tuesday.

Player Pos. Ht Wt HS/Hometown
Ryan Brown OL 6-2 290 Strongsville
Sean Cahill OL 6-3 280 Upper Arlington
Trent Cole DE 6-4 228 Xenia
Bill Faulkner QB 6-3 200 Harrison Co.
Dennis Hart TE 6-3 217 Compton (Calif.) CC
John Gromin OL 6-6 295 Rosemont (Pa.)
Dennis Hart TE 6-2 225 Compton (Calif.) CC
Kevin Hazel WR 6-1 190 Cols. DeSales
Carl Jones WR 5-10 180 Tampa (Fla.) Armwood
Justin LaForgia WR 6-5 210 Rutherford (N.J.)
Kenwood Lattimore QB 6-4 208 Winton Woods
Doug Monaghan DB 6-3 200 Colerain
George Murray QB 6-2 190 Tallahassee (Fla.)
Derick Ross WR 5-11 180 Marion Harding
Matt Tupuola DL 6-2 340 El Camino (Calif.) College
Matt Webster OL 6-3 265 Scott
Jamie Wimmer DE 6-2 265 Avon
Joel Yakovacol OL 6-2 295 Mt. Lebanon (Pa.)

Jon Zwitt
RB 6-1 200 Greenwood (Ind.)

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