Sunday, April 01, 2001

QB Guidugli signs with UC


Highlands star spurns Irish for better chance to play

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer contributor

        In the end, Gino Guidugli chose what was most familiar. The Highlands quarterback signed a letter-of-intent with the University of Cincinnati Saturday, choosing UC over Notre Dame.

        “It was a pretty easy choice,” Guidugli said. “It'll give me a chance to play right away.”

        Guidugli said UC's offense is similar to what he played at Highlands, and he thought offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin “knew what he was talking about.”

        “They're in the shotgun about 70 percent of the time,” Guidugli said of the Bearcats. “They throw 35, 40 times a game.”

        The 6-foot-4 Guidugli led Highlands to the 1999 and 2000 Class AAA state championships and passed for 4,367 yards as a senior. He is the fourth Bluebird to sign a football scholarship with an NCAA Division I school, joining Brent Grover (Purdue), Ben Scott (Kentucky) and Brett Hamblen (Kentucky).

        Guidugli originally committed to Kentucky, but he didn't sign after former coach Hal Mumme resigned.

        What followed were nearly two months of phone calls and scholarship offers from everywhere. Notre Dame, Virginia, North Carolina, Purdue and Ohio State were among the suitors.

        Guidugli chose UC a week ago after one final visit, to Mississippi State. He said it helped that UC coach Rick Minter told Guidugli UC would be there should UK not work out.

        “It's been kind of nuts,” Guidugli said. “You're always going to wonder if you made the right decision. It was hard to give up on UK. I think my future's at UC.”

        Guidugli's father, Dave, admired his son's desire to go to UC because he's ignoring potential critics who thought he should have played in a higher-profile program.

        “I think he likes the idea of playing in town for his family and friends,” Dave Guidugli said.

        Gino Guidugli knows he'll battle Adam Hoover for a starting job at quarterback. But that and the game film he'll watch will wait for now.

        “I've got spring break to do,” he said. “Panama City, Florida.”

       



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