Thursday, February 03, 2000

Local football recruits fill Division I




BY DAVE SCHUTTE
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The strength of Cincinnati high school football was reflected by a large group of area players signing with Division I colleges Wednesday.

        Moeller led the pack with four signings, headed by offensive lineman Michael Munoz.

        Another highly recruited offensive lineman, Elder's Andy Christopfel, signed with Michigan, and Middletown defensive back Antwaun Rogers commited to another Big Ten school, Purdue.

        The University of Pittsburgh also came up big by signing Moeller nose tackle Jake Holthaus and Fairfield all-state offensive lineman Justin Belarski.

        “It was a very solid year for Cincinnati athletes,” said Bryan Deal, former Princeton coach and now an assistant and recruiting coordinator for Pitt. “There were several marquee players — Michael Munoz and Andy Christopfel — along with a solid group who have the ability to contribute at the next level.”

        Southeastern Conference schools signed five Cincinnati players, including Milford's Ricky Razzano Jr., who committed to Mississippi.

        Vanderbilt lured St. Xavier defensive back Nick Lyle and El der's rugged linebacker, Pat Brunner. St.Xavier tight end Eric Arling signed with Kentucky.

        Deal, whose geographical area for recruiting includes Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield and Columbus, isn't sure if Cincinnati will have two or more marquee players next season.

        “Next year's class looks similar to this year,” Deal said. “But it's unbelievable the change athletes undergo between their junior and senior years. They get bigger, faster and more mature. That's why it's hard to predict today.”

        Deal had some advice for future prospects.

        “Rather than attend one or two four-day (college) camps during the summer, the players should spend one day at five or six different camps,” Deal said.

        “A quarterback may want to show his stuff one day at Ohio State, the next at Michigan and then go to Pittsburgh. They need to have as many coaches as possible see them.”

        Deal said the biggest problem is the fact that all the major-college camps are conducted during a two-week period in June, making it impossible to attend more than five or six.

        “All of the colleges take off the month of July,” Deal said. “None of the camps start until all the schools are out for the summer, and that limits the camps to a two-week period.”

        Although Cincinnati is also a hotbed for volleyball, signings were at a minimum Wednesday. None of the players from Mount Notre Dame's two-time Division I state championship team signed.

        “Most colleges send letters stating that they don't recruit players unless they're 5-foot-8 or taller,” Mount Notre Dame coach Donna Mechley said.

        “If our two setters, Meghan Meador (5-foot) and Sarah Arlinghaus (5-2) were taller, they would sign with Division I schools. In my opinion, there will be more Cincinnati players signing later.”

        Turpin had three players (Katie Holly, Ann Schoech and Jenna Wehder) sign, and Ursuline had two (Shannon Boyle and Amy Doran).

       



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- Local football recruits fill Division I
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