The Recruiting Trail: Cincy Closes Its Doors on Big Ten

You remember the Orange Bowl back in January? No? Don’t worry about it, I can’t blame you. It wasn’t exactly the sexiest of the BCS matchups with the Cincinnati Bearcats losing to the Virginia Tech Hokies 20-7. The game was a pretty huge deal for the Bearcats, though, even if they did end up losing the game.

For the Bearcats they’d already won the battle just by winning the Big East and getting to the Orange Bowl. You see, there has always been a ton of high school football talent in Cincinnati, but all that talent usually wound up at Ohio State or other schools in the Big Ten. Unfortunately, the Bearcats new found notoriety may be changing things

Bearcats head coach Brian Kelly got some good news on Monday from a couple of big time recruits he was hoping to land at Cincy.

Smith and Schloemer both committed to the Bearcats over the weekend, and that’s a blow to a few Big Ten schools. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Purdue had all made offers to Smith, while Schloemer had offers from Illinois, and Indiana, along with interest from Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue.


Wide receiver James Jackson is fast. Very fast. Jackson, from Grand Ledge High School in Michigan, runs a 4.31 40 and was receiving quite a bit of attention from Big Ten schools, most notably hated rivals Michigan and Ohio State. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the state’s 100-meter spring champion didn’t seem to have much interest in them and gave a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes last year. Now things have been made all official like, and James will be suiting up with the Buckeyes this fall.

Jackson is one of four players from the state of Michigan who will be dressing for the Buckeyes this fall.


Leneil Himes of Plymouth West High School in Plymouth, Indiana is catching the interest of the Purdue Boilermakers who had the 6’3 245lb tight end in town for a junior day last Saturday. Himes is also getting some interest from Indiana and Illinois along with Colorado, but the Boilermakers are hoping to have him in West Lafayette on Saturday afternoons in 2010.

Himes is a bit undersized for his position, but his high school coach doesn’t see that as a factor. ($)

Barron also says Himes is the best football player he’s had at Plymouth, “no doubt about it.”

Himes is a bit small at 6’3 — or 6’2 depending on who you ask — but he does have a 6’5 wingspan and can play defense as well. Not to mention his coach also says he can throw a football 70 yards. In other words, the kid is an athlete, and being a little undersized didn’t seem to give Dallas Clark any problems while he was at Iowa did it? Himes could be that kind of player.

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