Throughout his coaching career, Tommy Tuberville has always been solid on the recruiting trail, and that hasn’t changed during his time at Cincinnati. The Bearcats are off to a fairly stellar start to the 2016 recruiting cycle, having already landed 13 commitments thus far.
According to 247Sports, Cincinnati’s current recruiting class ranks third in the AAC and 54th in the country.
Of those 13 overall commitments, three came in July, starting with wide receiver Marcel Paul.
The two-star Detroit native announced his commitment on July 17th. Although he’s not a highly sought-after recruit, Paul could end up being a diamond in the rough, and it’s never a bad thing to tap into the lucrative Cass Tech High School pipeline.
Cass Tech has become a recruiting hotbed in recent years for major programs such as Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State, but Cincinnati hadn’t been able to reel in any prospects from the school. That changed with Paul’s commitment, and perhaps this will open the door to more Cass Tech recruits choosing UC.
On the field, Paul greatest asset is his speed, but is also decently sized at 6-foot-1, 173 pounds. Add in his solid blocking ability, and you have a player that looks like he could be the total package and an excellent under-the-radar commitment.
Though he’s limited in Cass Tech’s run-oriented offense, Paul will fit in nicely in Cincinnati’s more pass-heavy approach, and could even be used as a returner on special teams.
The Bearcats next commitment came three days later, courtesy of cornerback Eric Jenkins. The three-star JUCO recruit from Los Angeles Valley Community College generated quite a bit of interest from other teams, receiving offers from Illinois, Indiana, Washington State, Central Michigan and UTEP.
Though his coverage skills could still use some refining, Jenkins has excellent speed and has shown flashes of his potential to be a lockdown defensive back. He has the athleticism necessary to reach that potential, but needs to show greater discipline to reach a level of consistency that can make those expectations become a reality.
The most recent commit for the Bearcats came on July 21, when Highland Spring High School athlete K’Von Wallace gave the team his verbal.
BREAKING: Bearcats grab 2nd verbal in matter of minutes with K'Von Wallace, DB, Highland Springs, VA
— BearcatJournal.com (@BearcatJournal) July 21, 2015
A three-star recruit who plays both sides of the ball, Wallace’s only other offer came from James Madison. However, he’s similar to Marcel Paul in the sense that this could be a case of Tuberville and his coaching staff finding a diamond in the rough.
Though he does have some areas in need of improvement on both sides of the ball (route running on offense and tackling on defense, for example), his versatility is of great value to UC, who could use more depth in both the wide receiver and defensive back departments.
He’s not likely to step on campus and make an immediate campus, but he could be a solid contributor in the future if he’s given the proper coaching to help him refine his skills.
All in all, it was a relatively successful July on the recruiting trail for Cincinnati, who had hit a bit of a lull before this trio of commitments. The Bearcats were able to land players at positions that are in particular need of depth following this season, which sets Tuberville and Co. up well moving forward in the recruiting cycle.