Sunday, December 9, 2012

Schools in the News: Cincinnati, Texas Tech

Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones was recently hired to coach at Tennessee, and now it has been reported that Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville will take over at Cincinnati.  Here's a look at how these teams have crossed paths on the recruiting trail in recent years:

2013 Cincinnati commits: None
Current Cincinnati players: QB Bennie Coney, QB Munchie Legaux, LB Jeff Luc, CB Adrian Witty

2013 Texas Tech commits: None
Current Texas Tech players: WR Reginald Davis, OT Trey Keenan, DT Delvon Simmons, DT Michael Starts, WR Dominique Wheeler

In case you were wondering, offensive guard Caleb Stacey decommitted from Michigan in favor of Cincinnati for the 2012 class, but he quit the program before the summer finished.  It's interesting that when you look at their roster, though, there are a lot of "second chance" players.  Michigan originally offered Coney, but they backed off after some character concerns surfaced.  Luc was once a 5-star recruit who went to Florida State, but he couldn't crack the starting lineup; he had just 23 tackles and 3 tackles for loss in two seasons.  He's sitting out the 2012 season due to transfer rules and will be a redshirt junior in 2013.  Witty, meanwhile, was a high school teammate of Denard Robinson and signed with Michigan, but he couldn't qualify academically; as a backup cornerback this year, he has 22 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks.

Texas Tech has fallen off the national radar a little bit since Mike Leach left, and Tuberville had a bunch of mediocre recruits lined up for the class of 2013.  Michigan hadn't offered any of them.  The Red Raiders, however, did do a good job of recruiting Michigan targets over the past couple classes.

In other Michigan connection news, defensive line coach Steve Stripling - who held the same position at Michigan from 2005-07 - has been named interim head coach for the Bearcats' bowl game; former Michigan outside linebacker and graduate assistant Roy Manning is Cincinnati's running backs coach.  Manning had 72 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks as a Wolverine.

I don't expect these coaching moves to affect Michigan significantly, but there are a few kids to watch.  Lansing (MI) Everett cornerback Jaleel Canty plays a position that Michigan wants to fill, but he's a small-ish kid at 5'9" and probably doesn't fit the mold of a boundary corner like former commit Gareon Conley did.  Michigan has been in contact with Cincinnati (MI) Northwest outside linebacker Rasheen Jones; the Wolverines have sent out a few linebacker offers in recent weeks to fill an undisclosed roster spot, but no offer has been extended to Jones just yet.  There's also a possibility that Michigan could pursue Cincinnati (OH) Colerain offensive guard Dylan Wiesman as the coaches try to get a fifth - and maybe sixth - offensive lineman in the class; Wiesman is considered by some to be the best player in Cincinnati's class and he's the former teammate of freshman linebacker Joe Bolden.

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