Stalker Knows Hometown Advantage

Picking up an offer from the hometown team has local linebacker prospect C.J. Stalker excited about the Bearcats. Bearcat Insider checked in with Stalker on his feelings about staying home and following in the footsteps of those before him.

With a growing offer list, Ohio junior linebacker C.J. Stalker took notice when Cincinnati jumped into the fight for his services.

"I spoke with Coach (Blake) Rolan and he said the new linebackers coach and defensive coordinator really liked my film and gave him the go ahead to give me an offer, so that is great.

"Coach Rolan came in last track season to watch me run in practice a few times and I grew to like him then. He was also in school back in the fall and then he was back less than a month ago for a morning workout. He said he liked what he saw and reported good things about me to the coaching staff."

What did an offer from the hometown Bearcats mean to the West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West product?

"It's huge," he said. "I can recall being down there my eighth grade and freshman years watching spring practices and going to meetings with my brother. I told Coach Rolan it was a dream to have a chance to play there. It's a great feeling honestly and extremely humbling to me because my mother actually graduated from UC, so this was huge."

Stalker knows how successful local players have been representing the home team and can talk with another former local product that excelled during and after his UC career.

"My brother and I know personally know J.K. Schaffer," explained Stalker. "He played at UC and was a special team's player and linebacker for the Bengals this past season."

As to how much of an advantage the Bearcats will have because of the closeness to home, Stalker knows there are other reasons to like the Bearcats.

"I determined distance is not really a factor for me," said Stalker. "My mom and dad might think otherwise, but for me, it isn't a factor. Cincinnati is such a prestigious school and will definitely be a school that will be up high on my list.

"The things I like the most about UC are the traditions and everything that goes on down there with the program as it is huge."

The next several months will be ones the Bearcats coaching staff will have to battle to keep Stalker from leaving as he's become one of the more popular linebackers in Ohio for the Class of 2015.

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