IT'S OVER!!!!! FOR NOW!!!
National Letter of Intent Day is over and gone for 2005. What a class Coach Dantonio and his staff have coming into the Natti. Coming off a bowl victory in his first season, Coach Dantonio will see many new faces working to earn key spots on the field this spring. And with the addation of the new recruits in the fall the depth chart may be a hard one to follow.
For those who are missing my Bearcat Report Card on this class, check the More Stories part on the front page and take a look. I'm not being a homer with my grades. The coaching staff did a great job on recruiting top talent to the campus. I have seen the tape of all the recruits and I can tell you that the "So called recruiting experts" missed on several of these kids with their rankings.
While we celebrate this great class, the coaching staff is already working on the Class of 2006. Having already offered Aaron Brown of Cincinnati Princeton High School, the staff wasted little time in making their list and checking it twice.
Look for more names to surface with a Junior Day set for Thursday as the Bearcats and Xavier take to the court.
That is something local Cincinnati newspapers have better learn when talking about Bearcat Football. In an article that praised the efforts of the staffs recruiting, it also spoke of the program being a lower level college program.
Wake up and smell what is cooking around you people. The last time I checked the Bearcats will be playing for a spot in a BCS game this coming season. I didn't know lower level teams were able to do that.
It's time to give the University and it's athletic management their just dues. The University has in place improvements that will help the Bearcats grow into a top notch program. With all the construction going on and a future in the Big East only months away you would think these media outlets would be giving fans more coverage.
I was at Coach Dantonio's Press Conference about his new class. I truly expected to see more people there covering the great news the Coach and his staff had to release.
Bearcat fans don't worry. Bearcat Insider will be there covering the Bearcat football program like no other media source.
STAR SYSTEM PART II
Both the Post and Enquirer ran stories talking about how low the Class of 2005 was ranked by Rivals.com and our network Scout.com. But neither of them contacted Bearcat Insider to get the latest on why and how the network comes up with these numbers.
Take into account both so called recruiting experts for both networks are Ohio State homers. And even if they are high on a kid, there are still other "Experts" that may or may not see these players from around the country.
Many kid's still don't go to the Nike Combine or the MSL Combine. In fact, the MSL was held at UC last spring and none of the players who signed with the Bearcats were in attendance. At both events Scout.com Big East recruiting expert and members of other Scout.com sites were in attendance. A good showing at one of these events puts a players name out there and helps raise their "Star Ranking".
STEAL OF THE YEAR
Remember in a couple of years that Bearcat Insider told you so. The biggest steal in this years recruiting class is quarterback Craig Carey. I watched Carey play this season and after breaking down several of his games, I can tell you this kid has all the tools to be a top college quarterback. In the words of Coach Dantonio "Craig Carey is the best quarterback in the Midwest." Those are very strong words from the head man himself.
SPRING IS HERE
While the weather here in Southwest Ohio this past weekend was above the norm, you can tell spring is almost here.
How do I know this? Because the Bearcats baseball team takes the field on Febuary 11th in Boca Raton, Florida. The Bearcats will play Florida Atlantic in a three games series and then travel on two more road trips to Duke and Wake Forest.
The first Bearcat home game is scheduled for March 4th as Cleveland State heads into the UC Baseball Stadium.
Bearcats Head Coach Brian Cleary has worked hard to have his team in position to take advantage of the now completed UC Baseball Stadium.
With 16 returning lettermen and a strong class of talented newcomers, the Bearcats look to compete for a championship in their final year of C-USA. If you haven't seen the new stadium, get out to a game and look at what everyone is talking about. The Bearcats are scheduled to play 30 games at home this year and you will always have a great seat.
That is what the Bearcats men basketball team can say about their past two games. Dropping a close one to rival Louisville and then going down to Charlotte and coming out with a 1 point loss has many talking already about an early exit during this years tournament.
While the Cats haven't seen a run in the past few years, the tournament is the start of a new begining. The main thing for the Bearcats is to get in and take your shot. It's March madness and anything can happen.
So don't get down too early on the Bearcats. There is still a long way to go. Coach Huggins will right the ship and have the Bearcats ready for a hard run when the Conference USA Tournament starts in Memphis.
It's Crosstown Shootout time for Xavier and the Bearcats. While this game is great for fans of both schools, some people seem to feel the Bearcats could care less about this game. I don't see it that way. Players and coaches want to win.
They don't care who the team is, but they know a victory is a must. Victories are how your marked in national polls and in seeding for the NCAA Tournament.
While the Bearcats have come up short more often against their crosstown rival, (lost 6 of the last 8) look at who the oppenents have been for both teams during the past week and who should be better prepared.
Xavier has played La Salle and Rhode Island in their past two games. Yes! a La Salle team that sits with a 6-14 record and Rhode Island who has a 4-15 mark.
The Bearcats took on rival Louisville (20-3) and Charlotte (15-4) in their last two games and after Xavier will battle DePaul (15-5) who sits in second place in C-USA.
So while the fans love this game, don't think for a minute that the coaches take this game for granted. Coaches want as many wins as they can get. And I have never seen a player or coach that liked to lose in anything.
It looks from the way Ohio State has started throwing around offers they know who they want. That is good news for the Bearcat football coaches this recruiting season.
Every year I talk with players who have OSU on their list as the school they want. The problem is OSU doesn't want them. While these kids are hoping to get an offer from the Buckeyes, many will never see it and slow down their recruiting in hopes of them seeing OSU call with an offer. With the early offers laid on the table these kids will learn that Ohio State has no interest and start looking at the other schools that want them.
Even with the team having a poor season, things look good for the future of the Lady Bearcats program. The top three scores from this years team will all return next year and help Coach Laurie Pirtle get things back on track.
Toni Slaughter and Karen Twehues are both sophomores and team MVP Anne Stephens is a junior. Stephens is not only doing a great job scoring, she is also averaging 5.3 rebounds per game and has blocked 20 shots this season. Not bad for a player that's only started 11 out of 20 games played in.
DON'T MESS WITH THIS BEARCAT
If there's one Bearcat you don't want to mess with it's Jo Young. A senior from London, Ohio. Young won both the shot put and weight throw during the Fazoli's Open held in Findlay, Ohio.
Her marks of 46'6" in the shot and 54'6" in the weight throw rank second All-Time in school history.
The Bearcats track team will travel to Akron for the always competitive All-Ohio Championships on Febuary 12th.