Spring practice has seen several of the new Bearcats from the class of 2005 stop and watch practice. But while the coaches welcomed them and encouraged them to watch and learn, it was the players they hope to land in the class of 2006 that created even more excitement.
While the Bearcats held a Junior Day on Saturday, it was a visit on Friday that had the coaches even more excited about that days practice. The Bearcats have an offer on the table to one of Ohio's and the nations top offensive line prospects. Lee Tilley of Springfield South High School (Springfield, Ohio) has one of the most impressive offer list in the country. With national powers Oklahoma, Georgia and Tennessee all on board, Tilley hasn't ruled out staying close to home and playing for the first "In State" team to have offered him.
The Bearcats wasted little time in making Lee Tilley a prime prospect for the Class of 2006. With Ohio having a strong group of offensive linemen in this class, Bearcat coaches are looking to land Tilley and showed him how much they enjoyed the big linemen making an unofficial visit during Day Three of spring practice.
Bearcat Insider was there as Tilley watched the offensive line during several drills. Coach Dantonio wasted little time in taking Lee to the side and talking with him for a few minutes. Lee also spoke to several other coaches during the day including his recruiting coach Harlon Barnett.
Bearcat Insider spoke with Lee's high school offensive line coach Jeremy Beckham and he had this to say about the day's visit.
" Coach Dantonio and staff have a great thing going here at UC, Lee was able to spend quality time with several coaches, players, and even students. Coaches, Staten, Barnett along with Danonio will have an major impact on Lee's decision. I feel these coaches not only do a great job on the field but are excellent in the recruiting process. UC is a school that must now be considered among the top programs in the Midwest. Mainly due to the leadership set forth by Coach Mark Dantonio. As a coach, you always look for a school where your players can go and become better men. I feel that UC is now one of those places, due in part to Coach Mark Dantonio and his staff."
Bearcat Insider also spoke with Lee about his visit with the Bearcats. Lee had this to say about his visit.
" I really enjoyed my trip to UC for practice, it was great seeing them get after it a bit. I was able to speak with several players after practice. Coach Dantonio spent several minutes with me before practice, we sat in the stands and had a great talk. He was very pleasant to speak with, and I look forward to speaking with him again. I also spoke with Coach Barnett, who recruits my school, and Coach Staten, who would coach me. They had practice in the stadium, and that was really nice. I'm hoping to learn more about UC."
Can the Bearcats land one of the countries top prospects? That's the question many Bearcat football fans will be asking during the next several months. But one thing is for sure, this staff has caught the interest of several top recruits this year and have shown their in the running with any program in the country.