Don't Blame Bearcats if Tilley Goes South

Do the Bearcats really have a chance at one of Ohio's top prospects?

While offensive lineman Lee Tilley is expected to make his decision on Monday, he still has one more trip planned before making the call and donning the hat of the college program that will earn his signature on National Letter of Intent Day in February.

But while Bearcat fans hold out hope of the 6-7, 310 4-star prospect picking the Bearcats, it's starting to look more and more as if an SEC team will be the choice. But while Bearcat fans may be disappointed, they can't blame the Bearcats coaching staff for not pulling out all the stops in trying to land Tilley.

Tilley started seeing early interest from the Bearcats coaching staff when he was still at Springfield South High School (Ohio), Bearcats area recruiting Coach Harlon Barnett along with recruiting coordinator Mark Staten made all the calls and visits allowed by the NCAA. Head Coach Mark Dantonio also was very involved in making the offer to Tilley and made sure to give the youngster time at each visit made to the UC Campus. Offensive line coach Dan Roushar also made the trip to Columbus to watch Tilley play after his transfer to Franklin Heights High School.

But while many can say several schools did the same, keep in mind Tilley also gave the Bearcats the time needed to earn his commitment. By making several trips for practice, games and regular visits, Tilley showed the Bearcats have something working in the right direction. For Cincinnati to get mentioned in Tilley's final list of schools is a major step. How many times has Bearcat fans really felt they had a chance with a prospect that has narrowed his choices to the following programs, Oklahoma, Arizona State, LSU, South Carolina and Auburn? Not many in my memory if any at all...

But while Tilley claims to have made his decision in the most recent interview on the network, he still has one more visit to make this weekend to Auburn as they play rival Alabama. While many always feel the last visit gives a team an edge, this visit was planned early and just happens to be the last.

But Bearcat fans can hold out hope until Tilley pulls out the hat during his news conference on Monday claiming his love and commitment to the school who will have earned the next four to five years of his life.

Remember, he does have a black C-Paw hat at home that he purchased during his latest visit to the UC campus when the Bearcats played West Virginia. Maybe, just maybe, Tilley will pull that hat out of the bag come Monday.

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