One area of concern for the University of Cincinnati football program has been the play along the offensive line. With the loss of three senior starters and very little experience in the backups, the coaching staff placed a premium on getting much needed help. In looking at both the high school ranks and junior college ranks the Bearcats have seen some great interest but very little in the commitment field.
That changed last week when the Bearcats coaching staff received the commitment of their eighth player in the Class of 2006. While not a household name to Bearcat fans, this player will bring the needed experience and desire to succeed to campus and look to earn a starting position when the season opens next year.
One area the Bearcats coaching staff has worked hard in recruiting is the JUCO ranks. While Coach Dantonio has stressed the importance of recruiting as much high school talent to develop, a need has been shown along the offensive line. With much of the major junior college programs west of the Mississippi River, the Bearcats staff has put in overtime to reach out and get the attention of players they feel can contribute the day they reach campus. One such player is their latest verbal commitment.
Citrus College in Glendora, California has a very successful program under head coach Kevin Emerson. The Owls have now won three Western States Conference Championships in the four year tenure of Emerson and 33 of his players have signed scholarships in the past three years.
His latest Division One player will be heading to Cincinnati with sights set on winning a guard spot along the offensive line. Ken Rodriguez stands 6'3 300 lbs. and is considered a road grater with an attitude. After his official visit with the Bearcats on December 2-4, Rodriguez wasted little time in making the call and committing to the Bearcats staff.
Rodriguez should be in school by the first of the year and be ready for spring practice. Ken Rodriguez gives the Bearcats 8 verbal commitments in the Class of 2006.
Here is the complete list in the order they made their commitments.
1. Brandon Miller - S - Withrow HS (OH)
2. Marcus Barnett - WR - Frederick Douglass HS (MD)
3. Toby Boeckman - TE-DE-OL - St Henry HS (OH)
4. John Goebel - RB-LB - Brother Rice HS (Mich)
5. Jacob Ramsey - RB-LB - Columbus Independence HS (OH)
6. Ben Guidugli - LB-TE - Highlands HS (KY)
7. Chris Harrison - DL-OL - Youngstown Liberty HS (OH)
8. Ken Rodriguez - OL - Citrus College (JUCO) (Cal)
The Class of 2006 was first felt to be a small one (11), but it's shaping up for around 20-21 scholarship players when all the ink dries in February on NLI Day.
There is word going around the Bearcats may also be close to getting a few more verbal commitments this week. Stay with Bearcat Insider for the latest UC Football recruiting news.