Football recruiting is in full swing for the Bearcats football coaches. With two weekends of official visits under their belt, the word around Bearcat land is one of full scale excitement when looking at the Class of 2006.
But while many are excited about those high school players who've given their verbal commitments, its two players who are no longer in high schools creating all the talk on message boards.
HARD ROAD TAKEN
The life and times of Brandon Maupin are those only seen on the television screens by many across the country. A troubled youth, Maupin would learn life's hard lessons by the time he was 14. As a child, Maupin would lose his mother by the age of 6 and his father who had a troubled past by age 14. But after being shuffled between several family members the hulking football prospect would find a peace and some direction from the game of football.
With offers from Oklahoma, Tennessee, Boston College and Ohio State to name a few, defensive tackle / offensive line prospect Brandon Maupin saw his name mentioned with the likes of Reggie Bush, Chris Leak and other top prospects in the Class of 2003. At 6-5.5 280 lbs., Maupin was ranked as the number 10 defensive tackle prospect in the country for his class.
A raw talent with tremendous upside, Maupin always seemed to be part of controversy. By the time he was to sign his letter of intent, Maupin would see a fight over the school he would sign with. The battle between his foster family and those who became part of his life would end with Maupin signing with Ohio State. His start in the Buckeye program went smooth as he would redshirt during the 2003 season and then get some playing time (5 games) during year two.
But while many had project Maupin to be in the two man rotation for the Buckeyes defensive line, Maupin would be excused from football drills to handle some personal matters. While many felt he would return to the Buckeyes, his departure has been one of silence until the past few weeks.
At this time it looks like the former Lakota West player will become a UC Bearcat after finishing classes at Cincinnati State this year. What can Bearcat fans expect from Maupin? A big-time defensive line prospect to go with Trevor Anderson and Terrill Byrd, Maupin will help make the Bearcats defense very solid.
But while news of Maupin would be the headline during any other week, it's second fiddle to the next bit of news concerning the Bearcats football program. That news also is about an OSU football recruit and the talk of him looking towards UC after taking an official visit just two weekends ago.
That is what many that follow football recruiting said about Cleveland Glenville prospect Freddie Lenix during his recruiting just a little over a year ago.
Freddie Lenix entered and left the 2005 recruiting class as Ohio's number one linebacker. With great speed and athletic ability, Lenix saw several teams (Iowa, Michigan State, North Carolina and Wisconsin) besides the Buckeyes look to land the Cleveland Glenville prospect. With a pipeline of players heading off to Columbus over the past few years, Coach Ted Ginn knows a super talent when he sees it. Lenix was it...
Standing just less than six feet tall, Freddie Lenix used great speed (4.45 - 40) to become a top football player and major member of the Glenville football and track teams. But while some questioned if Lennix would qualify for NCAA approval, it was learned in May, Lenix would earn the marks needed only to see the Ohio State admissions department turn him away.
But while it looked like Lenix would look to attend another school, Buckeyes head coach JimTressel worked hard to keep Lenix in the Buckeyes family by offering him a grayshirt.
In a story dated June 15, 20054, Freddie Lenix told Bucknuts.com he would look to enroll into Ohio State after spending at least a year away. Freddie told Dave Biddle of Bucknuts the following.
"I'm just going to have to try and stay focused and fight this one out," Lenix said. "I found out about a month ago. They told me after track practice. They didn't actually tell me up front when they found out, because they were trying to find out the things they could do. But, the university wouldn't accept me, so they did the next best thing."
While many felt Lenix would grayshirt and enroll at OSU next month or by the time of preseason camp in August, it seems Lenix has come up with a different plan and will enroll at Cincinnati to play for the Bearcats and Coach Mark Dantonio.
Lenix, who was the ranked the number 27 linebacker in the country by Scout.com and a 4-star prospect, will have four years left to play. He will make the Bearcats defense an even better unit and will join former teammate Curtis Smith (sitting out this year) at UC.
If the Class of 2006 can get any better (I expect it will) this could well go down as the top football class in the history of UC football.