Local Lineman On UC's Radar

Local offensive lineman gives latest on Bearcats and others in the hunt.

It was a big week for Colerain High School's Eric Ornella. He was selected to the Cincinnati Enquirer's Division I 1st team all-city team as an offensive lineman, and he got in-school visits with Tim Hinton of UC and Fisher DeBerry, head coach of the Air Force.

When BCI interviewed Kerry Coombs last March, Coombs indicated that he thought Ornella may get overlooked by many programs this year since he was playing with all-everything lineman, Connor Smith. That may have been the case since the 6' 4"/290 pounder has received no solid offers yet. Ornella certainly has the numbers to be considered since he says he's benched 225 pounds 20 times in high school and runs a 5.2 or 5.3 forty.

Eric is an outstanding student with a 3.8 GPA and more than adequate test score. He'd like to attend a school with a good engineering program. He took an unofficial visit to Northwestern during the season and has been on UC's campus a couple times to check into its impressive engineering school. Eric was adequately impressed with Cincinnati's academics and athletics. "The engineering program there is really awesome, and the football program is heading in the right direction. I'd love to be a part of it."

The Bearcat staff took film of Eric this week, but UC is not the only school considering Ornella for a scholarship offer. In addition to UC, Northwestern, and the Air Force, Ornella has also gotten interest from West Virginia, Maryland, and Central Michigan among others. Eric's mother would like to see him stay close to home, but Eric just wants the chance to earn an engineering degree and play Division IA football. He emphasized that geography was a consideration for him.

BCI will stay in contact with Eric as his college recruitment continues to unfold.

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